T Nation

1st Question - Animal vs Plant Diets WTF


I hear these diet gurus on the tube always saying the plant based diet is the way to go for a healthy lifestyle. At the same time I hear that when you reach my age (39) we start to loose muscle. They say 1lb of muscle a year is lost unless you get on a resistance training regimine.

**Tell me if I am wrong but would'nt I be better off eating lean animal proteins to maintain and grow my muscle mass rather than carrots? I have been living the fitness lifestyle (karate, kickboxing, MMA and weights)for 4-5 years now and feel good.

My wife is a wonderful cook and has went all organic in our house. I am not much for tofu. I like soybeans and nuts but I cannot see usung this as my entire diet. I want to stay healthy, my oldest is a wrestler in highschool and it is getting harder keeping up with him.



Nobody on this site is going to argue against eating animal-based protein, especially at an age when natural T is declining. Stick with your instincts on this one.


a plant based diet only means that you have a wide variety of veggies in your diet. It does not mean that you do not meat.

the idea is with protein is to eat at your maintenance level (~1 gm/lb of lean mass). That's it!! unless you are looking to gain, in which case you raise your intake as per your requirement.

The health aspect has more to do with the fact that plants would give you more fibre ('regularity', cholesterol, satiety, glycemic impact etc), they provide your essential micro-nutrients which keeps your body healthy.
you can get the same effect eating animal proteins as long as you take in enough plant foods to get fibre.

and thank god that your wife keeps organic stuff.


remember 30% of your cals need to come from fats to maintain T production.

This is especially important as you age.

Meat is your friend, its unhealthy not to eat lean meats.


As someone who was vegetarian for 8 years, and now only eats organic meats/wild meat, it is my opinion that a vegetarian diet is not the healthiest diet. A lot of the time it ends up being healthier than what the majority of people are eating, but that's not due to the lack of meat.

From my experience with my eating habits, I would say when I was eating the most salad and fish (around 2-3 large pieces a day) I felt the best in health terms.


For building muscle animal protein is superior. Not arguing that, However It's been pretty well documented that the more veges you eat get keep your body in an alkaline balance which keeps disease at bay. Most older vegetarians I know don't have much muscle, but they don't have many health problems that heavy meat eaters do either. In closing- for building muscle animal protein works better. If I weren't concerned with building muscle I'd eat less animal protein. I've tried vegetarian diet for building and it leaves me as flat as a movie screen so I can't do it.