A vegetarian diet incorporated into a low-calorie diet can increase energy-producing protein while keeping fat content low, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
Actually, this mixture was given to protein-deficient malnourished children in Ethiopia, and it reversed their biochemical defects. Another study was conducted on New Orleans police officers on a weight-loss program. Researchers concluded that the vegetarian food “helps people without much self-motivation to lose weight.”
“I was sure I’d shrivel up and die if I didn’t eat meat,” recalls Joe Schneider, a mailman who is into bodybuilding. “But a friend at the gym talked me into trying it. I quit eating red meat a year ago and chicken and fish six months ago. I’ve lost fat and gained muscle. Truthfully, I’ve never felt better.”
Vegetarian diets have been documented to lower cholesterol and blood pressure and to cut down on the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. Vegetarian diets are naturally very low in fats and high in complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Healthy vegetarians eat a combination of grains, beans and other legumes and vegetables, especially green leafy ones. Make the transition gradually, like Joe did. It might be a good idea to take a multi-vitamin, too, just to make sure you’re getting all your nutrients.