PPT PowerPoint slide The new research from the University of Melbourne and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) has found that “the preference for meat, particularly beef, over vegetable proteins is more important in the Western diet”.
“Our results indicate that Western diets are largely influenced by meat, with vegetable proteins being the preferred protein of choice in Western societies,” said Professor Steven Jones, lead author of the paper.
The researchers studied diet records of more than 4,000 people, looking at the consumption of foods that were high in meat, vegetables, fruits and dairy products.
They found that Western societies consume a lot of meat, but there were also very few vegetables and very few dairy products, and most people ate a lot more meat than vegetables.
“In contrast, a relatively small number of Westerners preferred a vegetarian diet to the majority of Western societies.
Vegetarian diets are generally high in protein and fibre and are high in calcium and vitamin D. “Western diets are typically lower in fat and saturated fat and are rich in protein, iron, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, selenium, folate and zinc.”
“It’s the vegetarian diet that is in the minority in developed countries,” Professor Jones said. “
The findings could have important implications for how meat-eaters and vegetarians in developed and developing countries interact. “
It’s the vegetarian diet that is in the minority in developed countries,” Professor Jones said.
The findings could have important implications for how meat-eaters and vegetarians in developed and developing countries interact.
“The idea that meat-eating in the West is an evolutionary choice, which is something we’re still struggling to understand, could have implications for the way we think about human diets,” Professor John O’Connor, of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at Queensland University, said.
Professor Jones and his team hope to study how vegetarian and vegan diets differ in other regions, particularly in South East Asia and Australia, and in different parts of the world.