The vege trend has no doubt taken off in the last few years, and for the most part for good reason - we're all for saving the environment, living a healthier lifestyle and all that jazz.
But apparently being vegetarian might not be as good for you as we always thought - so maybe don't get too caught up in making it your 'new year, new me' resolution team.
A study conducted by the Medical University of Graz in Austria has found that low consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol due to a higher intake of fruits and veges seemed to carry a higher risk of cancer, allergies and mental health problems. Yikes.
The researchers used data from the Austrian Health Interview Survey to examine the dietary habits and lifestyle differences between meat-eaters and vegetarians. 1,320 participants were matched according to their age, sex and socioeconomic status: 330 vegetarians, 330 people who ate a meat diet with lots of fruit and veges, 330 people who ate a regular balanced meat diet, and 330 heavy meat-eaters.
The results found that although vegetarians drank less alcohol and had lower BMIs overall, they were still in worse physical and mental condition than the meat-eaters.
People who ate less meat were also found to have worse health habits, like avoiding going to the doctors. We're def guilty of that.
"Our study has shown that Austrian adults who consume a vegetarian diet are less healthy (in terms of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), have a lower quality of life, and also require more medical treatment," the study concluded.
There were claims that the study might just be a sneaky advertisement for the meat industry, but the study coordinator and epidemiologist Nathalie Burkert was quick to shut this down:
"We have already distanced ourselves from this claim as it is an incorrect interpretation of our data. We did find that vegetarians suffer more from certain conditions like asthma, cancer and mental illnesses than people that eat meat as well, but we cannot say what is the cause and what is the effect. There needs to be further study done before this question can be answered."
Well, new year, same ol' meat-eating us it is then!