My thoughts and views on nutritional differences and benefits of vegetarianism/veganisum and omnivorism
Let me just set the tone a second, so I am a meat eater, always have been and will be for the immediate future, but I do feel bad and remorseful for the treatment and process the animals have to endure, and if I were to become a vegetarian or vegan it would be solely on the grounds of this.
Now before we go any further and people may or may not agree with my views, I DON'T push a client in either direction of eating meat or not, I work with their current preferences and choices and build a structure from that, if a client wants a vegan or vegetarian based plan I tend to refer them to specialists I know and work with, as I feel I have not fully tried that way of eating yet and don't possess the knowledge and skills needed to build an effective plan to achieve the best and healthiest results.
I personally believe that whether you're a vegan, vegetarian or an omnivore, all of them can increase your health, all of them can help you lose weight and even can help you build muscle. I have no doubt, there are plenty of examples of people all over the who achieved their goals on each way of eating and some people try multiple ways of eating. Regardless of any method of eating, having less calories than you use will consume protein, but this protein doesn't need to come from a meat source, it can come from vegetables, beans, pulses, oats, and nuts. The 3 main differences with getting protein from sources other than meat are:-
1) You will have to eat more food to get the same amounts, for example one chicken breast (approx 200g) has roughly 31g of protein and 200g of spinach has 6g of protein.
2) Meat has high levels of lucien which is an amino acid geared to build muscle tissue where as it's very rare in other non meat sources.
3) Meat is more nutrient bio available where amino chains are concerned. (this is the important one)
What I mean by more bio available is that when you eat meat and it's digested, your body absorbs the amino far more efficiently than from other plant based sources, now this doesn't mean you can't build and grow good muscle on a non meat diet because you can and many people have, plus when you consider that we don't need to eat half the amount of protein as we have been made to believe, at a max threshold 1g per pound of bodyweight, and, I would recommend that more when dieting than any other time to reduce muscle loss and reduce hunger while in a calorie deficit. The rest of the time between 0.5-0.8g of protein per pound of body weight is more than enough.
In terms of health, internal and external meat and non meat diets both have their merits and neither one conclusively comes out on top, so in my opinion it comes down to the individual, whether it suits their morals, digestion type, religion and personal taste this is the key that everyone is different and has different needs so don't write anything off until you have tried it for yourself, that being said to ensure you get the best from each diet structure working with a nutritionalist or dietician to ensure that you maximise your health and ability to reach your goals, it will save you a lot of money and time in the long run.
So the take home points from this is that - whether you eat meat or not you can be healthy, lose weight or gain muscle
-you don't need as much protein as you're told
-keep an open mind
-work with professionals to accelerate progress and reduce time