By: Malerie Warren
Have you ever seen the vegan you-tubers showing all the ways vegans are healthier, encouraging all who dare to watch to cut all the animal products from their diets immediately? People are always looking for the next diet, workout, etcetera that will help their waistline without sacrificing the foods they love. Although you don’t have to make a complete 180° and rethink your whole diet, it might behoove you to engage in a Meatless Monday or two a month. Studies have shown that vegetarians tend to be healthier and have an average BMI approximately two points below those who consume meat regularly1. Some argue this is not simply due to the vegetarian or vegan diet but the more wholesome lifestyle that tends to come with the diet. It was also recently found through the use of meta-analyses reviewing 12 trials on more than 1,000 participants, that participants placed of vegetarian diets lost nearly 5 pounds more than those placed on other weight-loss diets2. Nutrient-dense sources of protein and fiber have been identified as key reasons why this has been observed. Experts stress the important of balance and eating to become healthier instead of just trying to focus on one very specific aspect of your diet, or on losing the pounds. They suggest trying a vegetarian or vegan diet for three weeks to help you mentally keep up with your eating and progress that way, you do not stress yourself with saying to have to stick with it forever.1 They also express that it is important to know what you are putting into your body, even if it is a vegan product, it may be just as unhealthy as a processed animal product, just manufactured from a different source.
- Zaraska, M. If you want to Lose Weight, Dropping that Meat May Help. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/if-you-want-to-lose-weight-dropping-that-meat-may-help/2017/03/03/56989a9c-e30e-11e6-a547-5fb9411d332c_story.html?utm_term=.33465a3541d0. Accessed March 15, 2017.
- Huang R, Huang C, Hu F, et al. Vegetarian Diets and Weight Reduction: a Meta-Analysis o Randomized Control Trials. J of Gen Int Med. 2016:31(1)109-116.