Home Top 100 Weight Loss Tips Why is Some Vegetarian Food Bad For You?

Why is Some Vegetarian Food Bad For You?

The pressure is still on with another of my Top 100 Weight Loss Tips counting down with article number 87 in the series.

Remember, each new article represents another top tip on how to lose weight naturally and easily.

This post takes a wrinkled brow look at why some vegetarian foods are actually bad for you and can help you to gain weight. The opposite of what you actually want to do!

What Vegetarian Foods Are Bad For You?

Oh, this shakes some trees right down to their roots! The last bastion of the determined health fanatic is vegetarianism where you can leave behind the evils of meat and all the bad fats, cholesterol and other dietary nastiness.

Yet even this way of life and its associated diet has its hidden dangers in some of the foods that are eaten in often large quantities by vegetarians who believe themselves to be healthy.

First of all though, lets get one thing straight before I say anything else.

If your diet consists primarily of fresh fruits and vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts and seeds and little else, then you are doing it right, to a point and will not suffer any of the ill-effects created by some of the foods that I am going to talk about next.

Now that's clear, let's look at the kind of vegetarian foods that are bad for you, no question. It goes back to some previous posts on the subject of diet where I lay into processed foods or convenience foods for all the damage they're doing to peoples' health and the spread of obesity in adults and children.

Processed Food

There are plenty of these pre-packaged, processed vegetarian meals that you can find on the supermarket shelves that are aimed at lazy people who happen to be vegetarian.

These foods are generally made from healthy basic ingredients. Then to make them more appealing, by which I mean to look and taste better so they'll sell more of them, a cocktail of flavorings and colorings and an unhealthy dollop of saturated fats are added.

Flavorings include herbs and spices which are fine, then things that are not fine such as salt, Monosodium Glutamate (MSG -- our old nemesis), sugar and other sweeteners, naturally derived or artificial. There are bulking agents which include hydrogenated vegetable oil (better known as and trans fats), gums, more sugars and the saturated fats.

Then there are the refined white flour bulk ingredients such as pasta, breadcrumbs (from white bread) etc. All in all an unhealthy package that nevertheless looks good because the packaging shows a slim mother feeding her healthy looking kids who are all smiling and holding their plates out for more.

Ok, maybe that's not exactly what's on the packages, but you get the idea. Packaging sells products so advertisers are drafted in to make sure packaging appeals to as wide a range of people as possible.

Then, because these foods are actually not as high in protein as you'd like, the first thing you grab for is the cheese. Oh yeah, a nice helping of saturated fat and up goes the calorie count even further!

What About Protein?

The problem with many vegetarian dishes is their lack of protein which needs to be made up to correct the shortfall created by the absence of meat in their diet. But this can be done easily enough while still avoiding the saturated fats of dairy products.

One of the best sources of protein available is whey powder, which can be purchased in sports stores as muscle building or bulking supplemental powder. Another great source of protein is egg whites and if you can stop yourself chomping on the yoke as well, this actually represents a healthy and nutritional food supplement.

Other vegetative sources of protein include legumes (especially peanuts, lentils and chick peas), some nuts (almonds are great), spirulina, chia seeds, quinoa and some soy-based derivatives such as tofu, tempeh and edamame.

It should be noted that eating soy-based foods can increase estrogen levels which in men can be undesirable.

But the bottom line when going vegetarian, or if even you've been a lifelong veggie, is to make sure the bulk of your diet is made up of the fresh stuff. Fruit and vegetables as nature makes them, not pounded up and processed into "man made goo" then reformed into something that looks edible and that looks good on the packet.

If you can do that, then cheating a little with a slice of cheese or a fruit yoghurt will not significantly upset your diet or cause weight gain, because your metabolism will be working just fine processing the fresh foods.

So the top of the rapid weight loss tips for this article is to stay away from all processed, pre-packaged ready meals. Do that whether they say they're healthy, vegetarian or whatever, because they're not very healthy and they'll contribute to you gaining weight, not losing it!

100 Weight Loss Tips number 86 in the series follows in the next post!


Posted on Mon, 29 Jun 2009 in Top 100 Weight Loss Tips | 1 Comments

1 thoughts on "Why is Some Vegetarian Food Bad For You?"

Beth says:

I now have the answers to my questions about vegetarian food and how to lose weight effectively - at last! Thank you for a great site. Gratefully, Beth