I am really trying to find the right vegetarian diet for me. I am very overweight which is made worse by a medication.
However, I would like to try to eat less meat anyway and see if it is possible for me to be vegetarian most of the time.
I seem to need ample protein to feel full. I do have hyperinsulinemia based on my body response to certain foods.
I am worried that cutting out the meat would not only worsen my satiety problems but also cause me more trouble with hormones that would worsen my cholesterol further and send me toward diabetes. I do not have diabetes now but my Mom does.
I do not know how to start learning what I need to learn. I love animals and the planet and would be happy if I could live in harmony with those principles. I would really like to receive your information and help. I am 50 yrs old. - S.P.
You could benefit from moving toward a more vegetarian diet - anybody could! High cholesterol, heart disease, and diabetes all respond well to plant based diets diets.
I've heard from a number of people who've lost weight through a vegetarian diet, usually a vegan diet, which has no animal products whatsoever. They are strongly motivated, usually by life threatening medical problems, and committed to succeeding.
I've also known people who have continued to struggle with their weight even though vegetarian.
So vegetarian diet is not a cure all - diet and weight loss or weight gain is a very individual thing.
Based on your medical and weight problems, combined, you should probably have medical supervision for any dietary changes, or at least have your doctor refer you to a dietician who can help you.
Dean Ornish is a strong proponent of vegetarian weight loss diets, and several others have similar approaches.
I don't agree with fat free diets over the long term, as the body needs some fat (healthy mono-unsaturated fats, like omega 3 & 6). I also feel that high protein weight loss diets are dangerous.
I think you're most likely to succeed if you can come up with a healthy vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet that you like and can stick with long term, along with an exercise program. Even if it takes years, you'll be much more likely to reach and maintain a healthy weight that way.
Judith Kingsbury, Savvy Vegetarian