A lot of people go on about how much healthier following a vegetarian or vegan diet is. And admittedly, it can be healthier than a regular diet. Except it really isn’t when you think about it.
Vegetarian diets are often touted as being far healthier than a regular, meat-eating diet. But the fact of the matter is, it really depends on what you’re eating. You can still consume some pretty fattening foods while vegetarian/vegan.
One issue lies in things like pizza. Sure, you can get vegan pizza from Pizza Hut… no cheese, use the thin or hand-tossed crusts, and load it with veggies. But the crust is solid carbs. And if you’re not vegan and you consume dairy products, you’ll probably have all the cheese on there. Meaning you’re pulling in a ton of calories.
Then there are the restaurants that offer vegetarian options like Chili’s, Red Robin, Buffalo Wild Wings, and Burger King. Burger King has a veggie burger meal and since most locations keep their fries separate from the meat when frying things, the fries are OK to eat with the meal. I’m fairly certain that the veggie burger meal isn’t too far behind the regular Whopper Jr meal calorie-wise, since the veggie burger is made up like a Whopper Jr without cheese.
Plus, you can still cook at home using unhealthy methods such as frying, which makes it that much easier to continue with an unhealthy diet even if you cut meat out of it. You can also continue to use things like high-calorie salad dressings, cheeses, and other condiments. I’ve personally found that I eat far too many carbs and I fry foods far too often even though I’m not eating meat. This means that my diet, while marginally healthier because I’m not consuming all the saturated fats found in meat, also means I’m not really eating any healthier.
Vegetarian diets can be healthier as long as you make a concerted effort to actually prepare foods using healthy cooking methods, reduce the number of carbs you eat (watch that rice and pasta), watch your condiments, and make good decisions about eating out. But in the long run, it isn’t always true that vegetarian diets are healthier than regular diets.