Revisiting information about vegetarian diets from Raw Food Explained. Today will go over the "unrestricted vegetarian diet"
3. The Types Of Vegetarian Diets
Although we can strictly define what a vegetarian is, there is not a standard vegetarian diet. Some vegetarians eat everything but meat; others eat cheese and eggs. There are vegetarians who eat only raw foods and vegetarians who eat strictly cooked foods. There are even vegetarians that never eat vegetables, and those that eat fish and still call themselves vegetarians.
Clearly, there is no one vegetarian diet and there are several dietary approaches to vegetarianism. The only thing common to all true vegetarian diets is a strict avoidance of flesh. Since vegetarian diets are so popular among health seekers, you should know the different types and the advantages and disadvantages of each.
For the sake of convenience, vegetarian diets have been divided into six general categories. Each category of diet is explained, and its strengths and weaknesses are noted.
3.1 The Unrestricted Vegetarian Diet
This particular form of vegetarianism is simple to describe: its adherents eat everything but meat. Vegetarians who follow an unrestricted diet consume dairy products, eggs, and even animal fat in the form of lard occasionally. They eat sugar, white flour, salt, fried foods, fast foods, and junk foods.
They eat just about anything that cannot crawl, swim, or run. And they are often very unhealthy.
I met a man and his wife who had been vegetarians for over ten years. They were both fighting a serious weight problem.
"I never thought I'd be an overweight vegetarian," the man joked with me, "but Susan and I each weigh nearly twenty-five pounds more than when we got married ten years ago."
I worked with the man, and had a chance to see how he became a fat vegetarian. His diet was unrestricted to say the least. He continually drank soft drinks with sugar because he didn't want those "artificial sweeteners." He certainly enjoyed ice cream, and ate many of his lunches from vending machines in the form of snack cakes and cookies.
His wife and himself enjoyed cooking gourmet vegetarian meals, and they used eggs, butter, and cream in all of their cooking for a rich taste.
One day he told me: "You know, I hate to say it, but I think Susan and I are going to have to start eating meat again."
I was astonished. After ten years, he and his wife were going back to eating animals. Why, I asked him.
"Well, we read a book that said some people are probably not meant to be vegetarians. It has to do with the pituitary gland, and how it needs animal protein to be stimulated. When your gland is stimulated by eating meat, your metabolism increases and you lose weight. We keep getting fat on a vegetarian diet, so I guess we'll try something new. Susan's fixing fish tonight, and it'll probably be pretty strange eating meat after all these years. Still," he said as he patted his stomach, "I'll eat anything to get rid of this."
Of course that was exactly his problem. He had been eating "anything" and everything on his vegetarian diet. Listen to what Dr. Herbert M. Shelton has to say about vegetarians who follow such an unrestricted diet:
"Vegetarians often have the erroneous idea that the rejection of meat is all that is required to carry them into dietetic heaven. They do not know that a vegetarian diet may be even more dangerous than a properly-planned mixed diet. Indeed, the eating of most vegetarians is so abominable that one cannot blame people for not following them."
The unrestricted, eat-anything-you-like vegetarian diet is indeed poorer than the diet which includes meat but rejects other unnatural foods. Meat eating, for example, has been around much longer than white sugar, white flour, preservatives, and other junk foods. There is more in man's background that predisposes him to a raw hunk of meat than to a sugary ice cream cone.
This is not to say that we should consume meat in preference to vanilla ice cream; neither has a place in the healthful diet. Some vegetarians have only seen half the truth, and remain "ice cream" vegetarians—addicted to junk foods and sugar, while proudly rejecting meat.
The unrestricted vegetarian diet has little to recommend it. It is certainly better than an unrestricted meal diet, yet it cannot be depended upon to build and maintain health. In summary, the unrestricted vegetarian diet can be evaluated as follows:
Advantages: All flesh and meat products are eschewed which reduces the level of toxicity in the diet.
Disadvantages: Old and poor diet habits are maintained. Junk foods are often substituted for the missing meat. The person is deluded into thinking that he has improved his diet, when in effect, only a small portion of the harmful foods has been removed.
Compared to the Life Science Diet: The only thing the unrestricted vegetarian diet has in common with the recommended Life Science diet is the mutual avoidance of meat. Other than that, the unrestricted vegetarian diet is more closely aligned with the traditional American diet than with the Life Science diet.