Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    Austrian study - vegetarians less healthy
    heretk posted:
    ... compared with meat eaters.
    jc3737 responded:
    Were there any conflicts of interest?

    If not then it shows meat is not as bad for you as has been speculated.

    However, This study probably does not compare meat diets with a healthy vegan diet such as the Fuhrman/McDougall diets and may just be saying:

    Meat and fat are less harmful than sugar(a major component of vegetarian diets).... and its sugar which compares less favorably than meat and fat.But it does not say that meat and fat are necessarily healthful.
    max9821 replied to jc3737's response:

    Here is a short discussion of this from the McDougall board. You will particularly note HealthLongevity's comments and can, from this, link up to Don Matesz's site. If I knew how to do it I would have just posted HealthyLongevity's comments.

    Experiments from the twenties and thirties show that sugar is safer than fats and meat and the Rice diet used fruit, white rice and sugar to lower blood pressures, improve diabetes and improve kidney function.

    I do wonder however about Austrian vegetarians. They turn out to be, unlike plant based eaters in other parts of the world, unhealthy. Although there is probably no traditional group that completely eschews meat, there are a couple of billion asians who eat mostly grains and vegetables and are healthy and long lived.

    And what the heck is a vegetarian? Ask ten people who claim to be vegetarian what they eat and you will most likely come up with ten different menus.

    Nice to hear from you H. Hope all is well with you and those dear to you.

    crow89 responded:
    Right on target heretk.I read the postings every day and this is the first one in a long time that makes any sense.
    jc3737 replied to max9821's response:
    Dolores,Would you mind posting the earlier experiments or studies that show sugar is healthier than fat and meat.

    This study says the opposite.That meat did not come off all that bad when compared to carbs has to mean junk carbs and that means sugar.

    So,in this study sugar came out worse than fat and meat.

    Statistically i think meat comes out behind a healthy vegan diet but I KNOW first hand its not all as bad as it is potrayed.How do i know....i have a very large number of friends and realtives living long healthy live from mid 80's to mid 90s.....and they gobble meat at every meal.

    There are just far too many to be rare exceptions but i would would agree that statistically a vegan diet is better.
    jc3737 replied to crow89's response:
    Why can't you just say that you agree with Heretic instead of saying his is the only one that makes any sense....that implies the rest don't make sense....and i disagree strongly with that.
    max9821 responded:

    Here is a link to a talk by McDougall. If you start it at about 28 minutes you will see slides with journal references. He discusses the work of Himsworth of 1927 and Sweeney in the thirties. Also Kempner from 1939. And others including one in seventy one.

    The book, the Pritikin Program for Diet and Exercise, has in the appendix, discussions of various studies with references starting on page 353.

    There are the studies of Ornish and Esselstyn. And Barnard. And earlier, Anderson in Kentucky. Many of these studies showed that diabetics do better on a diet without fat. Sugar seems to improve insulin resistance.

    Now I will ask for someone to show me a studies using patients who have just had an MI or by pass surgery or stents or who have been having angina attacks who were put on a low carb diet and either halted progression of their disease or reversed it and had no further events or needed no more invasive procedures.

    I am not saying it is impossible. I just want to see it. If I saw better results with this type of diet for heart and artery patients believe me when I tell you I would switch.

    I do not doubt that there are people out there who eat the SAD or high fat or high animal protein who live to a ripe old age with all their faculties and in pretty spry good health. It does not sound like these people have ever been heart patients. Nor do we know if eating a high carb, low fat would have a positive or negative affect on them.

    I once read of a community of eastern european Jews who ate a diet of fatty rich animal protein food and were healthy as horses. But no one ever wrote if they were that healthy because of their diet or despite their diet. Did they have genes the rest of us would kill for so that any diet would result in long life? Or not?

    I would also refer you to Jimmy Moore who wrote about his great weight loss success on the atkins diet. He now earns his living with his low carb pulpit. Then Jimmy gained the weight back. (he is not worried about his 345 total cholesterol number or his 245 LDL number.) Did he not stick to his diet? Why did he regain the weight? He decided it was because he ate too much protein and not enough fat and has gone on a much higher fat diet and I believe has lost a lot , if not most of, the weight. Let's keep our eyes on Jimmy.

    jc3737 replied to max9821's response:
    For someone that has severe heart trouble I would say the McDougall style diet would be best.....and it would probably be good for a healthy 70 yr old.But for the average person would it give them a big advantage?The clear answer is maybe not in a great many cases..... but statistically it probably would.

    Why can so many eat meat at every meal and still be so healthy?There must be some factors other than diet we have yet to identify.I am not one who can do that.A plant based diet was forced on me.

    The main thing this study points out is that for large numbers of people meat is not as unhealthy as it is often protrayed.

    I do know about the Kemper rice diet.
    max9821 replied to jc3737's response:
    There is a video in which the Diet Doctor, Eenfeldt interviews a dr. Wartman who is t2 diabetic and has been very low carbing for 11 years. He has done a study with First Nation people in western canada who regained their health after switching to something close their ancestral diet--lots of animal protein. Of course before they were eating mostly store bought highly refined and processed carbs, soda pop and lots of fried bread. I believe you can also find a video of the study which was shown on canadian tv.

    max9821 replied to max9821's response:
    It turns out dr. Wortman himself is a member of the first nation people and thus he and those in his study are quite possibly genetically adapted to the traditional diet of fish, shellfish and the oil made from small fish which spawn in the Alert Bay area yearly.

    He says in the video that people should follow traditional diets. However, in his interview with Eenfeldt when he sings the praises of low carb dieting, he does not say that this is a good diet just for the natives of the alert bay area. If everyone followed a traditional diet then he logically should approve of the rice diet of two billion asians, the potato diet of the Andes, the corn diet of mexico and central america and the wheat diet of the middle east. To be consistent and logical.

    jc3737 replied to max9821's response:
    Why do we assume the diets of these traditional cultures are as healthy as has been portrayed....corn in Mexico,rice in Asia,potato in the Andes...

    This "information" has been passed on and on without anyone questioning it.Don't the fish eating Japanese have the longest life span?.....and its really not all that longer than the meat gobbling Americans...just a few years.

    Are their senior years really any healthier?
    max9821 replied to jc3737's response:
    We do know that studies have been done of the SAD eating Pimas of Arizona and their genetic cousins the tarahumara of mexico who are very healthy on their traditional diets. I do not know about longevity but I do know that they are free of heart disease and diabetes and are not fat. Of course their more primitive lifestyle and location requires lots of exercise.

    I do know that Asians on the rice diets are healthy and long lived and that the amount of fish and soy eaten on the traditional diets are very low. No one said they were vegans.

    I do know that even if those traditional diets are not as healthy as is claimed, that those people do seem to be slimmer and mostly free of heart disease an diabetes. And we do know that asian, indian, american indian and oceanic people get these illnesses at a much lower weight than other ethnic and racial groups. So if their traditional diets were keeping them slim they were ahead of the game. Today, with western food becoming more and more popular you see the rise of obesity and diabetes in these cultures. So the traditional diets, for whatever reason must have been keeping them thin and disease at bay.

    The traditional fish and fish fat eating First Nation People of Alert Bay, Canada might have been thinner and healthier on their original diet but they may also have become genetically adapted to this diet after millenia in the far north.

    It isn't only how long you live but how well and pain and illness free you live. I have a meat eating cousin who just died from spinal cancer at the age of 88. Actually, we think his immediate cause of death was from the chemo and radiation therapy they persuaded him he needed. Before entering the hospital he was spry and lively. After three days he died. So why did he live to mostly a healthy old age eating what I ate formerly and not gain weight or have diabetes or heart disease. Who knows?

    jc3737 replied to max9821's response:
    I don't doubt these societies are thinner and somewhat free of some western diseases but I think the health differences are exaggerated.Lifespans are not really much more than western averages....but they probably are a bit healthier in their final years and need less medical intervention.But the differences have been greatly exaggerated.
    max9821 replied to jc3737's response:
    How do you gauge health? My daughter's inlaws are 76 and 80. They are attractive, interesting, active people. They travel with a shoebox full of pills. They frequently visit their doctors. If we lived in a country which only had the medical resources of some traditional societies, how healthy would we be in old age? While we are imagining we would also have to imagine a society in which injury or infection did not carry people away. But all things being equal, the question might not be how long someone lives or even how well they seem to be, but what is keeping them alive and active?

    Just about everyone I know is content and happy to have access to doctors and meds for chronic illnesses and wouldn't think of changing exercise, eating, drinking and sometimes smoking habits.

    jc3737 replied to max9821's response:
    If a few pills work I don't see a problem with taking then.At least they can have desert when they go out to eat.....and.....they can go out to eat,,,

    When my family goes out to eat all I can order is a plain baked potato.

    Spotlight: Member Stories

    My name is Ashley, I'm 20 years old. (5'6, 159 lbs). My interest in nutrition/living healthier started when at the age of 53 my father passed ...More

    Helpful Tips

    Zeal for Life
    I couldn't find my old post so I'm not sure what happened to it. I have back problems, panic issues and anxiety disorder since childhood. ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    5 of 5 found this helpful

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.