Member Comments for the Article:

Meatless Meals Benefit Your Health

A ''Flexitarian'' Diet Meets in the Middle


3/2/2012 6:32:22 PM

Quote from the article - "According to the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, vegetarians have lower rates of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and asthma." Compared to what other group - people who eat a Standard American Diet? Well not wonder vegetarians are healthier, so is most of the developed world.

Apparently there are 5 million vegetarians in the US who, as an aggregate, have lower rates of some diseases. This statistic has reference bias written all over it - vegetarians by definition are mindful eaters - they think about what goes into their mouths. I am sure we could find another group of 5 million Americans who are also mindful eaters who happen to include meat in their diets and are as healthy or healthier than the 5 million non-meat eaters.

In reality health and nutrition is so complex it is almost impossible to account for, or control, all the variables and confounders in any given piece of research. Promoting a meatless diet as being healthier is bad science. If you want to suggest people try it and see how it works for them, I have no quarrel with that, but please hold off on the unfounded, unproven statements about what is healthier - we all know the results of the "fat is bad" message from a few years ago. Oops, turns out we need fat - who knew?
3/2/2012 5:49:27 PM

JENG829's SparkPage
This article might be somewhat credible if it did not quote the PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) which is a well known purveyor of vegetarian propaganda. I understand many people are evangelical about their diets, but really, being vegan or vegetarian does not suit everyone as some folks will not thrive on it. This whole meatless Monday & meat-out day junk is annoying to me...

I do occasionally eat meals without meat, and don't care what it is called. I do eat meat, fish, eggs, and it has helped me restore my health after 10 years being vegetarian/vegan that made me very ill (and fat!).

I say, if you enjoy eating a veg diet and continue to have good health on it, then by all means keep it up! If not, do not let anyone make you feel guilty for eating meat. But then, SP has a book to sell, so they are pushing veg left & right.
3/2/2012 11:59:19 AM

All these eating type labels are lame and basically mean the same thing.

Flexitarians? Part-time vegetarians? Omnivore? All the same thing. I don't intentionally skip eating meat, but I have plenty of meals that don't include meat.

This morning I had an apple, banana, orange smoothie for breakfast. Does that make me a Flexivegan?

Yesterday, I had a bowl of cheerios in milk for breakfast, but a chicken quesadilla for lunch. Does that make me a Flexitarian?

I don't need to label and sort my eating habits. I try to eat healthy and that's the important thing. Whether that makes me an omnivore, and Flexitarian, a Part-Time Vegetarian, a Weekend Vegan, or an Part-Time-Omni-Flexi-Pesca-Vegan-Tarian is pointless organizing and labeling.

I just want to be healthy.
3/2/2012 11:48:08 AM

ARDUINNA's SparkPage
I'm sorry, I still can't tell the difference between an omnivore & a flexitarian. Just because I eat meat, doesn't mean I have to have it with every meal...
Side note: my father has some heart probs. My parents are among those who do tend to eat meal with every meal. I suggested to my mother that they should try a vegetarian meal once or twice a week. She said they were...they had fish or chicken!
3/2/2012 12:31:57 AM

ASPECK303's SparkPage
I think your poll is a little narrow. For me, being a semi-vegetarian most of my meals are vegetarian and I have a bit of fish or meat a couple times a week. Being an Omnivore for me means I eat some of everything -- including bean based meals and ethnic vegetarian dishes. I grew up in a meatatarian home -- every meal was meat-centric and most of our vegetables were starchy and/or processed.
2/28/2011 3:27:46 PM

I was vegetarian for 3 years because of my allergies, both of my parents had diabetes, so I decided to start eating veggies, soy meat burgers, soy milk, but stayed with cheese that has a lot of fat, and eggs,I think I am carb intolerant pre diabetic,because I got so fat,as never before,also i believe as a vegetarian I indulge more on cake or beer,etc. i even did the 21 day Vegan from the PCRM but never got slim,even though i was on swimming team, so last year i decided to eat meat and fish cos my chicken allergy started to change into diarrea,so after that I started to lose inches, not the weight, i still stuck on same weight but now I am on the gym, spinning weight lift,swimming and walking, after my vegetarian experience my nails were awful, with stripes called meuhcker lines, I believe I became a Kwashorkor,so if thinking on vegetarian attend a professional nutrition instead of doing it yourself, heres a link. Margarita
2/25/2011 9:06:21 PM

HEIDIUWW's SparkPage
I have eaten Paleo, and did quite well on it, but always felt kind of crappy. I was at my leanest, though! Randomly last summer I decided to go raw until my friend's wedding, which was 2 months away. i felt freakin' wonderful. Better than I ever had. I still am eating raw, and that was about a year ago.

I'm not saying that raw is right for everyone, or that Paleo is the best, (i do agree grains are terrible for you), but what i AM saying is that everyone is different, their body operates differently, and eat whatever works FOR YOU!
2/8/2011 8:23:21 AM

Oh, side note. I have an "Adopt a Vegangelical" program going already, where I eat twice the meat in the name of one of the lovely Vegans who stopped me in the middle of a meal to tell my how immoral I am. (The term vegangelical is the term for the close minded open mouthed narrow minded moralist who wants to tell YOU what to eat while ignoring your point of view)

I guess I could start a "Double Meat Monday" for my vegetarian friends. Just a thought. I could also ask for a separate cow for each patty of my double cheese burger -- to help cut down on the greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gas from cow methane is the number one contributor I do my part: I'm eating the cows!!!

What is better than meat and potatoes? Meat and MEAT!

2/8/2011 8:15:54 AM

No thank you. I am a reduced carbohydrate Primal Carnivore lifestyler. Meat and fat are good for you and part of a healthy diet. I find it quite ironic that if you say you are on a low carb diet (note, I said reduced carb, not low carb) everyone yells at you because you are going without one of the food groups. [Regardless of the fact that there is no such thing as an 'essential' carb.] But when people remove meat from their diet, nobody seems to mind. And if you suggest that grains should be avoided, or sugar is a culprit in obesity, everyone loses their mind. If grains are so good, why are they the top choice of fattening cattle and pigs in this country?

Everyone may eat what they like, but I will jump on the band wagon and suggest that striking something from your approved eating list is probably not the best way to go.

12/14/2010 8:33:03 PM

CHRIS3874's SparkPage
I can remeber growing up as a kid my Mom always made fish on Friday ( even when we didn't have to anymore) . It didn't kill me I LIKE fish- even if it was that disgusting Frazer Vale fish and chips.
12/5/2010 7:55:05 AM

Flexitarians? Part-time vegetarians? Sounds like a simple balanced diet to me. Why do we need more labels on people?

Many vegetarians are health conscious and knowledgeable people, but I've also seen overweight vegetarians and vegetarians who restrict their diets to the point that they're actually unhealthy and unable to function in the real world. It all comes down to a sensible approach to overall health.
9/13/2010 12:05:32 PM

I became a vegetarian about 3 months ago. It was something I'd considered briefly several times but it wasn't until I watched a film called ' The cove' that something clicked and I stopped eating meat and fish over night. I'm not trying to convert anyone, being a veggie does not make me a better person I know this - people can eat whatever they like, but I'm just going to throw out some ideas. sensible ones I believe.

1) environmental. The fishing industry is one of the most damaging in environmental terms. If we continue to fish in the same ways as we do now, the oceans will literally have very few fish in 50 years time. We are not giving enough time for fish species to repopulate.
Also, the amount of toxins (there's a whole lot of them, especially mercury) in the seas build up through the food chain and find their way into fish and onto your dinner plate - check it out online. In addition the carbon consumption from livestock raising and the factories/slaughterhouses is a major contributor to climate change.
2) economical terms. It is cheaper to be veggie for individuals. In economics, it's been proven that if the same amount of land that is used to raise livestock was used to grow plants the amount of food produced could feed a whole lot more people. The amount of water and food given to livestock would be better spent on humans who need it. I'm not sure how em_ortiz could write that there is enough food in the world for the current population, you only have to look at poorer developed countries to realize there really is not enough food going around. Otherwise why are people still starving to death? countries such as Pakistan who recently experienced devastating floods have had to have millions of dollars worth of food imported because millions of people are without food. Where were the governmental food reserves there? Of course governments and corruption play a major part as well as economic factors but the basic fact is that there is not enough food in the world to feed the amount of people.
Aside from personal feelings about animals I think these are good reasons for all people to cut down on meat/fish consumption.
From recent personal experience I can tell you that I feel a lot healthier. I'm packing in nutrients everyday. I have more energy, my skin and hair looks better. I've lost weight and I have more money. To be a little bit gross my digestive system is also much improved. I have experienced no negative effects from becoming a vegetarian. Whilst I understand that everyone is different, the benefits will generally effect most people. and as long as you dont pig out on carbs all day, you should lose weight fairly easily.
These are just my thoughts, take them or leave them. keep on being healthy I guess whichever way you can
8/29/2010 8:34:19 PM

Hmm, I disagree - grass fed, range-free meat is what I eat along with veggies, a winning combo. Grains are just bad, even whole grain - they are off my plate.
6/28/2010 5:17:02 PM

BARBBF's SparkPage
Why I don't eat meat...and not just for health reasons:

For her book Slaughterhouse, Gail Eisnitz, chief investigator for the Humane Farming Association (HFA), interviewed slaughterhouse workers in the U.S. who say that, because of the speed with which they are required to work, animals are routinely skinned while apparently alive, and still blinking, kicking, and shrieking. Eisnitz argues that this is not only cruel to the animals, but also dangerous for the human workers, as cows weighing several thousands of pounds thrashing around in pain are likely to kick out and debilitate anyone working near them.[11]

According to the HFA, Eiznitz interviewed slaughterhouse workers representing over two million hours of experience, who, without exception, told her that they have beaten, strangled, boiled, and dismembered animals alive, or have failed to report those who do. The workers described the effects the violence has had on their personal lives, with several admitting to being physically abusive or taking to alcohol and other drugs.[12]

6/28/2010 5:09:55 PM

BARBBF's SparkPage
Even though they are not the healthiest of choices....I'll pick MorningStarFarms anything, any day over hamburger patties laced with ammonia, or chickens feed with arsenic in their feed. It would be interesting if one were able to compare MSF entrees when it was still a relatively small company..before it was purchased by Kellogg's...

Comment Pages (9 total)

Leave a Comment

Article comments allow you to share your own tips, experiences and ideas about SparkPeople's articles. All article comments must abide by SparkPeople's Community Guidelines. Please do not ask questions here. If you have any questions, please post them on the Message Boards in order to get a response.

To make a comment, please Login or Join For Free