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Vegetarian diets linked to poor health and depression in meaty new study

Should you follow a vegetarian diet?
Should you follow a vegetarian diet?
Photo by Neilson Barnard

If you have stacks of soybean curd in your refrigerator and a tofurkey in your freezer, you may want to take a big, refreshing gulp of non-dairy almond milk to prepare for the latest diet news. Researchers say that vegetarianism is linked to poorer quality of life, more need for health care and higher incidences of cancer, allergies and mental health problems, reported Refinery 29 on April 4.

As for all the plant-based dieters citing saturated fat fears for staying away from steak, the researchers also found that vegetarians had higher rate of heart attack and chronic illness.

In this "bring on the bacon" study, the scientists divided research participants into different diet groups:

  • vegetarian
  • carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables
  • carnivorous diet less rich in meat
  • carnivorous diet rich in meat

And the results weren't pretty for plant-based diets. The vegetarians had significantly higher rates of anxiety and depression (perhaps because they were searching so hard for a way to make tofu taste like something other than, well, tofu?). They also suffered from overall higher rates of health problems.

However, the vegetarians did win for lower rates of hypertension when compared to all groups except for the meat eaters who ate large amounts of fruits and vegetables.

So let's dissect what these groupings mean (click the links for more information on each category):

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