T Nation

Health Effects Going From Vegetarian to Carnivore

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
BMI -0.6
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.

[quote]marc4497 wrote:
Health Effects Going From Vegetarian to Carnivore[/quote]
It’s omnivore, not carnivore.

No comment. :wink:


Weight lost 4.1 lbs
BMI -0.6
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%"[/quote]
You/he might be interested to know that about six years ago, I went vegetarian for a month and then vegan for the following month. Just an experiment I did for the sake of experimenting.

I lost 12 pounds of bodyweight without intending to (the goal was to maintain weight, pretty sure I ended up simply undereating). My fasted blood markers changing as follows:
Total cholesterol: 168 to 155
HDL: 43 to 34
LDL: 125 to 121
Triglycerides: 151 to 124

Ha, that’s not a digression, that’s a gigantic big glaring hole in his argument. Put somebody, or any body, on an organized nutrition plan that’s higher in fiber, lower in processed foods/sugar, and contains more produce than they’ve previously been getting, and of course you’re going to see weight loss and improved health markers.

ActivitiesGuy talked a ton about this insanely overlooked “loophole” in this recent thread. Tons of great info here:

Wait, so he’s the CEO of a major hospital, but he wants a website devoted to the intelligent and relentless pursuit of muscle to sponsor a study looking into the health effects of a certain diet? I think the dude needs a burger because his brain is malfunctioning.

That’s not cool, man. If you’re getting results from the site’s info, the least you could do is pick up some supplements once in a while to help keep the lights on.

I don’t want to officially speak for T-Nation as a whole, but, no. I’m fairly certain that’s not going to happen.

I don’t get how so many vegans are supposedly intelligent people that have education and the means to spend so many dollars on their foods (which are far from being part of any original diet but that’s not my main point)

And YET are so deluded when it comes to analyzing pro-vegan studies.

I’m getting mega downvoted on Reddit right now, going against the mass religion on one of their pro-vegans topic aha. Crazy brainwashing.

(And I don’t even eat a lot of animals)

I doubt 10 days of switching to vegan would change much, so as vice versa.

Also you can perfectly build muscle without red meat but expecting a vegan 280 lb strongman without significant use of PED’s is a very very unrealistic idea.

“I have won the German Log-lifting Championship every year since it was held for the first time in 2009. I have set three world records, after turning vegan in 2011.” -Patrik Baboumiam

Patrik is a 280lb vegan strongman, and there are others who seem to have no problem building size and strength from a plant-based diet. I personally tried going vegan years ago (for the first time) and got weak and lost weight like we hear other guys doing when they attempt this without the proper guidance.

Then a couple years later I ran across some articles and meal plans on what the “successful” vegetarian bodybuilders were eating and I gave it another go, this time with success. I also tried vegan again and was able to get strong as hell, but after some diligent note taking on what was working best for me, I have settled on a pesco-vegetarian diet - which means I eat fish, eggs, and dairy (all organic and sustainable sourced). My point here is not blindly think there aren’t other ways to get big and strong without copious amounts of meat because if you do any real research there are plenty of examples.