Plant-based diets have become very popular, but I tend to be skeptical of anything that gets a lot of hype all at once. We’ve all seen enough “miracle” strategies come and go to know that fads are definitely a thing. However, along with all the hype, there has also been a growing body of reputable evidence to support many of the claims people have been making about leaving animal-based foods behind.
Research Into Plant-Based Diets for Men
Not only has there been research into plant-based diets in general, but there have also been some conducted with a focus on men’s nutrition and health specifically. Three of those studies were conducted by urologists at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. What they found was that there were benefits to skipping animal-based foods for everything from men’s sexual health to diabetes risk.
As a result, I can understand why plant-based diets have stayed in the headlines. They are, after all, continually making news. One of the three studies I mentioned above specifically shows that when guys skip the meat, they may improve their prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels. Keeping those levels low is associated with a reduced risk of prostate cancer.
Why Don’t Guys Go Meatless More?
According to the lead scientist behind the study, Mark. L. Gonzalgo, MD, PhD, and Miller School professor and vice chair of Urology, men do want to do what they can to keep their PSA levels low and prevent prostate cancer. However, they also believe that plant-based diets will negatively impact their sexual health and testosterone levels. As it turns out, that’s not actually the case.
There’s no reason to believe that getting your nutrition from plant-based diets instead of meat will affect those areas of men’s health. Still, even after reading several study summaries to get this blog post ready, I still feel as though I believe the meat-manliness connection to a certain degree. It’s got to be a marketing thing. I’ve been watching ads for big steaks and thick burgers narrated by a gruff deep voice for so long that I associate the two, even if it’s not even true on a scientific level.
Will I Switch to a Plant-Based Diet?
I’ve done short challenges before to see how I’d do without meat. I also tested out some meatless burgers to see which ones I’d like the best. I didn’t expect to like it much. Still, Bree loves vegetarian cooking, and I was lucky to have that help on my side to discover how to get all the nutrients I needed without relying on meat.
Still, even with all the research and Bree’s great cooking, I’m still not planning to switch to fully plant-based diets. It has nothing to do with some kind of association between eating meat and being manly. The fact is that I genuinely enjoy animal-based products. From dairy to chicken, pork and steak, it’s a part of some of my favorite meals. I have been scaling it back though. I’ve been increasing the number of meatless meals I eat so that I can consider steaks and burgers a treat instead of a regular thing. This is a good balance between the two for me.