Vegetarians are not necessarily better people. A brand new study from the Max Planck Institute in Leipzig now proves that they are thinner. So lose weight by avoiding meat?
Vegetarians are clearly on the rise. There is probably no longer a circle of families, friends or acquaintances that does not include people who do without meat and fish or completely without animal products. In view of the scandals about disgusting meat and currently because of the inhumane working conditions in the meat industry, you may have already switched your own meat consumption, i.e. reduced it. Less meat of higher quality is also a start in terms of animal welfare and health!
A current study by the Leipzig-based Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurosciences and the city’s university clinic now substantiates the health-promoting effects of a vegetarian lifestyle.
The number of vegetarians is growing
More and more people – in Germany and around the world – are changing their diet. According to a statistical survey by the Allensbach market and advertising media analysis from August 2019, there are more than six million people in Germany who profess vegetarianism. That is 400,000 more than two years earlier. In 2016, Germany and Austria ranked fifth among the countries with the most vegetarians worldwide. According to “statista.com” the proportion in both countries was nine percent. The absolute front runner was India with 38 percent, followed by Israel (13 percent), Taiwan (twelve percent) and Italy (ten percent).
Diet change planned?
What i (s) st a part-time vegetarian?
More and more people are choosing plant-based foods, mostly for environmental and climate protection reasons. In addition to vegetarians and vegans, many opt – often unconsciously – for the flexitarian diet. The food industry is also rethinking.
As part of the broad study by scientists from the Max Planck Institute for Cognitive and Neurosciences in Leipzig with the support of the University Hospital, almost 9,000 people – regardless of gender, age and level of education – were asked about their eating habits. The study results were first published in the scientific journal “Nutrients”. The magazine provides information on the latest research results on all aspects of nutrition.
According to this, people who have fewer animal products on their menu have a measurably lower body mass index (BMI). The included psychological surveys also yielded interesting results. Vegetarians are less extroverted, and it has not been confirmed that the plant-based diet is more likely to lead to depression. Earlier studies suggested this to be the case.
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Vegetarianism and BMI
In general, it can be seen that the BMI and thus the body weight are lower if less meat and fish are eaten. The scientists led by the author Evelyn Medawar attribute this fact to the fact that less highly processed foods are also eaten by doing without. “Above all, products that are excessively high in fat and sugar make you fat. They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of fullness. If you do without animal foods, you eat fewer such products on average,” says Medawar. In addition, the intestinal health and activity can benefit from the fiber in plant-based food, which also makes you full faster.
Logical conclusion for Medawar: “People who eat mainly plant-based foods may therefore consume less energy.” They may also have a higher health awareness and thus a generally healthier lifestyle.
The influence on the BMI is apparently particularly great with so-called primary animal foods such as meat, fish or sausage. In the case of secondary animal products, i.e. eggs, milk or cheese, the relationship is therefore not significant. Medawar sums up: “The fact that a person had a 1.2 point lower BMI meant on average that they completely renounced certain animal products, such as the primary ones, and followed a vegetarian diet. Or that they continued to eat meat and fish ate, but this less often overall. ” A subsequent study with the university hospital should provide more information.
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Vegetable nutrition and its effects on the psyche
The scientists also examined to what extent a vegetarian or vegan diet has an influence on a person’s ex- or introvertedness. They found out that the “plant-eaters” are less extroverted. “It’s hard to say why that is,” admits study director Veronica Witte. The explanation that introverted people may often have stricter eating habits “or more socially demarcate themselves due to their eating habits” is insufficient as a reason for the scientist. Auch The vast area of the correlation between human characteristics and diet needs further research.
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Apparently, however, a vegetarian diet can be exonerated from the suspicion of favoring depression and, in general, of being chosen especially by neurotic people. Earlier studies had found connections here.
Witte explains: “It is possible that other factors had blurred the results in previous analyzes, including the BMI or conspicuous personality traits that are known to be related to depression values. We calculated these out.” In addition, the significantly increased acceptance and spread of a plant-based diet would probably do the rest.
In conclusion, it can be said that further research should be carried out in this field. When it comes to weight loss, however, you are always on the right side if you use processed foods such as ready meals and the like as rarely as possible. Even if you don’t want to radically renounce animal products: less is more, meat and sausages don’t have to be on the table every day. The variety of plant-based foods is enormous and it tastes good!
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