These days if you’re a meat-eater, there’s a ton of pressure to change your diet. I swear they won’t be satisfied until we’re ALL eating like bunnies.
If you’re still a card-carrying member of Team Meat, the harassment is real. The messages come at you from every direction.
Out with the meat and in with the wheat. Bump up the soy and embrace the bean patty. And don’t even get me started on their insistence that we eat those new chemical concoctions that allegedly taste “JUST LIKE” real meat.
Spoiler alert: They don’t. (I tried them, so you don’t have to.)
This trendy new “plant-based” push is downright exhausting sometimes. But now, yet another new report reveals you should feel free to go ahead and push right back.
Because going entirely veggie won’t just deny you that great meat flavor you love. It could also deprive you of a vital nutrient that your body relies on to function.
This key compound is responsible for helping to generate cellular energy and protect blood vessels. And healthy levels of this necessary nutrient are essential for heart health, especially as you grow older.
Strict plant-based diets could “drain your batteries”
The nutrient is called ubiquinol. And don’t feel bad if the name doesn’t ring any bells. Most people haven’t heard of it before.
But there’s a good chance you know ubiquinol by another name. Because it’s a form of the far more familiar coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
This often-overlooked nutrient is at the heart of healthy living and aging. In fact, many organs and chemical reactions throughout your body rely on the vitamin-like substance.
Your cells use CoQ10 for growth and maintenance. And it’s a powerful antioxidant that helps protect them from free-radical damage.
Plus, CoQ10 literally helps power our body by supporting our mitochondria. These tiny energy factories lie at the heart of every single one of your cells. And without enough CoQ10 on board, your cellular “batteries” can’t function efficiently.
But as vital as it is, CoQ10 is mostly found in meat, poultry, and fish. So if you cave to all that plant-based pressure and switch to a strictly veggie diet, your levels of this essential nutrient are likely to drop.
Veggie diets lead to far lower CoQ10 levels
Researchers found ubiquinol levels were 23 percent lower in folks following a vegetarian or vegan diet compared to omnivores in the new study.
But this low CoQ10 problem likely isn’t limited to vegetarians and vegans alone. After all, you need to eat enough ubiquinol-rich foods to maintain your levels. So even cutting way back could lead to a significant drop in ubiquinol.
Now it’s important to note that although this new research was done at Kaonkai Miura Hospital in Osaka Japan it was supported by a manufacturer of nutritional products. So take it with a grain of salt.
But it isn’t the first time researchers have speculated that low CoQ10 levels in certain people may be the result of a vegetarian diet. So this new research is adding to the evidence.
Hopefully, it will lead to more clinical trials. But in the meantime, it’s just one more reason, among many, to be skeptical of the blind push towards a vegetarian or vegan diet. And that’s especially true if you’re a little older.
CoQ10 levels tend to drop as we age, even without changing our diet. So you should make sure you’re getting enough. You can always top up your levels with a supplement if needed.
And that’s just one potential problem with switching to a primarily veggie lifestyle. Plant-based diets are also typically low in vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, and taurine.
Plus, as I explained last week, plant proteins typically aren’t the same complete proteins you’ll get from meats and dairy. Once inside the body, they don’t behave in the same way. And that could eventually lead to weakness and fatigue.
Now, if you’ve already chosen a plant-based diet, I’m not trying to yuck your yum, as the kids say. You should eat the way that works best for you. But you should also be aware of these potential nutritional shortages, including CoQ10, and take them seriously.
If you’re not a vegetarian or vegan, don’t let anyone bully you into making the switch. And don’t fall for the hype about how meats are bad for your health.
When you choose fresh, minimally processed, grass-fed meats and wild-caught seafood, you’re getting exactly what your body needs for healthy living and aging. And that includes plenty of CoQ10.