Liam Hemsworth Says He is No Longer Plant-Based After Developing Kidney Stones
If you've ever wondered which Hollywood stars follow a vegan or plant-based diet, a quick Google search will tout Liam Hemsworth as one of the top results. The actor has been vocal about the positive impact a plant-based diet had on his health as a whole, more specifically on his energy level and workouts.
Hemsworth started eating a plant-based diet back in 2015. He told Men's Health Magazine Australia the initial switch to a vegan diet came after he fell ill with the flu while on a press tour for The Hunger Games. His co-star, who is also a longtime vegan, Woody Harrelson, suggested he eat more raw vegetables. Hemsworth took his advice and gave a plant-based diet a try.
A Change in Lifestyle, a Change in Partners too
In an interview with Men's Health, Hemsworth revealed he is no longer eating plant-based— for health reasons. He is on the latest cover of the Australian magazine discussing his change in diet and workout regiment.
"The first two years, I felt great,” he says. “I felt my energy was high. I felt like my body was strong, cardio was high, everything felt really good.”
However, that shifted last year, the 30-year-old adds:
"February last year I was feeling really low and lethargic and wasn’t feeling good generally," he said. This all led to Hemsworth being diagnosed with calcium oxalate stones, better known as kidney stones.
Famously Hemsworth and long-time vegan Miley Cyrus had a long-time on again off again relationship, brief marriage and vegan wedding, in which they served vegan spring rolls and touted the menu on their IG. Now that that marriage is long over and they have each moved on, it's natural to wonder if Hemsworth's new diet is tied as much to his new relationship status as his health.
Animal Protein Linked to Increased Risk of Kidney Stones, According to Research
Kidney stones are common, and occur in people with all types of diets, plant-based or not. Some oxalate-rich foods include dark greens, beans, coffee, beer and even animal protein can increase the risk of kidney stones.
"Consuming animal protein is associated with increased serum and urine uric acid in healthy individuals," the study concluded. "The stone-forming propensity is marginally higher for beef compared to fish or chicken. Stone formers should be advised to limit the intake of all animal proteins, including fish."
At the time of Hemsworth's diagnosis, he was eating an excessive amount of nuts, spinach and legumes, which are all high in oxalate. According to Men's Health, Hemsworth's morning smoothie had five handfuls of spinach, almond milk, almond butter and vegan protein. To put it into perspective, one cup of spinach has 200 milligrams of oxalates, which is the amount typically consumed in a single day.
Hemsworth acknowledged that while a plant-based diet wasn't working for him anymore, that isn't the case for everyone. His advice: “If something works for a period of time, great, keep doing it. If something changes and you’re not feeling great, then you’ve got to reassess it again and then figure it out.”
The Bottom Line: Don't Blame Plant-Based Diets
Eating plant-based itself wasn't the culprit to Hemsworth's health scare, but the lack of a balance in his diet could have contributed. An excess of any single food is never beneficial for your health. We love you Liam, but no one should put that much spinach in a smoothie.