3 clinics across Leura, Faulconbridge
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Vegetarian Diet Profile

Vegetarianism is Common Worldwide - Good or Bad?

Vegetarianism is common in much of the world, especially India and Parkistan. This post is a follow on from this Blog: A central element of Hindu belief is the non-violence against all life forms. As a result, Hindu believers do not kill animals for food. Despite this, some may include dairy and eggs or some Hindus will eat fish, poultry and goat meat but not beef as the cow is sacred. 

The health benefit is that a vegetable- rather than grain- based pantry seems to reduce total calories and inflammation. Whole plant foods have a high level of fibre which is filling, making you stop eating. The fibre in vegetables is also very good for your gut microbiome. 

Vegetable assortments

Is there a negative?

A negative is plant foods grown on an industrial scale in “broad acre farming” will have a higher level of agricultural chemicals. Many of these are toxic. The intensive use of the soil reduces the health of the soil. As a result this lowers the nutrient value of the plants grown. Plant foods grown this way will not provide optimal nutrient value. On the other hand, Vegetables grown organically will have a higher nutrient value. They will also taste better.

Well known poisons in mushrooms

Plants protect themselves with poisons

Plants protect themselves with toxins and poisons. There is some evidence that industrial farming increases the levels of these defensive plant chemicals. How would this be so? The explanation has been found in the increase in toxic chemistry as the plant is eaten. The plant uses this change in flavour to cause the animal to move to another plant. This explains the grazing nature of plant eating animals. As the leaves become bitter they move on, thus allowing the plant to survive. There is a good hypothesis that this explains the reactiveness of many to various grains, plants and vegetables. The plant toxins are higher than would be the case compared to plants you grow in your garden. The slower harvesting does not trigger the toxin release. 

Anti-Cancer? What's the experience

Despite these factors, a whole food, plant based diet is effective in helping reduce cancers. There is abundant evidence that an organic plant based diet will reverse cancers. There is also good evidence that such diet plans are protective against developing cancer. This is best understood when we realise that diets high in sugars and animal fats and low in vegetables are linked to cancers. Eating a Paleo diet high in proteins fats and vegetables shows that the presence of vegetables is the factor that protects against cancer. 

Blueberries well know for their anticancer benefits

A High Protein Diet?

Depending on your profile and objectives, a vegetarian diet can make it difficult to eat a high protein intake. Strength athletes and those who desire higher levels of muscle mass will find it difficult to achieve their goals on a purely vegetarian pantry. The inclusion of eggs and dairy products will provide adequate levels of high quality protein.

Vegetables do not have complete protein profiles so must be combined with other foods in the same meal to give a complete protein profile. It was believed that we could only absorb the protein at the level of the least amino acid. Food combining is essential to overcome the incomplete protein profile of vegetables. An easy way to work with food combining, is to follow menus of cultures that have a long tradition of vegetarian eating. There are years of learning that we can adopt. 

Adequate proteins are needed to build and maintain muscle mass

Common Vegetarian Mistakes 

For most of us who didn’t grow up in a vegetarian culture, we often resort to a high grain plan - rice, pasta and bread. This is a high inflammation food plan. It leads to weight gain and all the disease states that are triggered by inflammation. 

I have observed that the bread option is a common default for those who choose a vegetarian pantry. Useful on an occasional basis, it is not ideal in the longer term. 

If you are drawn to a vegetarian diet for any number of reasons, following the daily menu of cultures that are predominantly vegetarian will provide a healthy low inflammation diet plan. 

Bread and grains are useful on an occasional basis in a vegetarian diet.

Which groups don't seem to suit Vegetarian Diets?

Is there a group who don’t do well on a vegetarian diet? My observation is that O blood group individuals are more reactive to a vegetarian diet. Grain based foods and dairy products commonly cause bloating and inflammation. They really do best on a meat and 3 veggies type diet. It is essential for this group that grain based foods are kept to a minimum for best health outcomes. I have noted that this O blood group profile struggle the most with a Vegan diet. More on that later when we cover this in detail. 

Give Us Your Input - We'll give You some suggestions

Helen Hatton will provide some food suggestions and modifications of proteins to fit into a vegetarian profile. We would love you to contribute your recipes. You can use the Facebook page or email us your suggestions. All contributors will go into a weekly draw for a free adjustment visit.