test-Dr. Baumgartner: Are You Better Off Going Vegetarian?
Food & Nutrition
Dr. Baumgartner: Are You Better Off Going Vegetarian?
Lee Swanson • February 11, 2014

Dear friends,

Today's "video lesson" from Dr. Joel J. Baumgartner, MD, is all about diet. Specifically, Dr. Baumgartner reviews the vegetarian diet and tries to answer the question from the title of this post. Unfortunately, the question gets complicated by the presence of pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones and other modern day farming techniques used to produce our food. Please watch the short video below and share with me your comments at the bottom of today's post. As always, I wish you the very best of health. ~Lee Swanson

Let's talk about meat. So grandma always says, 'What are we eating for dinner? We're going to have meat, new potatoes.' Right? It's a staple. Meat's a staple for a lot of our diets. But you know what? A vegetarian diet is becoming more embraced as well. And we really need to understand the difference between meats and vegetables. Is it good to have meats? Is it bad to have meats? Or am I better off just becoming a vegetarian? The better off to become a vegetarian answer to that, from a scientific perspective, is vegetables, fruits are amazing. They carry a ton of antioxidants. They have certain sources of protein. They have good fats. So vegetables and fruits is really the crux of what our diet should be made of.

We definitely want to have a lot of fruits and vegetables. When it comes to fruits and vegetables you want to pick the right ones. You want to eat what grandma used to eat in the 1950s. Back in the 1950's we didn't have as much pesticides, herbicides. We didn't have as much huge farming going on so the stuff she grew in her garden is probably pretty healthy for you. If you're going to be buying stuff from the store make sure that, one, you're either peeling it or buying organic. So if the stuff you're eating has a peel on it, like an apple, or say a cherry, you're probably better off spending that extra dollar buying organic apples or cherries, as opposed to eating the skin. Because the skin, in the long run, now that I'm doing something healthy, eating an apple, but in the end the pesticides are going to rot you on the inside.

So when it comes to skin, either skin it or buy organic. When it comes to meat, the same thing with meat. Meat is great. Meat has a lot of protein in it. It's got a lot of good amino acids. We need amino acids and protein to heal our bodies, to be in an anabolic state, to maintain our youth. But at the same time, the way meat has been processed and being produced right now, there's a lot of controversy there as well. Some things are being grown to be too big. There's a lot of antibiotics and different things that are in our large animal meets, like cows and those types of things, so you can either go organic and do a grass feed dairy cow or grass fed beef cow. You're going to have less hormones. You're going to have less of the herbicides and pesticides that the cows are eating. Or you can pick smaller animals. They're finding that even a turkey or a chicken, whether it's organic or not, are going to have a lot less hormones because they're a small animal.

If you do have the means to get an organic chicken, the studies are showing that, yes, you're going to have less of the other things in there. And I think eggs is a great way to get protein as well. You know, eggs you crack. You don't have a lot of stuff in there, but they're going to have a lot of good omega 3 fatty acids. So when it comes down to it you really have to weigh out what's best for you. What do you like to eat? If you love meat, that's fine. If you're a vegetarian that's great too. Make healthy choices but make sure you're educated on what you eat.