A new study confirms that meat-eating encourages weight gain.
Researchers from the American Cancer Society studied 79,236 young and middle-aged men and women, measuring their diets in 1982 and again in 1992. Those who ate more than three servings of meat per week were much more likely to gain weight as the years went by, compared to those who tended to avoid meat.
The more vegetables the participants ate, the more resistant they were to weight gain.
Previous studies have shown that people who switch to a vegetarian diet become, on average, about 10 percent leaner.
Dr. Dean Ornish’s study using vegetarian diets to reverse heart disease also yielded an impressive 22-pound average weight loss per person in the first year.
Dr. Andrew Nicholson’s diabetes study found that a vegan diet knocked off an average of 16 pounds in 12 weeks.
Part of the problem with meats is their fat content; even skinless chicken breast is 20 percent fat. But meats are also very high in protein and have no complex carbohydrate or fiber. High-protein, low-carb diets tend to inactivate thyroid hormone, which, in turn, may lead to weight gain.