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September 2, 2011 at 8:25 AMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Debunking Vegetarian Myths

By Jessica Corwin MPH RDN More Blogs by This Author

Registered dietitian Jessica Butcher goes over some popular myths on what it means to be a vegetarian.
Host, Gerry Barnaby - Hey, what’s going on, Barnaby here.  Another HelloLife Moment.  This one dealing with vegetarianism.  And the thought that possibly being a vegetarian would be a bland sort of a pursuit.  Look at all that beautiful stuff.  All that wonderful color. Could it possibly be bland?  Let’s talk to Registered Dietician Jessica Butcher about this.  Vegetarians – bland diet or no?
Health Coach, Jessica Butcher, RD – Certainly not.  Now think of just, you know, you’re eating meat, just a plain chicken breast.  How much flavor does that actually have?  What you’re adding to that are all the spices, herbs, sauces and marinades that are largely flavored from plant based foods.  So certainly can do that exact same thing with your beans, your tofu, your tempeh.  Whatever you’re using for your main protein source in the vegetarian diet.  Bland is far from the truth.
Barnaby – Well you know, I think a lot of people embark upon vegetarianism to lose weight.  Is that a good way to lose weight?
Jessica – Well, if you’re following a vegetarian diet, you know, eating your variety of foods and building it largely on your vegetables, your protein - your vegetables, your fruits, your grains and your lean proteins, certainly that could help you.  But at the same time, someone who’s going into it without that knowledge of what exactly to eat, they could survive on macaroni and cheese and peanut butter and jelly.  And certainly you’re not going to lose weight following a diet like that.  So, it just kind of depends upon what you’re doing so it would really help out to start by meeting with a registered dietician and learning a little bit more about what foods you would want to choose. 
Barnaby – Ok, another myth I just have to bring up here.  And that is, most vegetarians we would think would be a lot healthier than the rest of us just by simply eating vegetables and fruits.  Are they necessarily going to be healthier than the average person?
Jessica – You know, there are certainly people that eat meat that are following a healthy diet, but, at the same time, vegetarians are found – you know there’s lots of different studies out there that find that vegetarians may live a little bit longer.  They’re certainly going to have a lot less heart disease because heart disease is largely coming from high cholesterol levels that are damaging our arteries and putting stress on our heart.  And those high cholesterol come from cholesterol in saturated fat – both of which come from animal products.  So there’s certainly lots of ways to – you know, vegetarian diets are also – to add in there – a lot higher in Vitamin C, magnesium, fibers.  So there’s lots of things that are truly going to boost their health. 
Barnaby  - Seemingly a lot to recommend us to a vegetarian diet.  Just another HelloLife Moment  because we’re all about matching your commitment to a healthy lifestyle. 

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