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jaibot comments on Lifestyle interventions to increase longevity - Less Wrong

122 Post author: RomeoStevens 28 February 2014 06:28AM

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Comment author: jaibot 27 February 2014 11:16:27AM 8 points [-]

Are there any decent vegetarian substitutes for fish?

Comment author: RomeoStevens 27 February 2014 04:00:46PM 9 points [-]

No. If you are a vegetarian for moral reasons consider how your personal consumption impacts suffering on the margin and maybe consider at least drinking milk.

Comment author: jaibot 28 February 2014 01:56:59PM 2 points [-]

Is it that we don't know what makes fish so effective, or we do know and can't get it any other way?

Comment author: ephion 28 February 2014 03:34:31PM 3 points [-]

The main benefits of fish are high protein content and most of the fats are essential omega-3 fatty acids, including the protective EPA and DHA which are mostly unavailable in plant form. The omega-3 fatty acid ALA, which is available in many plans, only gets converted at a rate of 2-10%. If you wanted to get 2g/day of EPA+DHA, you'd need to consume 20-100g of ALA, or 37-186g of flaxseed oil.

Comment author: jaibot 28 February 2014 04:47:03PM 1 point [-]

What about algae oil?

I'm also looking at krill oil. My vegetarianism is approximately Peter-Singer-When-He-Still-Ate-Mussels (http://www.wesleyan.edu/wsa/warn/singer_fish.htm), and I'm pretty sure Krill are simple enough that there's no disutility in consuming them, but I'm having trouble finding anything definitive.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 28 February 2014 08:39:50PM 3 points [-]

I have a general heuristic in my diet of "if you need to process ten thousand of something to get the amount you want to eat, don't do that."

Comment author: juliawise 01 March 2014 02:10:08AM 4 points [-]

What about yeast? This seems like a silly heuristic.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 01 March 2014 04:05:50AM -1 points [-]

I'm not at all confident eating lots of yeast is great for our gut bacteria.

Comment author: Lumifer 03 March 2014 05:26:19PM 0 points [-]

Replace yeast/bread with yogurt, then.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 03 March 2014 07:56:43PM *  -1 points [-]

it would be reasonable for, by yourself, to create yogurt. It would not be reasonable for you by yourself to produce canola oil.

Comment author: trist 01 March 2014 07:06:04AM -1 points [-]

Perhaps the reference is to "nutritional yeast", which are all dead, and won't impact your gut bacteria aside from being provided with more nutrients.

Comment author: juliawise 03 March 2014 05:16:55PM *  0 points [-]

I was thinking of bread, actually. Not that bread is the greatest for you, but the problem isn't the yeast (which are dead, anyway).

Comment author: MrReductio 11 December 2014 09:56:57PM 0 points [-]

On this topic, I'm a bit concerned about the argued support for fish eating. RS writes,

'Pescetarians live significantly longer than vegans,[4] lending support to fish consumption.'

But this doesn't follow. Does fish consumption make a difference vs. lacto/ovo vegetarianism? If not, there's no support for fish consumption (but perhaps milk/eggs).

The cited study (from the abstract) seems to rate longevity between each group equally, at least from ischemic heart disease, indicating no effect:

'mortality from ischemic heart disease was 20% lower in occasional meat eaters, 34% lower in people who ate fish but not meat, 34% lower in lactoovovegetarians...'

Briefly checking wikipedia and other sites, I can't find significant support for fish-eating vs lacto/ovo vegetarianism, but I'd be interested to hear if I'm missing something.

In addition to pure health issues, I'm also concerned that eating fish will have a high disutility, for you get less kg of meat per death. Brian Tomasik has had a stab at crunching the numbers here: http://reducing-suffering.org/how-much-direct-suffering-is-caused-by-various-animal-foods/.

That treats all animal pain as equal, and finds that farmed salmon results in estimated 200x more suffering than beef per kg. You may want to factor in sentience complexity, indirect effects, pain responsiveness, etc. But the intuitive problem is that it would have to be massively less bad to eat fish vs most mammals to conclude that it's better to eat them, for their relatively lower mass will mean killing many more to achieve the same amount of meat.

Of course, the moral disutility of fish-eating is distinct from its health effects. I only raise it in case people want to consider balancing disutility of production with utility gained from health benefits, if any, from consumption.

Comment author: RomeoStevens 28 October 2015 11:04:42PM *  0 points [-]

Average is the same for lacto-ovo and for pescatarians but the CI is narrower for pescatarians. The lacto-ovo CI is just barely significant. I'm not covering normative issues in this post as it is a massive topic.

Comment author: ephion 27 February 2014 03:38:55PM 1 point [-]

For which respect? Tempeh is a great source of vegetarian protein and micronutrients, as fermentation removes all the nasty stuff from soy. Algae supplements have a good bit of the n-3 fatty acid DHA and EPA, but are extremely expensive with average prices being $60/mo for the recommended 2g EPA/DHA per day. Contrast this with $8/month for fish oil of the same power.