Note to a friend

After reading Paul’s blog entry about trying out a new vegetarian recipe, I dropped him the following note (slightly editted):

That’s good to hear, Paul… even if you don’t go totally meatless, cutting back is a great step. Compare the nutritional facts from any soy-based meat substitute to actual meat (especially beef) and you’ll notice you’re leaving out *significant* amounts of polysaturated fat (the bad kind) as well as a bunch of other unhealthy stuff. As long as you supplement it with some legumes, nuts, fruits, or veggies, you’ll be good. The only thing to keep an eye on with soy-based products is the sodium… much of it (especially Morningstar Farms) has a pretty high level of sodium. Now, this may not be that big of a deal, in reality — a recent widespread study showed that excess sodium only affects 20% of people, those with “sodium sensitivity.” Otherwise, links to high blood pressure and heart disease may have been made prematurely. In any event, it’s still probably a good idea to keep an eye on sodium intake whether you’re vegetarian or not. :)

You probably didn’t ask for that diatribe, but I find myself getting
excited when I discuss vegetarian issues since it’s still a pretty new
thing to me. I picked up a copy of Vegetarian Journal (a
publication of the Vegetarian Resource Group, and I think I
may subscribe… it seems very far separated from fad diets (certain other vegetarian magazines seem to have a few too many corporate hands
involved) and was well-written.

Just thought I’d share. :)