Many of us are aware of the positive effects of eating less meat has on the environment, but what is less clear is how vegetarianism changes us as human beings… until now that is.
A recent study revealed that a plant-based diet typically results in a lower body mass index but also in a more introverted personality. Interestingly, the research couldn’t find much of a connection between a vegetarian diet and lifting or worsening overall mood.
The study by the Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences examined over 9,000 people in Germany and tried to discover just how a vegetarian diet affects the body and the mind (disregarding age, gender, or education level). It’s already interesting to read about the vegetarianism pros and cons discussed by Biomes, but meat-eaters and vegetarians alike will find some of the following details quite fascinating from the research.
- Less meat consumed in someone’s diet resulted in a lower body mass index on average, meaning a reduced body weight overall. It’s thought that a vegetarian diet results in consuming less heavily processed foods. “Products that are excessively rich in fat and sugar are particularly fattening. They stimulate the appetite and delay the feeling of satiety. If you avoid animal foods, you consume fewer such products on average,” says Evelyn Medawar, an author working on the project and who was published in the journal ‘Nutrients’.
- Vegetarian food holds dietary fibres that work well in the intestine to fill you up quicker and leave you feeling satisfied faster.
- Those with a plant-based diet appeared to be more introverted than those eating meat, which might be because of the feeling that their diet excludes them from certain events and establishments. “It could be because more introverted people tend to have more restrictive eating habits or because they are more socially segregated because of their eating habits,” says study leader Veronica Witte. “Earlier analyses had found that more neurotic people were generally more likely to avoid certain groups of foods and to behave more restrictively”.
Vegetarian meals can be incredibly fun
Don’t forget that presentation, portion size, and sauces are just some healthy meal hacks and these can make veggie meals far more exciting. It’s also important to eat fun, creative meals and move away from the idea of “carrots and lettuce” as the only option for a vegetarian dish. As you can find here, there are many tasty and simple-to-make veggie dishes that even meat-eaters will probably love, such as avocado, black bean and charred tomato bowl, basil, corn and tomato pizza, and farro, green bean and kale salad.
Try cooking more and if you’re moving away from eating meat, don’t be too hard on yourself and transition slowly. Most experts recommend a gradual approach, such as meat twice a week for a while, then once a week, then every other week, and then a fully vegetarian diet. Don’t go full vegan if you think you’ll still miss dairy products and eggs!
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