The Nearly Vegetarian Diet

I have been struggling with this post for a few days now. How to tell the story of the nearly vegetarian diet?

Should I start with protein fear? Studies show that vegetarians get just as much protein as meat eaters. In fact, they get their protein in a far superior way, without all the added fat, cholesterol, heart health issues, and possibly even cancer. Despite these well established and respected facts the protein fear lingers.

Maybe I should focus on the government corruption angle. Did you know that the Food Pyramid and Farm Bill directly cater to meat and dairy? The Pyramid tells us all to eat 3 hamburgers a day and drink 3 glasses of milk every day. Seriously, the government recommends that half of our diet consist of meat and dairy.

The Farm Bill, one of our most important pieces of legislation, directly subsidizes that meat and dairy, to the tune of billions of dollars. Explains how a cheeseburger can cost $.99 while a carrot will be $1.50. The situation in Washington DC is so bad that only recently did fruits, vegetables, and nuts make it into the Farm Bill under the category, “specialty foods”.

Another angle that just makes me angry are the ad jingles. Have you heard of “Got Milk” or “Where’s the Beef” or any of the 100s of other marketing slogans? These have been so successful that they are now accepted as truth. A quick look at recent studies show that drinking milk can actually remove calcium from the body and eating meat every day can cause serious health issues. I am really not sure how to help everyone break through the cloud of ad jingles that now hangs over us.

I guess the most important thing I to say is that eating a vegetarian diet is far superior in every way to any other diet on the planet. It is an undisputed fact based on health, nutrition, and scientific research. Heck, its even better for the environment, preventing pollution and helping to stop climate change. Even more, one could switch over to vegetarianism and spend less money of food while getting a perfect body. Again, these are undisputed facts, which often makes me stop and wonder why are so many avoiding this diet?

Even with that said I still eat some meat, because I’m a nearly vegetarian. I like eating meat and sometimes I crave it. Studies explain this through a vitamin called B-12 that is only found in animal products. We need just a bit of it every once in a while.

I think that neatly explains my diet. I eat a little bit of meat every once in a while. The rest of the time I love eating fruits, vegetables, and reap the wonderous health benefits they provide.

So why isn’t everyone else doing so?

photo by Manjith Kaini

11 thoughts on “The Nearly Vegetarian Diet”

  1. You are very one-sided in your arguments with your research focused on your point of view. What about the people who have allergies to elements that constitute a vegetarian diet? Do you think that all people are born with the same kind of metabolism? What about sustainable farming/ranching where animals are allowed to roam the range and moved frequently to preserve the range they feed on. What about buying protein locally? I do have a personal interest in my comments. I am under a nutritionist's care who determined that I have what is called a fast oxidizer metabolism meaning that I must have fatty meats in order to stay healthy. I have tried vegetarian and it almost always led to weight gain and ill health whereas an organic/natural low carb diet with high quality fatty meat (e.g. chicken dark meat rather than the breast) and the freshest of green leafy vegetables has enabled me to lose 50 pounds. I have studied both sides of the research. There is no “one” way that people must eat. But there are ways that people should understand what is best for them (not just because you say it is best) and work together to come up with the most sustainable green way to achieve that.

    1. Kelcy – congrats on ur work!!

      On another front, I love fatty meats. They are tasty and when I eat my meat (every once in a while) I tend to favor those. I'm all for it in a diet of mostly veggies with some fatty meats. I like to think that eating meat so rarely means I can get the tastiest piece.

      Your comment about a nutritionist inspired me to write a post about them (running tomorrow morning). I am pretty upset with them since I find them sorely lacking in many areas. For my entire life I have turned to them for help and guidance and gotten the worst advice. They always seem to focus on calorie counting and vitamin pill popping with a reminder to workout. I just hate how they say “you need vitamin C” so pop a pill or find some packaged food with 10% vitamin C.

      I even have a friend beginning to study nutrition at the undergraduate level. I asked her do they talk about nutrition in terms of food quality like seasonal vegetables, fresh vs decaying ones, organic, or any other measure of food quality. She was clueless to what I was saying. Sometimes I feel like they are training a whole legion of samplers. You know those people who offer you a free sample and tell you it has 100% of the daily vitamin amount?

      I hope your experiences are different!

  2. While I agree there is something pernicious and scary about the agro-industry being in bed with the FDA, these health claims about going vegetarian are anything BUT “undisputed facts.” Undisputed facts are pretty hard to come by when it comes to discussing diet and health. There is a pretty compelling body of evidence supporting the health benefits from cutting out grains and deriving glucose from conversion of fat and protein molecules, for example:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19209185?dop

    1. Jeff – im all for cutting our grains. I left out discussing them because I haven't done a survery of the research. What I have learned is that, personally, they are very addictive. I think it is because they convert to energy so fast. So when I'm hungry or coming back from a walk I can eat tons.

      When I have stopped eating grains I notice nothing but positive benefits. I lose weight, eat more vegetables, and feel great.

  3. While I agree there is something pernicious and scary about the agro-industry being in bed with the FDA, these health claims about going vegetarian are anything BUT “undisputed facts.” Undisputed facts are pretty hard to come by when it comes to discussing diet and health. There is a pretty compelling body of evidence supporting the health benefits from cutting out grains and deriving glucose from conversion of fat and protein molecules, for example:

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19209185?dopt=Abstract

  4. Jeff – im all for cutting our grains. I left out discussing them because I haven't done a survery of the research. What I have learned is that, personally, they are very addictive. I think it is because they convert to energy so fast. So when I'm hungry or coming back from a walk I can eat tons.

    When I have stopped eating grains I notice nothing but positive benefits. I lose weight, eat more vegetables, and feel great.

  5. Kelcy – congrats on ur work!!

    On another front, I love fatty meats. They are tasty and when I eat my meat (every once in a while) I tend to favor those. I'm all for it in a diet of mostly veggies with some fatty meats. I like to think that eating meat so rarely means I can get the tastiest piece.

    Your comment about a nutritionist inspired me to write a post about them (running tomorrow morning). I am pretty upset with them since I find them sorely lacking in many areas. For my entire life I have turned to them for help and guidance and gotten the worst advice. They always seem to focus on calorie counting and vitamin pill popping with a reminder to workout. I just hate how they say “you need vitamin C” so pop a pill or find some packaged food with 10% vitamin C.

    I even have a friend beginning to study nutrition at the undergraduate level. I asked her do they talk about nutrition in terms of food quality like seasonal vegetables, fresh vs decaying ones, organic, or any other measure of food quality. She was clueless to what I was saying. Sometimes I feel like they are training a whole legion of samplers. You know those people who offer you a free sample and tell you it has 100% of the daily vitamin amount?

    I hope your experiences are different!

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  7. All you need is a proper diet. But it is not just any simple diet. It has been modified especially for this purpose. It is known as Every Other Day Diet. According to this you can actually indulge into the junk food! http://www.fithuman.net/

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