Removing meat from the daily diet can reduce the risk of obesity by 50%. This is the conclusion of a study involving 16,000 people.
Scientists argue that if people eat a few more meals without meat and bring a weekly intake of fruits and vegetables to their diet, they would be able to maintain a normal body weight.
Previous studies have shown that vegetarians tend to be more supple than other people, but scientists say that the “flexitarianism”, meaning the decrease in the amount of meat from food and the increase in fruit and vegetable consumption, is an alternative for those who cannot give up meat.
“It is not a radical shift to vegetarian diet, it is a smooth transition. It’s not strict”, said Professor Maria Bes-Rastrollo of Navarra University in Spain, who led the study.
Meat consumption is considered to be one of the main causes of weight gain due to the high fat and calorie content.
The study looked at the eating behavior of 16,000 people over a 10-year period and revealed that 584 people became obese, according to The Times.
The main conclusion was that the more people have consumed more plants and less meat, the lower the risk of obesity, regardless of age, initial weight, and other unhealthy habits, such as sedentarism.
Bes-Rastrollo explained that, according to the data collected, the risk of obesity was 15% higher among 20% of people who had the highest dietary foods.
On the other hand, the risk of obesity was up to 43% lower for those who ate very little meat.
The study also shows that even people in the group closest to vegetarianism continued to consume 142 grams of meat a day but compensated for this by consuming high amounts of fruit, vegetables, nuts and olive oil.
So, in order to keep the danger of obesity away, scientists recommend a part-time vegetarian diet that does not exclude meat, but reduces the frequency of this food in the daily diet.
Meat is not only a threat to the risk of obesity. Large meat consumption has been associated with the emergence of diseases such as cardiovascular disease and even cancer.