The popular myth that’s sabotaging health-conscious Australians

As I’m sure you’ve noticed, the news I share comes from across the globe–not just within this country. And I came across a very funny headline the other day that I couldn’t wait to share with you:

“The Australian vegetarian: Thin, sober and moody.”

I laughed so hard I almost fell out of my seat.

First of all, you know how I feel about vegetarianism. I fully support any patient’s decision not to eat meat, if that’s what they feel is right for them.

But if you’re doing it for health reasons, I definitely urge you to reconsider. Because we’re not genetically hardwired to be vegetarians, plain and simple.

If you choose that route for other reasons, I respect that. But you should know that a plant-based diet does not come without its own set of health and planet destroying problems.

Apparently, young Australians are largely unaware of this fact. Because research shows that more and more of them are choosing vegetarianism–or at least minimizing meat consumption–in recent years.

According to statistics, the number of Australians over age of 14 who claim to be entirely or mostly vegetarian has grown significantly in the last four years–up from 1.6 million to 1.9 million.

But while that may not seem like a lot of people to us, in reality, this misguidedly “health conscious” population accounts for a good 10 percent of the entire Australian population.

Interestingly, I was having a similar conversation the other day with an Australian I met. This Aussie said there appeared to be more people into holistic health and things of that nature in Australia as compared to the United States.

You’d think that would be a good thing, right? But I guess it also means that the vegetarian myth–among others–still has a firm hold on this particular segment of “health nuts.”

On the bright side, Australian vegetarians are 50 percent more likely to favor natural medicine and health products. And they’re 23 percent more likely to be into sports and other physical activities.

I certainly can’t complain about that. But here’s the kicker. These vegetarians are also 27 percent more likely to be under the age of 35. So really, these responses aren’t too surprising.

They’re at an age when they’re less vulnerable to many illnesses and medical conditions anyway. Of course they’re going to be healthier and more active.

But they’re not healthier in every respect… which brings me to the main problem I have with this lifestyle.

Australian vegetarians are also 47 percent more likely to agree that “a low fat diet is a way of life for me.” And it’s only a matter of time before that low fat diet thing comes around and bites them in the you-know-what.

That is, if it hasn’t already.

I hate to say “I told you so.” But for all of that supposedly “healthy” living, vegetarians still have some serious disadvantages in some pretty significant areas.

For one thing, they’re 59 percent more likely to have been anemic in the last year. And they’re also 24 percent more likely to be dealing with mood disorders like anxiety, depression, panic attacks, or eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia.

And that, dear readers, is exactly what a deficiency of healthy fats in your diet will do to you.

It bears repeating that fats derived from organic, grass-fed animals are among the healthiest fats you can eat. And they’re a thousand times better for you than garbage like canola or soybean oil.

Just a little something to think about the next time you consider turning down a juicy, grass-fed hamburger.

Chibber, Ankush. “The Australian vegetarian: Thin, sober and moody.” 28 Oct 2013.