Low Fat Vegetarian Diet? Why?

You want to eat a low fat vegetarian diet. Why? What are the reasons behind your decision?

There are books written about benefits of a low fat vegetarian diet. There are both articles and books that document fat cravings and encourage change and new choices when a person is ready and sufficiently motivated.

Yes, I know, there is controversy regarding not only what is the appropriate fat content of our diet, but also type of fat.

My suggestion is to begin here for a general foundation.

Later, you'll want to read and to know more. For now, you'll be able to choose foods you enjoy that give you energy and maintain or restore your health.

Do yourself a favor and make at least 80% nutritious choices.

The less fast foods and junk foods the better for your body.

I've begun by listing a few important reasons to encourage you to transition toward healthier foods.

First, it's good to know that some fatty foods have addictive tendencies for some people.

Think cravings. Really strong cravings.

Our bodies like fats in food because they require little energy for processing and storing. According to recent statistics, Americans are getting fatter by the day!

Storing fat was an effective method to keep our ancestors from starving in case of scarce food supply.

We don't need that primitive survival mechanism anymore.

What was both effective and efficient, now threatens the health of some of us and the our quality of life. Our bodies are super sizing!

There is another reason for the addictive qualities of fat. For example, the casein in cheese is broken down during digestion into casomorphines.

Some say cheese is the most difficult food to give up for this reason.

According to Neal Barnard, MD, cheese actually raises your mood because of the "whole host of opiates" resulting from the digestive process.

The casomorphines of milk are concentrated in cheese and thus more potent.

(Neal Barnard, MD, is a prolific author of numerous books related to vegetarian and vegan diet and health.)

There are numerous articles available on the web re dairy industry leaders promoting increased cheese consumption. (Google Dick Cooper cheese marketing cravings. His marketing efforts were toward influencing children to eat more cheese for purposes it would seem of profit, not health.)

Isn't it remarkable how our bodies are able to tolerate our extremes of food and drink most of the time?!

Second, overweight and obesity issues are huge given our Western diet.

We have choices about what we eat. No one else puts the food in our mouths.

We may be swayed by television commercials and advertisements.

Our noses pick up every pleasant odor and sometimes those smells are related to happy times and warm memories and associations.

None the less, we eat what we choose for whatever reason.

At the moment of choice, we make a decision. We indulge ourselves or we nourish our bodies.

Our cells seem to cry out for fat-laden foods to satisfy our appetite.

What's the truth? Do we need fatty foods to be nourished? It sure feels that way!

Cheese cake, french fries, creamy coffees, extra rich ice cream, salad dressing, butter or margarine, milk chocolate.

And we do know we want them even though our energy levels drop, and our joints might ache, we may move a little slower and our ambition is diminished and our brains feel a little fuzzy.

Perhaps the kids are more irritating after we eat. No one has the energy to get out and exercise. Some folks rationalize that watching television can be a family activity, too.

The truth is we really don't need fatty foods, but we do require dietary fats to provide essential nutrients.

Avocados, a variety of nuts, and flax seed oil are examples of nutrient rich foods supplying essential fats. Sorry, a hand full of those great tasting nuts is probably over most folks calorie limit.

Third, health concerns may be an issue.

John McDougall, MD, Neal Barnard, MD and Dean Ornish, MD, all advocate a low fat, high plant food diet to improve health.

These physicians have all written books about the relationship of diet to health - good or bad. None of them advocates a high fat diet.

There are scientific studies on low fat vegetarian diets that have documented the reversal of disease processes that the medications prescribed by traditional physicians are unable to effect. (See the writing of the above listed authors for specifics.)

Fourth, if as Dean Ornish, MD says you like to "eat more and weigh less" then a low fat vegetarian diet is the diet for you!

BUT only if you actually make the decision to follow it and make the necessary adjustments for your personal satisfaction. You'll want to actually enjoy the process and stay with it.

Low fat meat free diets fill you up. You get to eat more. You can create terrific variety as you fill up that empty meat place on your plate with veggies and types of rice, for example, you've never tried before.

Lastly, you need to decide whether you want to jump right in or transition slowly.

Both work, but one is generally best for your "change type".

You may substitute low fat foods for high fat foods.

You may just start fresh with a decision to try the variety of choices available with a low fat vegetarian diet.

Or you may head off to a restaurant with a friend (or the whole family) and each of you order something low fat and meat-free you've never tried before.

Then taste each dish and discover what you like best.

A low fat vegetarian diet is perfect for many people.

For some, all the time.

Others, low fat perhaps, 80% of the time.

Still non-committed vegetarians may prefer to follow the flexitarian way which can still be low fat.

Now you know the reasons to choose a low fat vegetarian diet.

Your next discovery may be to notice which foods give you energy and mental clarity.

Return from low fat vegetarian diet to home