A meat-free diet may hold any number of long-term health benefits – but it doesn’t make you a happier person than any meat lovers out there.
According to research from Bristol University, meat eaters are actually much happier in general than their chicken and bacon-hating brethren.
The study looked at the depression scores of 10,000 men, 350 of which classed themselves as committed vegans and vegetarians. According to the findings those 350 men had a much higher than average depression score compared with men who regularly consumed meat.
Is it all just coincidence though? Not according to the academics behind the research. They reckon that the difference may be down to a lack of meat in the diet. Meat is rich in minerals and vitamins like B12 and a lack of these nutrients has been linked to a negative effect on mental health.
The researchers also reckon that the vegan diet may be too reliant on nuts, something that can result in an excess of omega-6 fatty acids in the body. This kind of surplus has, once again, been linked with negative mental health issues.
“Lower intakes of seafood are thought to be associated with greater risk of depressive symptoms,” the research notes. “Other potential factors include high blood levels of phytoestrogens, consequent mainly on diets rich in vegetables and soy.”
This isn’t the first time research of this kind has been conducted or even the first time the same conclusion has been reached.
In a similar study from Germany, the eating habits of some 4,100 participants were carefully analysed. They found that those existing on a vegan or vegetarian diet were 5 per cent more likely to experience depressive behaviour.
Could it be time to ditch the Quorn mince for beef again? Maybe hold off on that one for now, but it’s definitely heading that way.
Loaded staff writer Jack Beresford has produced content for Lad Bible, Axonn Media and a variety of online sports and news media outlets.