Vegetarians Are Generally Less Healthy Than Meat-Eaters, Study Says

Apr 15, 2016 06:00 AM EDT | By Mark Jason Alcala

UC Berkeley Unveils Nation's First Organic Food Service
A student at the University of California, Berkeley pours organic salad dressing on a salad made from organic vegetables at UC Berkeley's Crossroads dining commons.
(Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Vegetarians, with their emphasis on meat-free, low saturated fat and low-cholesterol diet, are considered by many to lead a healthier lifestyle when compared to those who eat meat. However, a recent study came up with a startling conclusion, saying that vegetarians are actually unhealthier and even led a lower quality life.

The highly controversial study was done by the Medical University of Graz in Austria and concludes that, based on the data obtained, the vegetarian diet seems to increase the risk of allergies, cancers and even mental issues such as anxiety and depression according to the Independent. This is a totally unexpected finding because vegetarians generally eat foods deemed to be healthier such as higher fruit and vegetable intake, whole-grain products and its avoidance of saturated fat and cholesterol.

The recent study's data was obtained from the Austrian Health Interview Survey involving 1,320 participants who provided their lifestyle and dietary habits including sex, age and socioeconomic status. The 1,320 subjects were comprised of 330 vegetarians, 330 meat-eaters but also had a lot fruit and vegetable intake, 300 normal eaters with minimal meat in their diet and 330 participants who described their diets as meat-heavy.

The researchers made the following findings:

1.       While vegetarians consumed lesser amounts of alcohol, they were also poorer in terms of physical and mental health as evidence by a higher rate of asthma, allergies, cancer, migraine, anxiety and depression.

2.       Non-vegetarian who ate less meat had poor health practices, sometimes avoiding vaccines and doctor appointments.

This is indeed a controversial claim because vegetarianism is currently viewed by many to be the ultimate healthy diet with its sacrifice of not eating delicious but nutritionally sinful meat. Researchers concede that the study is too small and suggest further studies need to be done to firmly establish their observations. In addition, the study lacks in depth as it also failed to explain the reason behind the observed data which run counter to what people expected.

However, even experts warn that being vegetarian is not the silver bullet that could solve health related concerns. In fact, a purely vegetarian diet could be dangerous because it could expose dieters to possible nutritional deficiencies due to their complete avoidance of meat and meat products according to Authority Nutrition. For nutritional experts, a nutritionally balanced diet that does not forbid a single food group is still the best bet.

 

SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS

© 2015 Food World News. All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
Get the Most Popular Food Stories in a Weekly Newsletter
TrendingOn The Web
Food Biz
Chicago School Officials Address Junk Food

Latest Trend Show Soda Losing Its Appeal Fast

A recent Mintel study shows that a quarter of American no longer ordering soft drinks in restaurants compared to a year ago.

McDonald's Reports Record November Sales Up 14.9 Percent

Unusual McDonald's Outlet Offers No Seating For Patrons

A new McDonald's concept outlet has to dining area. Instead, it offers a 'walk up" window to serve customers on foot. Food from this particular McDonald's store are all ordered to go.

Stall Holders Brave The Extreme Cold To Sell Food On The Wintry Roads Of Siberia

Pineapple & Bubblegum Flavored Strawberries Launched in Australia

Raintree Nursery has launched pineberries (or pineapple flavored strawberries) and bubblegum flavored strawberries in Australia, which are absolutely "fabulous".

Food Tech
Mmm... breakfast burrito

Burrit-OH! App: True Love Might Just Come With An Extra Hot Sauce

A new app wants you to find your perfect match solely based on burrito preferences.

Shake Shack Raises Prices For Upcoming IPO

Environmentally Conscious Canadian Creates An App For Budget Foodies

Feeling responsible for the planet, Pellegrini decided to make an app that could prevent leftover foods in eateries from making a trip to the landfill.

Planet Mars Shows Signs Of Liquid Water

Vegan Diet Could Attract Alien Activity

Cosmic mythologist and medical astrologist Laura Magdalene Eisenhower, posited that our diet as humans play an important role in attracting alien life into Earth.

Real Time Analytics