Buddhist Vegetarianism & Physical Health

Mahayana Buddhism traditionally teaches a vegetarian diet, especially in countries like China and Taiwan. I’ve been listening to Dr. John McDougall, and he talks about the benefits of having a vegetarian, starch-based diet, including how the traditionally rice-based diet of Asian countries is a healthy diet:

I am overweight, and because of it, I have sleep apnea, acid reflux, high blood pressure, etc. While we’re often told to avoid starches, there’s documented cases of people having dramatic weight loss from a potato-based diet, since potatoes are rich in nutrients and are highly satiating.

What if vegetarianism is recommended in Mahayana Buddhism, not just because it’s compassionate, but also because it’s a healthier option? I would like to set a better example for my children, while also reducing my health problems. Should I give the Buddhist vegetarian diet a try?