It is fairly common for people with eating disorders to be vegetarian. This is problematic for recovery at a philosophical level because not eating meat means you're restricting an entire food group and missing out on some really beneficial stuff.
- High-quality protein – Each serving of meat contains the vast majority of amino acids which are the building blocks of protein. Plant-based sources have an incomplete amino acid profile, making meat a much more convenient source of protein.
- Iron – Meat iron (also called "heme iron") is much better absorbed than non-heme iron in plants.
- Zinc – Goes hand-in-hand with iron.
- Vitamin B12 – There are no known plant sources of B12. Meat is hands-down the best source, along with dairy. Studies have shown that 2/3 of vegetarians are B12 deficient.
- Enjoyment – Let's be honest, meat tastes good. Why do you think that so many vegetarian meat substitutes mimic the flavor of real meat? And stop trying to convince yourself that your tofurkey bacon tastes like the real thing. It doesn't.
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