Can Vegetarian be Junky?

Personally, I’m not a vegetarian, but I do restrict my intake of animal products. For example, I don’t eat meat; no chicken, no beef, no turkey, no nothing, but, I do eat fish. So, does this mean I’m healthier than your standard American?

Well, according to Dr. Fuhrman the evidence is in my favor. In Cholesterol Protection for Life he points to the health advantages of a vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet like mine. From the book:
We do not know for sure. The preponderance of evidence suggests that either a near-vegetarian diet or a vegetarian diet is the best, especially for patients with heart disease. In the massive China-Oxford-Cornell Project, reduction in heart disease and cancer rates continued to be observed as participants reduced their animal-food consumption all the way down to 1.7 small servings per week. Under this level, there is not enough data available.

Some smaller studies suggest that a small amount of fish added to a vegetarian diet adds benefit, which is the result of the documented benefits from the increased DHA-fat from fish. This benefit can be achieved and heart reversal maximized on a strict vegetarian diet by including flaxseeds and nuts that contain omega-3 such as walnuts and the addition of a DHA supplement. Whether you are a strict vegetarian or not, your diet still must be plant-predominant to achieve protection against both heart disease and cancer.
But here’s the problem, most vegetarians still eat junky diets. Sure, they’re not eating a lot of meat, but many gorge themselves on imitation meat, processed soy foods, salt, sugar, and refined grains—yeah, not exactly Fuhrman-friendly. In Eat to Live Dr. Fuhrman discusses the soy issue:
This brings to mind my basic theme of nutritional biodiversity--eat a variety of plant foods, and do not eat a soy-based diet.

Most of the processed soy products can be tasty additions to a plant-based diet, but they are generally high in salt and are not nutrient-dense foods, so use them sparingly. In conclusion, the soybean is a superior food, containing the difficult-to-find omega-3 fats. Beans in general are superior foods that fight against cancer and heart disease, which is why you will benefit from using a variety of beans in your diet.
I know quite a few vegetarians who basically live off soy; soy chicken, soy nuts, soy bacon, soy sausage, soy cheese, etc, etc. So much processed food, so little natural wholesome plant matter. A dangerous combination because as Diet-Blog uncovers, many of these soy-based meat alternatives are hardly health food, and, they certainly shouldn’t be the cornerstone of a so-called health diet:
Here is a list of a few other restaurants that offer some vegetarian choices you might want to be aware of:
  • Burger King Veggie Burger w/Cheese - 470 calories and 20 grams of fat. (A whopper junior has 410 calories & 24 grams of fat)
  • Chilis Bar and Grill - Baked Potato bowl of Soup - 440 calories and 33 grams of fat.
  • Uno’s Chicago Grill - Roasted Toasted Veggie Panini - 590 calories and 26 grams of fat.
  • Ninety-Nine Restaurant Veggie Burger - 910 calories and 41 grams of fat.
And last but not least:
  • Ruby Tuesday Veggie Burger- a whopping 943 calories and 52 grams of fat!
Now, I don’t think Dr. Fuhrman or Diet-Blog are being anti-soy—I’m certainly not, I drink soymilk and eat tofu—but, the important point to remember and Dr. Fuhrman would agree, there is no replacing a hearty amount of unaltered fruits and veggies.
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Sean - December 13, 2008 12:01 AM

I think that's why a lot of people who go Vegetarian go back to eating meat after their doctors tell them they're sick. Either that or they just eat food like Pizza. I've been a Vegetarian for three years and I eat a big variety of foods. Lots of beans, fresh greens, rice, and of course fake meat.

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