Health Questions and Answers

Question: Can one assume that an individual will improve his diet by eating a vegetarian diet?


Not always.  It is true that any type of diet which results in an increase in fruits and vegetables and a decrease in fat is likely to improve health. With some individuals, however, eliminating meats, eggs, and dairy products without increasing consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes may simple make a poor diet worse. Many Americans consume diets which are based on meats, fatty foods, sweets, salty snack foods, and alcohol. Elimination of meat and dairy with this dietary pattern makes a bad diet worse. And not all vegetarian diets are equally healthy. For example, some lacto-ovo-vegetarians consume large amounts of high fat dairy products and choose high-calorie, high-fat forms of other foods, all of which reduces the benefit of reducing meats. In a small percentage of adolescent females, vegetarian diets may signal over-concern for diet and may coexist with eating disorders.

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