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Are vegetarians thinner?

Discussion in 'Health and wellbeing' started by anon1165, May 2, 2011.

  1. I am toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian (I do this about once every 2 months, never lasts more than a week, lol). I have one good friend who is vegetarian but she is overweight. Another vegetarian TA at a school where I work is trying to lose weight, she is slightly plump. On the other hand you often see "health nuts" who are vegetarian and usually very slim. And when people are becoming anorexic, all say that at one point they became vegetarians. (Please note that I do not aim to become anorexic, I know it's a serious ED with a high death rate. I am just using the example in connection wity vegetarianism - losing weight.)
    So... are the vegetarian people (especially women) you know thin or overweight?
     
  2. I am toying with the idea of becoming a vegetarian (I do this about once every 2 months, never lasts more than a week, lol). I have one good friend who is vegetarian but she is overweight. Another vegetarian TA at a school where I work is trying to lose weight, she is slightly plump. On the other hand you often see "health nuts" who are vegetarian and usually very slim. And when people are becoming anorexic, all say that at one point they became vegetarians. (Please note that I do not aim to become anorexic, I know it's a serious ED with a high death rate. I am just using the example in connection wity vegetarianism - losing weight.)
    So... are the vegetarian people (especially women) you know thin or overweight?
     
  3. Are you serious? I don't get the flippancy of your post at all. I'm not one to argue on the TES, but I found the 'LOL' and 'toying with becoming vegetarian' and 'I do not aim to become anorexic' and the idea of becoming veggie to lose weight really silly.
    1) Why are you 'toying' with the idea? Either you have ethical issues about meat, or you do not. If you do not, why 'become vegetarian' at all? If you are more interested in whether being vegetarian will help you lose or gain weight than you are in animal welfare issues, then what is the point in becoming a veggie? Just eat less meat and fatty food, without giving yourself a label.
    2) Some vegetarians are overweight, some are slim, some are anorexic. The same goes for carnivores. It all depends on which other foods, aside from meat, that you eat and your attitude towards food in general.
    3) All the vegetarians I know, including myself, are slim. This is not solely to do with us not eating meat, as we could all quite easily replace pork with Ben and Jerry's. The slimmest person I know eats meat.
     
  4. Well said peterpiper. I actually wondered if the first post was some sort of joke!
     
  5. Not at all. I know several people who are vegetarian because of a misguided belief that meat is fattening and vegetables keep you slim. No interest in the ethical side at all.
    I know quite a few very overweight vegetarians. I work with four. Meat fills you up. Satiety is achieved much more effectively and for longer with a high-protein meat meal than a mainly water, fibre and carb one. It causes you to eat more to fill up and is conducive to snacking. Even wholemeal bread and pasta will produce more of a glucose spike than meat and two veg.
    Quorn won't cause weight gain but cheese sure will.
    You don't have to gain weight if you're a vegetarian but you have to think it through. A baked potato, the mainstay of our staffroom veggies, is dandy but the half a pound of cheese and butter that goes on it isn't. Adolescent girls who are having a phase of not eating fluffy ickle animals so endlessly scoff pizzas and pasta don't think it through.
     
  6. Well, I have started many posts in "Opinion" which I knew would cause people to question whether I was being serious or not - but this one: never in a million years would I have thought that this post would produce these reactions.
    Because I believe that a vegetarian diet on the whole is healthier. It is easier on the digestive system. Vegetable fats are healthier than ones coming from meat. Furthermore: I remember when I did yoga about 10 years ago, it always went better if I did not eat meat for about a week. Now I do Tai Chi and I am hoping for the same. Yogis and Buddhist teachers say it is more "spiritual" not to eat dead animals. (And in Eastern philosophy spirituality is often deeply connected with physical well-being.) There is a Vietnamese saying that goes "If you want to be as strong as the buffalo, eat what the buffalo eats but don't eat the buffalo." Finally: I am blood type A and this also suggests I should have a vegetarian diet (if you accept Dr D'Adamo's system. If you don't, I don't want to convince anyone about it so in that case ignore my last reason).
    Because I believe that it is healthier. Are ethical reasons the only valid reason for you to not eat meat? As far as I know there are many reasons why people become vegetarian...
    The point is to become healthier.
    I know... Actually, protein fills you up, but it is difficult to get concentrated protein in anything else than meat... What happens is that protein stays in your stomach 4-6 hours, whereas carbs go through in about 2 hours (that's why we feel hungry so soon after eating pasta). However, this is also the worrying thing. Animals that are carnivores have a digestive tract about the length of their body. If a tiger is, say, 1.5 metres long, its digestive tract from the stomach to the rectum is about 1.5 meters long, too. This is because once meat is dealt with by the stomach a lot of toxins are produced which are best if they leave the body asap. Animals with a long digestive tract like ours tend to be herbivores (much less toxins are produced by plants, so there is no danger in the remnants travelling all that long way). Another way to look at this: before going on a 2-week holiday leave a carrot on the kitchen bench. When you come back it will probably be shrivelled and slightly discoloured, but it will stay edible. Now imagine the same with a piece of steak...
     
  7. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Oh dear ...

    Although the better quality meat comes from younger animals, it is essential that any meat be matured after slaughtering. This is called ‘hung’. The meat is ‘hung’ in low temperatures in order to tenderise it and improve its keeping qualities.
    The optimum hanging time for beef is 12-14 days, however this depends very much on the age of the beef and the quality required. Some beef is hung for 21 days that will make it extremely tender and usually great quality
     
  8. I agree with Lily that the difference between a fat vegetarian and a thin one is CHEESE. I am a slimish size 8 vegetarian. I eat lots of high fat nuts but only soya milk (light type so minimal sugar) and soya yoghurts so little animal fat. I can't give up cheese but always use a strong tasting one such as Parmesan so very little is needed.
     
  9. Nuts and beans. Very fattening!
    Spool, I don't wish to patronise you but I have a degree in Food Science and Nutrition and there is some very dodgy Science in your theory.
    As for the Vietnamese saying - if you want to be as strong as buffalo, eat grass? Knock yourself out.
     
  10. Well, guess what, harsh-but-fair: in my native Eastern European country we used to kill a pig every winter. And we had fried meat that very day for the midday meal, from the pif that was still squeaking that morning at 3.00 a.m., it wasn't "hung" for 12-14 days, "essential" or not so don't "oh dear" me.
    I can readily accept that as I haven't actually checked. But I seem to remember that generally people with a mainly vegetarian diet tend to have a longer life and less health problems. I also seem to remember that the occurrance of certain diseases, e.g. gout among vegetarians is next to zero.
    Obviously you can't take things like this to the extreme. How does an apple a day keep the doctor away if your spouse is a doctor? "Eat what the buffalo eats" is obviously meant to refer to a vegetarian diet.
     
  11. lilachardy

    lilachardy Star commenter

    My best friend and I are both vegetarian, eating very similar diets.

    I used to weigh over twice what she weighs.

    And there your argument falls flat.
     
  12. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    Strange that you should pick up the bit that was not the main point of the piece that I quoted...

    You were making a point about meat not lasting 'in storage' for 14 days and I was seeking to point out that the meat may already have been 'stored' for longer than this.

     
  13. No, it isn't strange. Your "oh dear" was rude and patronising.
    I don't remember talking about "in storage" anywhere in that post. I said "leave it on the kitchen counter". My kitchen counter gets 5+ hours of sun every day. Are you suggesting that the meat sold in, say, Tesco is kept in 5+ hours of sunshine for 14 days before it gets to the store?
     
  14. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    No.

    Do you think their carrots are stored that way ?
     
  15. Any chance you could stop having a private conversation with yourself in your head (and broadcasting the result) and actually reply to something I said?
    Now, do you see any reference to any form of storage here?
    If you need further analysis: the context is set by "before going on a 2-week holiday". This means that I am suggesting what follows as a one-off and not as a way of storage. Furthermore: "a carrot" is one (=1.00) carrot. (Carrots are countable.) Most households contain more than one carrot at any given time. This means I did not suggest putting it on the kitchen bench as a way of storage but, again, as a one-off. As an experiment. Now can you explain why you are talking about storage of both meat and carrot<u>s</u>?
     
  16. There isn't a straight-line correlation between gout and diet. But if you're bothered about the nutritional effects of vegetarianism, it's Vitamin B12 and Iron that should be your main concern.
     
  17. There isn't?
    Gout is caused by the crystallisation of Uric Acid into Synovial Fluid. It is a by product of Purines being broken down by (IIRC) Xanthinase, which in turn happens in some unfortunates because one or more enzymes are in short supply (or missing) necessary to successfully deal with Purines. These are found in all life, being part of such molecules as ATP, DNA and RNA.
    As a dietary component, they can be found in greatest concentration in certain foods:
    - red meat and offal, with special mentions for liver, kidneys and brains
    - seafoods, with special mentions for herring, anchovies and sardines
    - pulses.
    These will certainly adversely affect sufferers in sufficient quantity.
    Caffeine and Theobromine (as found in chocolate) are Methylxanthines, members of the tribe.
    Now, I have been managing my own enzyme deficiency for some years - initially by avoiding the foods above, then regulating my consumption of pulses having become vegetarian for other reasons. Coffee and tea are not a problem, though I've never tried any of the "drink me and have eyes like saucers for the next several hours" type preparations.
    As for weight - I lost none when I cut out meat.
     
  18. There isn't?
    Gout is caused by the crystallisation of Uric Acid into Synovial Fluid. It is a by product of Purines being broken down by (IIRC) Xanthinase, which in turn happens in some unfortunates because one or more enzymes are in short supply (or missing) necessary to successfully deal with Purines. These are found in all life, being part of such molecules as ATP, DNA and RNA.
    As a dietary component, they can be found in greatest concentration in certain foods:
    - red meat and offal, with special mentions for liver, kidneys and brains
    - seafoods, with special mentions for herring, anchovies and sardines
    - pulses.
    These will certainly adversely affect sufferers in sufficient quantity.
    Caffeine and Theobromine (as found in chocolate) are Methylxanthines, members of the tribe.
    Now, I have been managing my own enzyme deficiency for some years - initially by avoiding the foods above, then regulating my consumption of pulses having become vegetarian for other reasons. Coffee and tea are not a problem, though I've never tried any of the "drink me and have eyes like saucers for the next several hours" type preparations.
     
  19. If gout were caused by meat and oily fish, cutting them out would cure it and vegetarians would never suffer from it.
    It's a genetic fault that causes your body to fail to deal with the breakdown products. If you've got the bust gene then yes, meat will exacerbate your gout. If you haven't it won't make any difference.
     
  20. My grandmother had a bad case of gout, was told by the doctorst not to eat meat more than once a week and her gout disappeared. I'm sure the genetic fault did not disappear but her symptoms sure did and she was very grateful for this, too. (This is why I brought this example, because I know a bit about it from family experience.)
     

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