Vegetarians

What about Vegetarians?

There is not just one way to eat a healthy diet! Certainly we all should be eating mostly plants. Even the 2016 USDA My Plate now recommends half of our plate should come from fruits and vegetables!

I don’t believe that humans are naturally vegetarians as some have suggested. Indigenous peoples were almost always omnivores meaning they ate both plants and animals.

But, being a vegetarian can be a healthy way to eat if you are choosing a whole foods diet with lots of vegetables, fruits, some whole grains,legumes and nuts. Eating a lot of processed plant foods with lots of carbohydrates and sugars will not make you healthy just because you don’t eat meat. I have concerns about having a lot of grains in those diets. Grains act like sugar in our bodies and this may promote weight gain and increased risk for diabetes in those who are not blessed with a good metabolism.

The best evidence for reversal of heart disease with vegetarian diets was seen with vegan diets that had no processed foods , no sugars and no oils. So, it may be that the elimination of sugar and getting rid of the trans fat containing hydrogenated oils was just as important as being a vegetarian per se in these studies. Are you seeing a common theme here? We just didn’t have our eyes open to look at things that way. It is also very difficult to eat a diet that restrictive and only a small number of people were able to stick with it,

It is easier to get the nutrients you need such as protein and vitamin B12 if you also have eggs and dairy foods if you are vegetarian. Vegans will need to supplement vitamin B12 which only occurs naturally in animal foods.