A team at George Washington University School of Medicine in Washington in the US recently tried pinpoint how much weight a person loses if they switch from being an omnivore to a vegetarian.
The research, which reviewed previous studies and was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, showed participants who cut meat out of their diets lost around 10lbs on average without monitoring their calorie intake or increasing the amount they exercised.
The saying goes you are what you eat, and that relates to your digestive system as much as any other part of your body.
A 2014 study exploring the difference between the gut bacteria found in omnivores, vegans and vegetarians found differences in all three.
However, the biggest variation was between omnivores and vegans – who don’t consume any animal products whatsoever.
Researchers at City University of New York found that vegans had more protective species of gut bacteria.
A recent World Health Organization report classed processed meat as carcinogenic, and so products such as bacon and salami found themselves categorized alongside formaldehyde, gamma radiation and cigarettes. Red meat was also labeled as “probably” having cancer causing properties.
Eating just a 50g portion of processed meat – or two rashers of bacon a day – increases the risk of bowel cancer by 18 per cent, the experts concluded.
Scientists recently found that red meat is linked to heart disease. A study be Lerner Research Institute in the US showed that carnitine, a nutrient found in the food, sets of gut microbe reactions which contribute to the development of heart disease.
“This adds to the growing body of data reinforcing a connection between red meat, carnitine ingestion and heart disease development,” said lead author Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, Vice Chair of Translational Research for the Lerner Research Institute and Section Head of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation, according to a report by the Cleveland Health Clinic.