I know and work with people who ascribe to all different diets for various reasons. I don’t particularly like to use labels because I think diet should be fluid and change as the needs in life arise. I don’t consider myself any specific label. A gentleman asked me if I was a WFPB eater. I had no idea what that was so I looked it up and I think it comes closest to describing how I eat most of the time – whole food, plant based, but with quality animal protein.
In the past I’ve even called myself a “qualitarian” – the quality of the food whether animal foods or produce is what matters most to me. A vegetarian who eats genetically modified fruits and vegetables and lots of grains is definitely not going to be healthier than someone who chooses grass-fed, pasture-raised and wild-caught animal foods along with organic produce. So it’s not quite as cut and dried as some would have you believe. That’s why I say:
Eating meat as opposed to a totally vegetarian or vegan diet doesn’t matter as much as the quality of the food.
Dr. Mark Hyman author of Eat Fat, Get Thin says:
“It’s not easy to know for sure what is the ‘truth.’ Vegan diet studies show they help with weight loss, reverse diabetes, and lower cholesterol. Diets high in fat and animal protein seem to do the same thing. Essentially, each scientist (or even each person reading the research) with a point of view adheres to his or her position with near religious fervor. And each can point to studies validating his or her perspective.”
I think Dr. Hyman hit the nail on the head and I totally agree. Besides the fact that quality of food is of the utmost importance, each person’s metabolism and biochemistry is different. And their system can change over time and during specific seasons in life. What worked well in your 20’s may not be so good for you at 45. That was certainly my experience and how I came to develop my Today’s the Day Plan.
While studies show vegan diets help with weight loss, it is not true for me. This is why I do not think anyone can say with 100% certainty that any one particular diet is “best” for everyone. This study bears that out. Regardless of what diet you choose or prefer, the ultimate goal is to live a longer, healthier life. And this study concluded “there was no significant difference in all-cause mortality for vegetarians versus non-vegetarians.”
So why don’t we stop trying to convince each other our way is best and each just make the best choices available for ourselves. It’s not a contest after all – we all seem to want the same thing: to live a long, healthy, active life. It makes no difference if we approach it in slightly different ways as long as the result is the same.
What constitutes a healthy diet for you?
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