Some people experience unexplained weight gain when following a vegetarian diet. Why do some vegetarians gain weight rather than lose weight by switching to a vegetarian diet? The calories in cheese often explain the weight gain of vegetarians.
Eating less meat and more fruits and vegetables is good for weight loss, but some vegetarians notice weight gain. And the main reason is the increase in calories consumed. Where do these extra calories come from? Interestingly, they come primarily from dairy products, specifically cheese and butter.
It’s not true that vegetarians have to eat cheese to get enough protein, but many vegetarians think it is.
In 1950, the average US consumer ate only 7,7 pounds of cheese a year, according to the USDA. In 2004, the average American ate 31,3 pounds of cheese, so we’re seeing a 300% increase in cheese consumption. Thirty-one pounds doesn’t sound too bad, but that’s over 52 calories and 500 pounds of fat. One day this could turn into an extra 4 pounds on your hips.
Do consumers eat huge chunks of cheese? Some of it is, but beyond that, two-thirds of the cheese you eat is found in processed foods like frozen pizzas, sauces, pasta dishes, succulents, pies, and snacks. Often we don’t even know that cheese is in our food.
This is really good news for those who are willing to cut back on cheese. Avoiding cheese encourages us to eat more natural and minimally processed foods such as fruits and vegetables. This means reducing the amount of chemicals, saturated fats and hydrogenated oils – the trio of harmful factors in our diet.