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What is the best diet for weight loss? Show more Show less
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There now exists hundreds of different wisdoms on what the best and most effective way to lose weight is. All have different philosophies and different benefits, real or alleged. But which has the most evidence behind it? And which, in reality, is the most effective way to lose weight?

Eliminating animal products is the best way to lose weight Show more Show less

By eliminating meat or all animal products, we are forced to choose more nutritiously dense foods.
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Vegetarianism is the best way to lose weight

By cutting out meat, poultry, and fish people can significantly decrease calorie consumption and instead opt for plant-based alternatives and nutrient-rich fruits, grains, and nuts. These types of foods are the most effective foods someone can consume if their goal is to lose weight.

Context

A vegetarian diet excludes meat, fish, and poultry and mostly focuses on plant foods. There is some variation in vegetarian diets as well, however. Some people exclude dairy products but allow eggs, for example.

The Argument

A vegetarian diet promotes weight loss because of the large number of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains consumed by the people on the vegetarian diet. These foods are all high in fiber which is a factor associated with lower body weight. Plant-based foods also typically have fewer calories and more nutrients than animal-based foods, another component in weight loss.[1] In addition, vegetarianism has been linked to a reduced risk of chronic diseases, but these benefits depend on which foods you eat.[2] Another perk of a vegetarian diet is its facility. For one, it is relatively nonrestrictive in comparison to some other diets; one is not required to monitor calories or forego processed foods, for instance. Also, vegetarian cookbooks, restaurants, and stores are generally easy to come by (though this may depend on the vegetarian's place of residence as some cities and countries have more options than others). Lastly, converting recipes is usually quite simple and typically involves using a vegetable-based protein such as tofu instead of meat or vegetable broth in place of the chicken or beef alternative.

Counter arguments

Though a vegetarian diet is intended to help people lose weight and reduce the risk of disease, it can have the opposite effect and negate any weight loss earned. This is because, unlike some other diets, a vegetarian diet does not restrict the number of refined carbs or highly processed foods, so some vegetarians tend to consume more of these and not as many fruits and vegetables as they should. The lack of rigidity of a vegetarian diet can, therefore, make it difficult for some people to maximize the health benefits of this diet. Another potential problem with a vegetarian diet is that vegetarians are more at risk of nutritional deficiencies due to their lack of meat consumption; it can be difficult to get enough protein as well as essential vitamins, such as vitamin B12.

Proponents

Premises

Rejecting the premises

Further Reading

More on vegetarian diets: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/in-depth/vegetarian-diet/art-20046446

References

  1. https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2015/07/29/426743443/to-shed-pounds-going-vegetarian-or-vegan-may-help#:~:text=A%20meta%2Danalysis%20published%20in,diabetes%20and%20coronary%20heart%20disease.
  2. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegetarian-weight-loss#what-it-is
This page was last edited on Wednesday, 1 Jul 2020 at 01:56 UTC

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