Your question: “I am considering becoming a vegetarian. I hope that this will improve my health, prevent disease and reduce cellulite. What is your opinion?”

 

Our answer:

The same things that cause degenerative disease such as cancer and heart disease also cause cellulite, so you are right to think that there must be one solution that can both improve your health and reduce cellulite. This simple, single solution requires you to:

  • Exercise and move a lot throughout the day (walking, cycling etc.)
  • Eat loads of vegetables, pulses and non-sweet fruits
  • Avoid all carbohydrates (especially high GI ones) unless you exercise or move a lot
  • Avoid saturated fats, hydrogenated fats and all fried food
  • Avoid artificial chemicals and toxins found in foods, contraceptive medication and other unnecessary medication
  • Eat a good amount of protein, mainly found in meat, fish and beans
  • Eat a good amount of higher order omega-3 oils, found in seaweed, oily fish and certain meats

 

Think not of vegetarian food, think of high quality food

As you can see from the list above, it is not vegetarianism that will make the difference, it is unprocessed, low calorie, high nutrient food, i.e. high quality food.

A vegetarian diet can be as bad as a meat-based diet: most fried or hydrogenated oils used in restaurants and in processed food (think pastries, sweets, crisps, biscuits, pies...) are vegetarian - this doesn't make them healthy. White bread, white rice, most brown bread, cheese, sugar, beer, jam, high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), pop corn, fries, corn flakes, cola drinks are all vegetarian - this doesn't mean they do not cause heart disease and cellulite, especially if combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Tofu, soya milk and textured soya protein, the staple of many mislead vegetarians, are processed foods that undermine your health - clearly not the way to go, and not what vegetarianism should be all about.

If, however, vegetarianism for you involves eating loads of vegetables (cooked or salads), non-sweet fruits, beans, seaweed, natural fermented soya (think tempeh, miso, natto and quality soya sauce), some nuts and a small amount of low GI starchy foods, then this will indeed protect you health and reduce/prevent cellulite. If you cheat a little bit and eat some organic or wild (but ethically sourced) oily fish, this will protect your health and appearance even more. In any case, you must ensure that you get enough protein through your food - many dieting women or vegetarians simply do not get enough protein, and this can lead to muscle and skin looseness.

On the other hand, eating organic, low fat, unprocessed meat and poultry is also good for you and will not increase your chances of contracting heart disease, cancer or cellulite. It will actually give you the necessary protein you need to keep your muscles and skin in good shape. Where the problem lies with today's non-vegetarian diets is that they comprise of meat originating from unhealthy (often sick), fattened animals, birds or fish that are treated with all sorts of chemicals and drugs which obviously can not be good for your health.

Wild venison with 3% fat or wild Alaskan salmon rich in wonderful omega-3s can be considered health foods, whilst a beef steak with 30% saturated fat and remnants of all sorts of chemicals, hormones and antibiotics is definitely a health liability and a cause of cellulite.

Similarly, corn flakes or puffed rice with milk and sugar or fried noodles with fried tofu are not what I would consider cellulite-preventing foods, whilst a large leaf salad with herbs, beans, fresh lemon juice, some olive oil and some pine nuts is real, healthy, cellulite-preventing food!

In summary, it is not about animal or vegetable food, it's about quality, unprocessed, natural, healthy food, very rich on vegetables. This is what will keep your heart healthy and your legs free from cellulite!