My disclaimer before I get into the rest of this post: I’m 37 years old, 6 feet tall, 210 pounds and eat a ton of meat every day. My blood pressure is 114/70 and all my cholesterol numbers are extremely healthy (HDL 89, LDL 92). Waist circumference is 33.9 inches. I weight train like a powerlifter 4 days a week doing a conjugated program now, but have done a couple years of 5/3/1 on and off with other programming in between like Amit Sapir’s The simple no-machines workout or Christian Thibaudeau’s Indigo project.
I do not compete against anyone but myself.
The reason for this post is that my brother-in-law wants to see how switching from a vegetarian diet to a meat/dairy diet might improve or decline someone’s athletic ability or overall health. Most studies are done on unhealthy people going from a meat eater diet to vegetarian. So what effect does switching from a vegetarian diet to a meat/dairy diet have on otherwise healthy athletes who are vegetarian?
My reference is to this article and he had some questions and challenged the results in this article:
My brother-in-law is a triathlete and a vegan (*and 1 more disclaimer, he’s the CEO of a major hospital). I showed him the above article and he referenced to me a study done that showed changing a diet to a plant based one had significant health benefits. I don’t have a reference to the study but will try to get one from him. Here are the results (I believe the study was done at his hospital and these are the doctor’s findings):
"I used n=22 patients for weights/BMI and n=20 patients for labs
LDL dropped 21.4%, HDL dropped 7.7%, triglycerides dropped 4.8%, and total cholesterol 15%
These are pretty impressive numbers to demonstrate what a plant based diet can achieve in 10 days!!
Weight lost 4.1 lbs
LDL 94.2->17.2 17%
HDL 58.2–>52.5 9.8%
Triglycerides 90.2–>87 3.5%
Total chol 174–>140 19.5%"
I did argue with him that these are the results of unhealthy people dropping McDonald’s for a vegetarian diet for 10 days and anyone who does this will see drastic results, but I digress…
So I’m (he’s) curious about this:
“Please have TNation do a 10 day study adding more meat and dairy into an eating regimen to compare similar outcomes. Let me know your thoughts. This cardiologist is not vegan but loved the results. Ask T-Nation if they would sponsor a study to ADD more meat and dairy to check on impact of the health metrics I shared with you (beyond bmi). This is about reducing chronic diseases which accounts for over 80% of healthcare costs. No doubt T-Nation wants to be part of the solution.”
I did mention the target audience of Tnation is more by way of competitors of strength, aesthetics and athleticism and not necessarily the dietary target audience of unhealthy people who see the treadmill and a gluten free diet as their best means to getting in shape.
Another disclaimer: I read T-Nation daily and value everything on this site. I work out at home in my power rack, follow diet recommendations and strategies and workout programs exclusively from this site. I chose this site because I’m stronger and healthier than I’ve ever been and I attribute that to the knowledge I’ve acquired from all the contributors to/on this site. While I don’t buy the supplements I use from here, I do mix my own from bulk powders that are similar to the ingredients found in the top supplements on this site.
Thanks for reading. I told him I would write something but was in doubt that anything would actually come of this; but certainly no study would be done if I didn’t ask. Would T-Nation be willing to test this out and post an article off the results? Are there studies already available that show that adding meat/dairy to a diet improves overall health?
I look forward to any insight generated from this post.