Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vegetarianism Is Bad for Your Health

For many people, this is the most amusing story of the day. It is especially exciting to those who had been led to believe that their taste for animal flesh makes them morally inferior to the grass and berries crowd.

For some time now vegetarians appeared to have cornered the market in moral rectitude. Worse yet, they touted the health benefits of their diet as a sign that they were living in closer harmony with Nature.

If a recent Austrian study is to be believed, vegetarians have been wrong. Ridding your menu of all manner of animal protein effects your health and your quality of life negatively… this despite the fact that it lowers your body mass index.

CBS reports:

Vegetarians may have a lower BMI and drink alcohol sparingly, but vegetarian diets are tied to generally poorer health, poorer quality of life and a higher need for health care than their meat-eating counterparts.

A new study from the Medical University of Graz in Austria finds that vegetarians are more physically active, drink less alcohol and smoke less tobacco than those who consume meat in their diets. Vegetarians also have a higher socioeconomic status and a lower body mass index. But the vegetarian diet — characterized by a low consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol that includes increased intake of fruits, vegetables and whole-grain products — carries elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health disorders.

Vegetarians were twice as likely to have allergies, a 50 percent increase in heart attacks and a 50 percent increase in incidences of cancer.

It gets worse:

Overall, vegetarians were found to be in a poorer state of health compared to other dietary groups. Vegetarians reported higher levels of impairment from disorders, chronic diseases, and “suffer significantly more often from anxiety/depression.”

And, finally:

The researchers conclude: “Our study has shown that Austrian adults who consume a vegetarian diet are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment.”

The best news is: you no longer have to do penance for having a burger.

13 comments:

Gia Justinian said...

Sorry Sir, that is a load of crap...3 days ago, meat consumption in America was linked to obesity and obesity is linked to diabetes, heart disease, strokes..Meat is filled with fat and that fat stores in the human body..It also clogs up the digestive system and arteries..I have been a vegetarian for years and feel great and have no health issues..I also maintain a healthy weight, without dieting..At 50 years of age I look better than many 20 year olds I have seen at WalMart.. America has an obesity problem and that problem has been linked to consumption of meat..

Stuart Schneiderman said...

How then did the researchers get it so wrong? Or are you the exception?

Lindsay Harold said...

America has an obesity problem because Americans eat too much, eat processed foods full of preservatives and with little nutrition, and don't get enough exercise. It has nothing to do with eating meat.

Also, eating fat doesn't make you fat. Eating too much sugar or too many calories overall makes you fat. Eating fats (in moderation, of course) can actually help boost your metabolism. Some fats, such as coconut oil, have even been linked to weight loss. The idea that eating fats is the cause of obesity is an old myth that doesn't fit the research.

Charles A Pennison said...

The type of meat consumed has a big effect on health. We shouldn’t generalize and say all meat improves your health.

A study was published in April, 2012, in the Archives of Internal Medicine by Harvard researchers analyzing data of 84,000 women from the "Nurses’ Health Study" and 38,000 men from the "Health Professionals Follow-up Study."

“The study determined that each additional daily serving of red meat increased risk of death by 13%. The impact rose to 20% if the serving was processed, as in food items like hot dogs, bacon, and cold cuts.”

These are cohort studies involving a large population over 28 years. It’s hard to argue with long term studies like these.
The report goes on to conclude that substituting red and processed meats with fish, reduces your mortality risks by 7%. Poultry substitution decreases your mortality risks by 14%, and nuts by 19%.

There are health benefits of meat consumption, as long as you choose healthy meats like fish and poultry.

Sam L. said...

God made me an omnivore; I figure He knows what He's doing.

Mark said...

As a 62yo vegetarian in perfect health who feels pretty much the same as when I was 12, I second Gia Justinian. I ran my fastest middle distance times during the 8 years I was a vegan and, if that doesn't convince you, ask Carl Lewis, who broke his world records and won his medals as a vegan.

That said, my motive isn't health, it's the disgusting cruelty that Hom. Sap. inflicts on other animals.

Kath said...

Gia, the people you compare yourself with at Walmart eat a whole lot of other foods besides meat to get obese.

Heart disease did not become a major health problem until the mid 20th century. A few doctors decided that eggs, butter and meat were unhealthy. The public was encouraged to eat less animal fat which made food tasteless.
Sugar use increased to make food without fat tastier. That is when obesity, heart disease and diabetes increased.
Vegetable oils were substituted for saturated fats. There is research that shows some oils are carcinogenic.

Human beings evolved eating meat. There is no way our ancestors would have survived if they were vegetarians. There simply is not enough nutrition in non animal food sources to survive on.

Grazing animals convert grasses that humans cannot digest and turn it into concentrated nutrition.
There is some research that says grass fed meat is healthier with more high quality fats.

Carbs and sugar are now known to be the real culprits causing clogged arteries, not animal fats.

Kath said...

Mark, you imply that eating meat is cruel.
Did you ever watch what goes on in nature? It is a big dinner plate with carnivore animals chasing and eating all the other animals.

Many animals are killed to grow the crops you eat. There is simply no way to farm without loss of animal life. In India where people don't kill crop eating rodents, cobras do it for them.

If you don't want to eat meat go for it. Just don't try to say you art morally superior to meat eaters.

Dennis said...

I don't doubt that there may be a few people who do well on vegetarian diets, but that is not true for most. For a good book on vegetarianism by a woman who spent a large number of years as one try "The Vegetarian Myth: Food, Justice, and Sustainability."
Sam L. did hit on a point that goes unnoticed. One only needs to look at the teeth we humans have in our mouths to denote we are supposed to be omnivores. I would posit that the types and percentages of these teeth are a pretty good guide to the types and percentages of food we are to consume. I would also suggest that our bodies tell us in a variety of ways what we need to survive and function to the best of our ability.
I know of a very fine trumpet player in Vegas who decided to become a vegetarian. It wasn't long before he kept getting split lip problems which for a playing professional is the kiss of death. A visit to his doctor confirmed it was the vegetarian diet because there are a number of vitamins, et al not present in a diet without meat. He still is a vegetarian, but highly supplemented.
Fat is important for a variety of function in the human body as well as the brain. Suffice it to say it is moderation in all things that keeps one healthy and wise far into longevity.

Dennis said...

Author's name: Lierre Keith. NOTE: I have known people who smoked and drank everyday well into their 90's, Though I would not recommend these two vices to anyone. Each one of us is a unique human being. Just because one can do well does not denote that others need to follow one's example.
By the way if I was standing next to you you would be hard pressed to figure out that I am north of 70 for all that is worth.

Ares Olympus said...

I have no personal stake or "steak" in this debate, but I always remember:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation

It may be vegetarians (being a very small minority) are, on average, neurotic worry-warts who have other bad habits and would die earlier on any diet.

Today I also saw a report that supports running for health, but too much isn't good either, so everything in moderation?

http://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/news/20140401/too-much-running-tied-to-shorter-lifespan-studies-find
"A number of studies have suggested that a moderate running regimen -- a total of two to three hours per week, according to one expert -- appears best for longevity, refuting the typical 'more is better' mantra for physical activity."

"The researchers behind the newest study on the issue say people who get either no exercise or high-mileage runners both tend to have shorter lifespans than moderate runners. But the reasons why remain unclear, they added."

Linus Van Pelt said...

Hi Stuart, I have to disagree with you.

God creted human to be vegetarian, when he created the first couple , their diet consists of nuts and grains (Genesis 2:9)

Daniel only eat vegetable when he was in Babylonian captivity and Bible tells us that "At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished" (Daniel 1:15)

John Dudley said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.