Yesterday, I reported on more new research that found a clear link between a diet high in processed foods and obesity. So, today, I’m discussing a study that explored a lesser-known dietary cause of obesity…
Becoming a vegetarian.
Of course, I’ve been warning about the dangers of cutting out meat—or any whole category of food—for decades.
For one, by excluding meat (as well as seafood and full-fat dairy, depending on how extreme the level of dietary restrictions), it becomes virtually impossible to get enough important bioavailable minerals, fat-soluble vitamins like D and E, and many B vitamins.
Second, as I’ve reported before, many older Americans don’t get enough protein to maintain muscle mass in the first place. And meat is the best source of complete proteins, plain and simple. So, without it, vegetarians tend to follow an unbalanced diet filled with carbs and sugars. It only makes sense that they would also tend to gain weight.
And that’s exactly what the new study found…
Vegetarians more likely to “require” bariatric surgery (a second big problem)
For this new study, researchers studied a huge population of faith-based vegetarians living in India.
Of course, traditionally, vegetarians in India have opted for healthy, wholesome foods, such as beans and legumes, to increase their protein intake. And they cook with healthy spices, such as chili peppers and turmeric (which, together with coriander and cumin, are used to make curry).
But in recent years in India, there’s been a dramatic reduction in the consumption of these whole foods and an increase in the consumption of processed foods, fried foods, and refined carbs and sugars…even among vegetarians!
At the same time, the population has experienced a surge in “morbid obesity” and bariatric, weight-loss surgeries.
In fact, for this study, the researchers looked specifically at a cohort of 235 morbidly obese Indian patients who had undergone bariatric surgery between 2015 and 2017.
It turns out, vegetarians were actually more likely to develop morbid obesity, culminating in bariatric surgery, compared to meat-eaters on a balanced diet.
The researchers called this study a “myth breaker,” because they knew it would overturn some long-held assumptions that vegetarians are less overweight (and healthier) than their meat-eating counterparts. And I agree.
But I disagree with them about one key point…
They said the morbid obesity “necessitated” bariatric surgery in these participants. But this surgery should always be avoided. It’s invasive, dangerous, and ends up causing serious nutritional deficiencies.
Vegetarians don’t feel full and satiated
In the end, this finding doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me. Because, as I mentioned earlier, it’s very difficult to feel full if you don’t get meat, seafood, and dairy in your diet.
So, it’s no wonder vegetarians may increasingly fill up on junk that causes them to pack on the pounds.
And in the U.S., the problem is even worse—with more and more people now opting to eat plant-based, “fake meats,” which are a disaster for human health.
Remember, humans are designed biologically to be omnivorous, meaning we must consume a wide variety of foods, including wild-caught seafood, grass-fed and -finished meat, and full-fat dairy, in order to meet optimal nutritional needs.
And, despite what the vegetarian gurus say, you—and the planet—won’t avoid toxic chemicals simply by eliminating animal-based foods from your diet. There’s no evidence that raising free-range chickens and cattle, using sustainable grazing practices, is bad for the planet. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to show these animals are good for the grasslands.
What’s really bad for the planet are the mass-produced, mono-cropped plants grown with chemical fertilizers, herbicides, insecticides, and pesticides used to make plant-based “fake meat” products! This junk ought to be composted instead of consumed. (Learn more in the March 2019 issue of my monthly Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“NEWS ALERT: Popular plant-based diets are not as healthy as they claim”]. Not yet a subscriber? Now’s the perfect time to get started!)
In the end, we should all treat all animals and Nature with respect. But we shouldn’t fall prey to the myth that vegetarian diets are better for your weight…or for your overall health…or even for the planet.
“Which Is a Good Diet-Veg or Non-veg? Faith-Based Vegetarianism for Protection From Obesity-a Myth or Actuality?” Obes Surg. 2019 Apr;29(4):1276-1280. doi.org/10.1007/s11695-018-03658-7.