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Angelina Jolie: Vegan Diet Left Me Malnourished

Angelina Jolie, who recently came under fire for looking scary-skinny at the Berlin premiere of Salt, says her diet and beauty secret is red meat.

“I joke that a big, juicy steak is my beauty secret,” Jolie, 35, recently told reporters. “But seriously, I love red meat.

“I was a vegan for a long time, and it nearly killed me. I found I was not getting enough nutrition.” Meanwhile, partner Brad Pitt is allegedly unhappy with Angelina’s meat addiction, and prefers their children eat a vegetarian diet.

“Brad hates seeing the children eating meat and he’s annoyed with how much red meat Angelina has,” a source told a British tabloid in 2009.

Ironically, Angelina followed a high-carb, low-protein diet and ate 5-6 small meals every day while training for Salt, for which she did many of her own stunts.

A sequel is reportedly in the works, for which Jolie is again expected to train three hours a day learning the martial arts Muay Thai and Krav Maga. “I love doing action,” Jolie gushes. “I love to punch things, jump off things and shoot, so I’m lucky I got the job.”


To date, Salt has grossed $217.6 million since its July 23 U.S. release. Meanwhile, the Oscar winner is set to direct, producer and write a love story set during the Bosnian War.

“The film focuses on a Serbian man and a Bosnian woman who meet on the eve of the war and the effect the war has on their relationship,” says a rep.

Jolie wrote the screenplay for the movie, which will star local actors of various ethnicities from the region of the former Yugoslavia.

Samantha Chang is the executive editor of TheImproper and a celebrity writer with Examiner.

  • Dianne Rochenski

    I have been a vegan for the last 5 years and have never felt or looked better. I’m an animal rights activist and lover. I do it for the animals sake. I really wish that some people would think before they speak. Ms. Jolie has ruined it for millions of animals in the slaughter houses. She could have been an advocate for animals instead of being against them. I’m for animals the way she is for children. There is no difference of importance between children and animals in Gods eyes. They are both loved the same by God and WE ALL come from the same source, a loving God.

  • she’s an idiot

    She stopped becoming vegan a long time but she’s been looking worse than ever so it is really the fault of veganism that she was “left malnourished.” She’s an idiot.

  • Robert

    Adopting a vegan lifestyle does not means developing nutritional deficiency at all. Although a vegan can develop a nutritional deficiency, a vegan diet itself does not cause nutritional deficiencies. Not eating anything but soda, cheetos, and doritos classifies as a vegan diet because there is no meat or animal products being eaten. After the forty days, the person is going to look very malnourished. On the other hand a person eating an omnivorous(inclusive of animal products) diet can also develop nutritional deficiencies as well. Take a look at the average person at McDonalds and decide for yourself whether they look properly nourished or not. The fact here is that being vegan does not cause nutritional deficiencies, it’s from the choices that people make. Donald Watson, the founder of the word “vegan” lived up to 95.

  • lola

    I became very ill on a vegan diet. Once I added back some meat I put a little weight on and felt much better. By the way a B12 deficency will make a person unable to think clearly and become over emotional. Describes alot of vegans I know. lol.

  • Debra

    @Caitlin – 1.) Grains are not for cattle. Cattle are meant to eat grass. Ecoli is the result of feeding cattle corn. Cattle fed grass don’t produce ecoli in the gut. 2.) Your daughter was nowhere near eating a healthy diet, vegan or not. Her diet was nearly all processed and refined foods. A healthy diet is based on green leafy vegetables, whole fresh fruit and vegetables(in season and local), whole unprocessed grains (unrefined and unprocessed), legumes, and nuts. Processed foods even if whole grain (as in noodles and bread) should be minimul. Vegans must supplement w/ B12 (B12 is found in the soil, but we need to wash our veggies these days.)

    Angelina was probably not getting enough calories given her always anorexic state and therefore unable to store the proteins from plants. If a person eats a varied, healthy diet with enough calories, the body protein spares by storing aminos for later use. If not, you need to get complete proteins either by food combining (beans plus grain, etc., using soy (no soy protein isolates please) or by eating animal products.

    I really hate it when people point out how veganism failed by pointing out examples where the diet, although vegan, was not healthy. That’s just bad science.

  • You have some great points there. I did a search on the topic and wanted to say that I determined just about all bloggers will agree with your article.

  • k

    Caitlin your post sounds like you have some agenda, probably work for the meat industry

    as far as my health, I can assure you I am healthier then you and just about every meat eater my age

    and looks? Vegans and Vegetarians always look healthier and much younger then meat eaters who are their age

    There is no argument, if you have a vegan diet and eat healthy, you will be healthier

    if you say otherwise you are stupid or have an agenda

  • Gayle

    The fact that there are entire cultures representing millions of people who have lived and thrived for centuries without meat is enough evidence that humans do not “need” it to survive and thrive. In fact, the evidence weighs heavily in the other direction, i.e., the hazards of a meat and dairy diet and the benefits of a vegan diet are well known in the medical and scientific community.

    Also, there are hundreds of famous top level athletes -even Olympians- who are vegetarian or vegan. “Olympian of the Century” track star Carl Lewis, tennis champions Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King, cricket star Anil Kumble, Mr. International bodybuilder Andreas Cahling, Heisman trophy winner Desmond Howard, Debbie Lawrence Olympic race-walker, four time Mr. Universe Bill Pearl, 4-time Olympic gold medalist Al Oerter, WBC World Middleweight Champion Keith Holmes, double Olympic Gold medalist in hurdles Edwin Moses, and Dave Scott, six-time Ironman triathlon winner, to name but a few.

    And finally, two-time winner of the most grueling race on earth is vegan Scott Jurek. The Badwater Ultra-marathon –the most demanding running race on the planet –covers 135 miles, nonstop, from Badwater in Death Valley to the trailhead of Mount Whitney in the Sierras, the highest mountain in the Lower 48. It crosses three mountain ranges with a combined, cumulative vertical ascent and descent of 17,400 feet, which is like a flight of stairs three miles high. Ultra because this race is five marathons back-to-back with another three miles tacked on to the end. The winner? Vegan competitor Scott Jurek, who also won the Badwater last year.

    Scott’s bio: “On his own journey towards optimal health, Scott began transitioning to a vegetarian whole foods diet in 1997, while competing in several ultra trail races per year. In 1999, he adopted a vegan diet out of further health and environmental concerns. Scott continues to fuel his body on completely vegan diet while competing in 10-12 ultramarathons per year in addition to his rigorous training schedule. All seven of his consecutive wins at the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run were performed on vegan fuel.”

    Clearly Angelina Jolie should rethink her misconceptions about vegan diets!

  • Caitlin

    My hubby and I researched becoming vegans to save the planet and such. We did unbiased research into strict veganism then visited a local vegan chapter’s monthly dinner. I must say, I had never met a more unhealthy bunch of people and we talked to as many people as we could. Their unhealthiness included extreme pimpled or sallow complexions, lanky hair and bodies, listlessness, low energy, and all had dark circles beneath their eyes. One older guy was missing many teeth. They all had one thing in common – extremely low life force. They dragged themselves about the room. The dinner consisted of mostly grain/nut/vegetable based, cooked dishes with a few shredded raw salads. Eventually, we saw a man and women enter the room who glowed and radiated health. I headed toward them, and sat next to the woman. She was so energetic and bubbly, telling me she and her husband were frequent travelers, vegans, and retirees from Oklahoma visiting our city. They had just completed a colonic that day and decide to dine with this particular vegan chapter. When they traveled, they sampled the local cuisine, not shunning any meat dishes. But when at home, they ate strictly vegan. Our research produced the following conclusions: i1) GRAINS tear up the gut lining eventually leading to slower and slower digestion and low nutrient assimilation; 2) If you want vibrant health, even a small amount of meat (loaded with more nutrients than any grain) will keep you healthier; and, (3) If you decide to remain a strict, grain-based vegan, get a colonic ever so often as a vegan diet leads to a lined colon full of undigested grains. The diet for human beings, one we thrive on, is non-grain, meat based. We clearly should not over-indulge (Cornaro) in anything but stay close to a natral raw fruit, raw and cooked veggies, meat (3-6 ozs daily) diet, with occasional nuts in season. Here’s an example of what grains do: My strict vegan daughter kept dark circles under her eyes, stayed tired, listless and had bouts of depression. Her hair and nail growth was slower. She was the total opposite of herself as a small-amount-of meat eating child. She also progressively gained weight. She ate mostly Thai/Chinese vegan food, fruit, salads, and mostly grains in the form of bread and wheat and rice noodles. She was always hungry, grouchy and tired, with stomach aches. We learned that her vegan diet kept her from absorbing her nutrients, particularly iron and was tearing up her stomach lining. Introducing a once-a-week steak into her diet and staying away from grains, got rid of her stomach aches, dark circles, lack of energy and depression. Her energy shot up and she said she felt as if her thinking processes were back on line. My daughter’s experiences, the vegan club evening, and diligent research led us to the conclusion that…. GRAINS ARE FOR CATTLE! Keep them at a minimum.

  • Lorena

    It’s is studid to believe that a vegan diet will kill you, and it is so stupid to make this kind of statements.
    Now some people would enforce their belief that a vegan diet is wrong.
    If a V diet kills, how would you explain that tehre are so many vegans, who have been vegans FOR YEARS???!!!
    May the info be true and she is so stupid to say this or the newspapers are laying? If it’s true: Vegan diet didnt work for her because she did it all wrong, PLEASE, try eating something, woman! A vegan diet would never kill you, probably vegans are the ones who eat so many different things, such as seeds, cereals, etc.!!!

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  • Jay

    Not getting enough nutrition!? THAT’S BECAUSE YOU ARE CLEARLY DOING IT WRONG YOU MORON. I’ve been vegan for 20 years and am perfectly healthy! A little research is all you need.

    She is just using that pathetic excuse to eat meat. For someone who claims to be so compassionate, she’s a damn hypocrite.

  • Marya

    Ridiculous. I am vegetarian/vegan, have been for years, and in great health, with an average body weight. Being vegetarian/vegan IS the best thing anyone can do not only for their own body, but also to save other lives and help the planet.
    Of course it’s easy to be an unhealthy vegetarian/vegan… just as it’s incredibly easy to be an unhealthy meat-eater. In Angelina’s case of near-emaciation, clearly there are some other food issues at stake here.

  • anne

    british tabloids are just rubbish as andrew morton!! being vegetarian is NOT for everyone!! i eat everything, workout regularly, never smoke, no druggy!! and i’m very healthy. on the other hand my friend is a vegan, but she IS FAT and her hair is falling, her skin is wrinkle and pale looks like a ghost!!

  • Kay

    Also, it’s interesting how you blend in what Angelina ‘alledgedly’ said, with what ‘sources’ told a British tabloid. NO ONE IN ANGELINA’S CAMP WOULD DARE TALK TO A TABLOID, and anyone that would WOULDN’T HAVE ACCESS TO KNOW WHAT ANGIE WAS EATING OR HOW BRAD FELT ABOUT IT!! LIARS LIARS LIARS!!

  • Kay

    YOU LIARS!! I’d like to see the video where Angelina says being a vegan nearly killed her.

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