Thursday, September 23, 2010

Interesting diet news

In the CNN article I linked to in the previous post, the author mentioned she had started her weight loss using a low-carb plan, although she didn't say which one or whether she continued in that direction. At any rate, one of the criticisms often heard about low-carb plans is that so much animal protein can't possibly be good for you.

Animal-based protein diets increase mortality rate

What the headline doesn't mention is that the study cited in the article yielded pretty good results for low-carb, high-protein diets where the proteins were vegetable-based. In other words, a vegetarian low-carb, high-protein diet can actually be pretty good for you.

So I was on the phone last night with a friend who had read my previous post and asked me how it was going (pretty well, for the record). We got into the specifics of what I was doing (paraphrased):

Me: For lunch I usually have a big salad with some chicken on top.
Him: It's not good to kill a chicken for your food. Americans and their fried chicken... (Ed. note: my friend is Indian)
Me (slightly defensive): No, no, it's not fried. It's grilled, so it's about as healthy as chicken gets.
Him: Yes, but the chicken was healthier before it was killed.
Me: *sigh*

You may be aware that many Hindus are vegetarian. This is because one of the core principles of almost any Hindu group is nonviolence (ahimsa in Sanskrit), and many choose to extend this to animals as well as humans. The Vedanta Society does not require or expect its devotees to be vegetarian (although many are), but generally, the food served at our functions is vegetarian, with the exception of the very occasional fish dish.

So if I can eat a healthy diet without meat, it's certainly worth considering. The plan I'm on has a vegetarian version, so it's certainly doable. I have to battle my inner Vincent Vega on this, though (NSFW, language, etc.):

Not the best quality video, but I'm sure you get the idea. I'll keep you posted.

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