Boy did this article attract some comments on the Daily Mail blog! Lowri Turner has spent the past two years qualifying as a nutritionist and looks really good on it. She was one of the ‘victims’ of celebrity fit club and did the usual ‘eat less/do more’ only to put it all back on again. At 5 foot tall, she’s 2 inches shorter than me and was 3 stone heavier (11 stone) at her peak! Whatever she is now, she’s looking good on it.
The article was all about why being veggie is not good if you want to lose weight and Lowri’s main arguments were:
1) there’s lots of fat in veggie food e.g. 28g in a Linda McCartney meal vs 8g in a McDonalds;
2) the macronutrient balance – the veggie diet is skewed away from protien towards carbs (veggies eat beans and pasta etc).
Whilst I’m not sure the logic was perfect (the Linda McCartney meal appeared to be twice the size of the McDonalds, so we may not have been comparing like with like) and protein is in everything, so the macronutrients we want to be aware of are fat/proteins (which have no impact on insulin) and carb/proteins (which do have an impact on insulin).
Notwithstanding this, as a vegetarian and a nutritionist I have to agree with Lowri! Most of the Daily Mail site message board comments seemed to be more about defending vegetarianism than addressing the obesity issue.
There were the usual misconceptions – people writing that obesity is just about energy in and energy out. However if it were this simple, we wouldn’t have a problem, let alone an epidemic – thermodynamics has been wrongly applied to humans and there is no law of thermodynamics that is as simple as energy in = energy out (re-read the 1st law if you doubt this and then the circumstances in which the 1st law applies and then you have to read the 2nd law).
There are 2 separate issues – supplying food to a growing world population would undoubtedly be helped by everyone being vegetarian. There can be no question about this. However, I share Lowri’s view that the obesity epidemic would be helped by people eating meat and fish. Weight has far more to do with carbs consumed (and the concomitant insulin effect) than fat/protein.
My overweight, vegetarian clients only have dairy products and eggs as options that have no impact on insulin – far fewer meal options than carnivores. Also – the three conditions that cause food cravings are best overcome with a diet of ‘meat, fish, eggs, salad/veg and Natural Live Yoghurt.’ It is always more difficult for vegetarians to overcome these conditions than carnivores.