Vegetarianism can come with some unexpected side effects1

Vegetarianism can come with some unexpected side effects
New research suggests that along with shedding pounds, slashing cancer risk, and boosting life expectancy, vegetarianism could come with less-known side effects:
Panic attacks
Her symptoms were sudden and severe. Drew Ramsey is 35-year-old patient had always been fit and active, but her energy had flatlined. When she managed to drag herself to the gym, it did not help. She felt anxious and was often on the verge of tears for no reason, even when she was with friends. Worst of all were her panic attacks, a rare occurrence in the past but now so common that she was afraid of losing her job because she had trouble getting out of bed, and she’d become terrified of taking the New York City subway. Ramsey, a Columbia University professor and psychiatrist with 14 years of experience, wanted to put her on medication. His patient demurred. She was so conscious of what she put in her body, she’d even given up meat a year ago, having heard about all the health benefits of vegetarianism. Her case is far from unique. “I hear from vegetarians every day; they have this terrible depression and anxiety and they don’t understand why,” says Lierre Keith, author of The Vegetarian Myth. “People think they are eating beautiful, righteous diet, but they don’t realize potential dark side.”
It has been decades since meat eating has been considered truly healthy. Practically every day, it seems, a new study emerges showing that vegetarian diets are the key to everything from shedding pounds to beating cancer. One group of California researchers even found evidence that ditching meat can tack more than three years onto your lifespan. So it was startling last year when Australian researchers revealed that vegetarians reported being less optimistic about the future than meat eaters. What’s more, they were 18 percent more likely to report depression and 28 percent more likely to suffer panic attacks and anxiety. A separate German study backs this up, finding that vegetarians were 15 percent more prone to depressive conditions and twice as likely to suffer anxiety disorders.
Even the pros find the stats confounding in a chicken-or-egg-way. “We don’t know if a vegetarian diet causes depression and anxiety, or if people are predisposed to those mental conditions gravitate towards vegetarianism,” says Emily Deans, M.D., a Boston psychiatrist who studies the link between food and mood.
Most likely, says Deans, there is truth to both theories. People with anxious, obsessive, or neurotic tendencies might be more inclined to micromanage their plates (in one study, vegetarians had triple the risk of developing an eating disorder in comparison with meat lovers). Yet experts all agree that, regardless of where you rank on a scale of 1 to OCD, what you swallow plays a major role in what happens in your head.
“Food is a factor in mental health,” says Ramsey. “We should be talking about it. You can’t just make sweeping change to your diet and expect it won’t have any effect on you mentally.”
1.3.1 Vocabulary
to shed pounds – избавиться от лишних килограммов
to boost life expectancy – увеличить продолжительность жизни
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) – обсессивно- компульсивное расстройство
to flatline – умирать; находиться на низком уровне
to drag oneself to – тянуть; притаскивать
to be on the verge of – быть(находиться) на грани
to be afraid of- бояться
on medication- на лечение
to demur - возражать
to give up – сдаваться; бросать
righteous – отличный; превосходный
the key to – ключ; путь
beating cancer - побороть рак
to ditch – бросать; отделаться
lifespan – продолжительность; срок жизни
startling – ошеломляющий; потрясающий
meat eater – мясоед
to suffer – страдать
to back sth up – подтверждать
anxiety disorder – тревожное расстройство
confounding – сбивающий с толку
to be predisposed to – быть предрасположенным к чему-то
to gravitate towards – быть склонным к чему-то
to be inclined – быть склонным к чему-то
an eating disorder – нарушение питанияa major role – главная роль
mental health – психическое здоровье
sweeping change – решительная перемена
to have an effect on – оказывать влияние на что-то; иметь влияние на что-то
to swallow – проглатывать

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