|Originally posted by petitemama
I don't think vegetarianism is unhealthy if the diet is based on predominatly whole fruits and vegtables. Whole fruits and vegtables are loaded with GOOD stuff. The problem is, and I see it in my own household, is that many vegetarians base their diet on grains and soy. I am not a big fan of either one and think these products may be the culprits of ill health in vegetarians.
Whole grains have fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as protein. I don't see a healthy vegetarian diet as one that eschews grains and other protein and fat containing plant foods.
I know some people have serious allergies to the proteins in grains and nuts, yet are not allergic to animal protein so some people definitely need to avoid grains and nuts.
I am not familiar with the Mercola site other than I've read some of the anti-vaccine stuff there. I didn't realize he dealt with nutritional issues as well. Dr. Byrnes is the one who wrote that article, and I agree that I don't really find it balanced. For example, this statement A far more serious threat to humanity
(than the environmental impact of meat eating), and the Earth, is the monoculture of grains and legumes, advocated by some vegetarian groups, which depletes the soil and requires the heavy use of artificial fertilisers and dangerous pesticides; pesticides that must first be tested on animals for safety
. I'm sorry, but this guy must work for the Beef and Dairy councils to say something like that. If anyone promotes a monoculture of grains, it is the farmers who grow it to feed it to livestock.
Honestly, I think you just have to go with what works for you, and perhaps find a source of information that you can trust. It is important to me to boycott factory farming methods and cruelty to animals by not eating most meat and dairy products, but I am not morally adverse to animals being used as food. I know there are some who believe that humans shouldn't eat animal protein at all, and that we eat too much protein and that causes problems. Then there are those who think we shouldn't eat the protein in grains and nuts, and that we should avoid eating most carbs. It just depends on who you believe, and so far I give the most credence to Dr. Andrew Weil, because he explains some of the biochemistry behind his thinking, and the terms are those I'm familiar with through biology and chemistry classes. Dr. Barry Sears is also interesting, but I had a harder time following his whole eicasanoid theory because I never learned much about the paracrine system in my biology classes (that I remember), not even the upper level classes. I know there is new thinking on this, and I think Dr. Weil also talks about this, although I haven't come across it in any of his books yet. The Sears book was interesting, but the eating of foods in blocks seemed very complicated to me at the time I was reading the book (about 7 years ago).
I do agree with Dr. Byrnes criticism of modern farming methods, so I guess my statement about him being in league with the Beef and Dairy councils was a bit harsh, especially since he feels the need to deny that in small print at the end of the article.
I don't agree with some of what he says although I guess I do agree with some of it.
The studies about longevity and health and different ways of eating are always the hardest to interpret. There are studies that show vegetarians live longer and have fewer health problems. Apparently there are studies that show the same for meat eaters. There are studies that say that fat people don't die earlier than thin people, and that losing weight doesn't do any good, but then there are studies which contradict this. Yet the prevailing attitude seems to be that fat people are less healthy, and should even take drugs that have dangerous side effects because those side effects aren't worth the risk of being overweight. A friend of mine told me that he took Redux for awhile, and the doctor said even with the increased risk of heart problems, he was better off taking the Redux. I honestly do not buy this at all. I think that these dietary followings are like religion--you pick one that speaks to you and you stick to it.