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A question for vegetarians

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  • A question for vegetarians

    I just realized today that I have not eaten meat in well over a month...I have always heard that if you go an extended period without meat and then eat it, you can have some nasty intestinal problems. Any truth to this? And if so, how long can you go between carnivorous moments?

  • #2
    Meat, dairy, etc. require digestive enzymes. If you go long periods without these products, the enzyme levels can lower (or normalize, depending on your POV). It varies from person to person, but this is the same thing that happens with lactose-intolerant people (they lack an enzyme).

    Some have no reaction at all, but I know if I give in and eat ice cream nowadays I'll regret it for several days and catch up on my magazine reading.
    Learn by teaching
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    • #3
      I've gone for long periods of time without eating meat and have experienced the joys of which you speak...

      Not fun.

      I'd suggest at this point you should swear off meat for the rest of eternity.

      Seriously though, I have no idea how long you can not eat meat and go back to it without any nasty effects. Wish I could be more help.


      • #4
        In general, how long is a "long period" on average? I just can't resist certain foods and I know I'll give in when I go to my favorite restaurant in a few weeks...I suppose I might be catching up on those magazines as well!

        Just remembered something...can't you eat certain vegetatarian foods (Miso?) that will replace those enzymes?


        • #5
          I've not read anything specifically about vegetable protein maintaining the digestive enzymes, but I guess it could happen. But I was in my organic grocery last week and the deli guy mentioned that too much soy protein can cause problems, too.

          I wouldn't worry about it. Listen to your body (and I don't mean that gurgling noise). Moderation in all things (including moderation).

          Maybe you should look forward to getting doubled-over sick, it might help fight off those favorite restaurant cravings next time

          But seriously, a month is nothing. I think we're talking years here (unless you're naturally prone, which is genetic).

          And remember, you need protein of some sort regularly. It's not healthy to go for a month without protein, one way or the other.
          Learn by teaching
          Take responsibility for learning


          • #6
            I have a son who is pretty much vegetarian. If he comes over on a family get together, he's usually tempted too much, and gives in just for the day. I don't think he experiences much in the way of bad effects though. But like Doug said, it's probably different with different individuals.