a 3 minute read – By Dr. Christopher Lepisto

Back in 2012, an enthusiastic doctor (me) wrote an article comparing a plant-based (either vegetarian or plant-rich such as the Mediterranean diet) vs a meat-consuming diet. Reading the article this morning over a cup of coffee, I can see how my thought process has evolved. In the early 2000s, I was taught that soy was a better substitute for meat products (wrong), that low-fat diets were better for the heart (wrong again), and that canola (rapeseed) oil was an ideal and quality oil (doubly wrong.) The amount of fat I used to recommend was an Ornish-like diet of 15% fats. This is far too restrictive for anyone but the most disciplined of eaters.

Honoring that people sometimes make choices based on their spiritual or ethical beliefs, I anchor my recommendations in the evidence that meat-consuming cultures live longer with a more relaxed and satisfying approach to eating, in my clinical experience. More concerning are indications that “some vegetarians, especially vegans who are consuming restrictive diets, are at greater risk of developing haemorrhagic stroke, bone fractures, and a range of vitamin and mineral deficiencies that are particularly dangerous for growing children and pregnant and breastfeeding women.”

Keeping in mind that the body synthesizes cholesterol and is essential for proper nerve signal conduction, the consumption of cholesterol-rich animal fats takes the burden off the body. Yes, the cholesterol in plant forms such as coconut also counts.

The quality of animal proteins is important. Feed lots and salmon farms utilize antibiotics, hormones or pesticides, all detrimental in some fashion, but tolerated (or not even considered), for the sake of easy steak on the plate.

Interested in a healthier, balanced approach to nutrition? Start with the Weston A Price Foundation, based on the work of Dr Weston A Price, a dentist who travelled the world in the early 1900s, studying the dental health of people around the world and the differences between indigenous and westernized diets. When you are ready for a detailed, tailored set of nutritional recommendations, give me a call at 970.250.4104. I’m happy to get you back to feeling strong and enjoying life again.