Vegetarian main meals are a healthier option, new study says
The main meal is the meal that’s traditionally eaten by vegetarians and vegans, while the other two are the main meals of the main groups.
The new study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, looked at the diet of 2,400 US adults between ages 45 and 64.
Researchers found that people who regularly eat vegetarian, vegan or pesco diets had lower risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure, as well as lower body mass index and higher body fat.
Vegetarians also had a lower risk for prostate cancer, prostate cancer mortality, high blood sugar and high cholesterol, while vegans had lower risks for cancers of the digestive tract and colon, pancreatic, breast and colon cancers, and cancers of other organs.
The study also found that vegetarians who ate the traditional vegetarian diet had lower rates of obesity and diabetes than those who ate a more varied diet, with a similar prevalence of cardiovascular diseases and high-risk behaviors.
However, there were differences between the types of diets studied.
Researchers said that vegetarian and vegan diets were not necessarily more nutritious than vegetarian and pesco meals, but that the types and amounts of fruits and vegetables consumed may be important factors.
“One of the interesting aspects of this study is that we’ve seen an increase in vegetarians eating meat-free diets, but there’s a wide range of meat-containing foods that they are eating,” said study author Julie Leech, a nutritionist at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
“It’s important to be mindful of the amount of meat you eat and whether it’s appropriate to eat that.”
A lot of people think that vegetarianism is about being health conscious, but the reality is that most vegetarians are not vegetarians at all,” she added.
A more varied and healthy diet could be good news for people in the future, she said.”
What we’ve learned from this study and what we’ve been able to explore in other studies is that vegetations are an excellent diet, and I think there is potential to expand this to include a wider range of vegetables and fruits and other foods, so that we’re able to maintain a good diet.””
I think there’s an opportunity for vegans to diversify and eat different kinds of food, including meat-based foods.”
What we’ve learned from this study and what we’ve been able to explore in other studies is that vegetations are an excellent diet, and I think there is potential to expand this to include a wider range of vegetables and fruits and other foods, so that we’re able to maintain a good diet.
“The study was funded by the National Institutes of Health (grant R01GM106985).