The Real Reason Liam Hemsworth Gave Up His Vegan Diet

In 2016, PETA named Liam Hemsworth the sexiest male vegan celebrity of the year, just five months after he gave up eating meat. Just four years later, Hemsworth says the time had come for him to reevaluate his dietary choices. "I was vegan for almost four years, and then February of last year I was feeling lethargic. Then I got a kidney stone. It was one of the most painful weeks of my life," Hemsworth tells Men's Health.

Turns out Hemsworth's kidney stone came from having too much oxalate, which can be found in many vegetables, including spinach, almonds, beetroot, and potatoes. "I was having five handfuls of spinach and then almond milk, almond butter, and also some vegan protein in a smoothie. And that was what I considered super healthy. So I had to completely rethink what I was putting in my body," the actor says.

Hemsworth is just one of a number of celebrities who gave up their vegan diets, including actress Anne Hathaway, Kristen Bell, Ellen DeGeneres, Derek Hough, and Zooey Deschanel. Hathaway and DeGeneres have both said they resumed eating meat, dairy, and eggs to get their energy levels back (via Insider). 

Vegan diets can lack nutrients

Problems associated with oxalate intake aside, physicians at Mayo Clinic have warned that vegans need to make sure they are taking in enough vitamins and minerals. Community and Internal Doctor Heather Fields says the problem with vegan diets isn't a lack of protein, but a lack of specific nutrients including vitamin B-12, iron, calcium, vitamin D, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. "We found that some of these nutrients, which can have implications in neurologic disorders, anemia, bone strength and other health concerns, can be deficient in poorly planned vegan diets," Fields says.

Fields and her team, who studied a full plant-based diet, also said there are vegans who eat plenty of processed foods, and may not have enough fruit, vegetable, or whole grain, which is far from ideal. So while adapting a plant-based diet is commendable, it isn't for everyone, particularly those who want to adapt a vegan lifestyle without understanding what a well-planned vegan diet might entail. And when you attempt a vegan diet, its okay to admit to yourself that it isn't working out. 

"If something works well for a period, great, keep doing it. If something changes and you're not feeling great, you've got to reassess it and then figure it out," Hemsworth says.