Warning: This article is not meant to be read by vegetarians. You may now leave this page. Have a nice day!
Just kidding. I could also say ’Congrats!’ because you are more likely to live a long, healthy life – according to a variety of epidemiological studies comparing dietary patterns. In these, vegetarians often showed lower blood pressure, lower LDL cholesterol, lower BMI, and lower fasting glucose levels in the long term, which means reduction of risk factors for heart disease. However, there has been On and On and Ongoing debates about the health benefits of a diet without meat since vegetarians are typically more health conscious thus other life style factors may confound these study findings.
There is no black and white here. Not all vegetarians may manage to vary their diet in the most adequate way and stay away from all the treats that are teasing from everywhere. I know guys, you try hard, I know you do! We have vegetarian friends who still live off of fries, pizza and pasta!
You see it’s hard to define a dietary pattern by the absence of just one food – meat. Still, the general observation is that vegetarians eat more fiber, less saturated fat, and health promoting phytochemicals than meat eaters. These are all factors that we know do affect chronic disease outcomes posivitely. So, coming back to our meat eaters out there who by now might envy their vegetarian brothers: Instead of focusing on how to cut out meat, try to make plant products the centre of your diet. Thinking of how to include more veggies in your next meal will give automatically less space for the meaty. Just keep telling yourself, Eat Mostly Plants.
Many of you wonder where to get your daily protein from? Relax! With a bit of extra attention you won’t have trouble to maintain gains and recovery. Include legumes such as lentils, beans and peas to your meals, they are a perfect alternative for animal protein and are even high in folate, potassium, iron and magnesium. Other good meatless protein sources are nuts, seeds, grains, and eggs. Even though plant protein quality is often considered as low since most of them don’t provide all essential amino acids – but we can combine foods that cover up and make a vegetarian meal a complete source of protein. The essential food choice is: Variation. And it works. Studies show that protein intake in vegetarians is not significantly lower than in omnivores.
We know, you love your meat! But why not choose to go veggie for a day per week? A meal a day? 80% of your plate? You might see it as challenge from the beginning, but what good ever came form anything that wasn’t challenging or required us to not question our habits.