Is meat good or bad for health?
For a few decades, one of the hot topics of discussion among health gurus has been the pros and cons of eating meat.
Many health experts squarely blame the consumption of meat for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and all cholesterol-related diseases.
All the blame placed on meat is far from reality. The biggest culprit behind most modern diseases is sugar and a high-carbohydrate diet.
Human beings have been eating meat for thousands of years. It seems strange to blame all new diseases on meat, especially when humans have been eating meat lavishly since the beginning of recorded history, without these modern diseases.
Of course, people in the olden days ate unprocessed meat from naturally grown animals without the spicy and fried-in-oil food preparations of modern times. Healthy ways of eating meat are also important to ensure that no harm is done to the body.
Health Benefits Of Eating Meat And Poultry
If you’re thinking of removing or adding meat to your menu, you may wonder whether meat is healthy.
The health effects of meat vary according to the type of meat.
The meat from adult or “gamey” mammals (for example, beef, horse meat, mutton, venison, boar, and hare) is pink or red meat, while that from young mammals (rabbit, veal, and lamb) is white. Poultry is white meat, which is considered a low-fat diet.
All meat that has been cured, smoked, salted, canned, or dried is considered processed.
In this article, I would like to explain to you why you should not stop eating lean meat. In the below paragraphs, I have chosen nine reasons why meat is a healthy diet for your health.
1. Human Beings Are Naturally And Biologically Designed To Be Omnivores
The digestive characteristics of humans suggest we are omnivores.
From a historical perspective, it is known that our ancestors were eating meat about 1.5 million years ago.
The simple fact that our body can digest meat itself shows that we are designed by nature to be omnivores.
Humans also have the natural ability to hunt and rear animals for food.
When we take a closer look at the human digestive system, we can find that all herbivore animals have a long digestive system with specialized organs to digest cellulose in plant food, but the human digestive system is short and has no special organs for cellulose digestion.
The human intestine is similar to that of carnivores to herbivores for the intermediate-sized digestive tracts. Humans have been omnivores since the evolution of Homo sapiens.
The vegan community has proposed some theories to prove that humans are herbivores. But the biological nature and historical evidence of humans do not support their claims.
It’s true that the human body can survive without meat. However, better positive health outcomes are easily achievable only if meat is also included in the daily diet.
2. Quality Proteins From Meat Is Best For Human Body
Meat is the best source of protein for your body in comparison to a plant-based diet.
It is only in animal proteins that all the types of amino acids required by the body are found. whereas the proteins we get from plants do not have all kinds of proteins and are not readily absorbable by our bodies.
It is hard to build up a muscular body for those who are vegetarians. In most cases, those who follow the omnivore’s meal have larger muscle mass and greater stamina in most cases.
Having quality protein in the meat also improves the level of testosterone. Vegetarians usually experience low levels of energy and a weaker body due to insufficient testosterone.
The health of the skin and bones is also dependent on protein intake. Animal protein consumption increases the depth of bone density.
Vegetarians in old age are found to be encountering more health issues related to the bones and joints than meat-eaters.
Vegans must be cautious of the protein (essential amino acid) shortage and should take substitute supplements to mitigate the quality of proteins they miss by avoiding meat consumption.
3. Meat Is Rich Source For Several Essential Vitamins And Nutrients
Meat has not only good proteins but also several other vitamins and nutrients essential for the body.
Meat is a rich natural source of vitamins B3, B6, and B12, selenium, zinc, iron, and other minerals. A lean cut of beef, such as sirloin or tenderloin, can be the best source of them.
Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient that is naturally found only in meat. Those who eat only foods from the vegetable kingdom are sure to face the health risks associated with a lack of Vitamin B12.
The only solution for vegans is to have vitamin B12 supplements to take care of the problem to some extent.
It is best to consume the meat of animals grown in a natural environment (grass-fed), as their meat contains a lot more Omega-3 fatty acids.
The body requires the omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are found only in meat. Whereas the Omega-3 fatty acids got from plant sources are in ALA form which the body cannot efficiently absorb and convert into DHA form.
There is not a single food in the vegetable world that can match the number of micro and macronutrients found in meat. Some of the essential nutrients are only present in meat and not in vegetables or grains.
The creatine nutrient, which efficiently manages the energy reserves in the brain and muscles, is only found in animal food. Especially during long hours of work or mental activity, creatine maintains the optimum level of mental and physical performance with a constant supply of energy.
The meat also has powerful antioxidants like carnosine, which is good for preventing inflammation and purifying the body of free radicals. Unfortunately, the antioxidant carnosine is not found in vegetables.
Another essential mineral that is abundantly included in meat is iron, which is important in producing hemoglobin and myoglobin. A lack of hemoglobin reduces the supply of oxygen to the body’s cells.
The vegetables mostly have non-heme iron, which is not easily absorbable and usable by the body. Recent research has shown that even spinach, which is considered to be the best natural source of iron, does not provide the quality iron mineral needed by the body.
Meat is also an excellent source of vitamin D, which helps prevent osteoporosis. In fact, there are very few vegetables that have this essential vitamin.
4. Meat Protein Is Good For Weight Loss
In the past decades, there was a misconception that meat intake increased body weight, but it is now known that people who only feed on carbohydrates and sugar face obesity issues the most.
In western countries about 50 years ago, the consumption of protein drastically decreased due to the fear of cardiovascular diseases and obesity, but the result was just the opposite, as cases of obesity became rampant with increased consumption of carbohydrates and sugar.
Currently, the most popular diets are Dukan and Atkins, which both insist on a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet.
Calorie-rich foods, especially vegetarian diets, increase the fat and sugar deposits in the body.
Vegetarian diets are less filling and satiating; for this reason, most vegetarians end up eating more calories than they require.
Whereas protein-rich meat is more satiating and filling, and proteins from the meat are a long-lasting energy source for the body than the carbohydrate got from grains and vegetables.
Studies have reported that people who eat a protein-rich diet gain lesser weight than those who eat carbohydrate and sugar-rich food.
The amino acids in meat also work as a stimulant for orexin cells in the brain that controls energy expenditure and wakefulness. Because of this eating meat leads to more burning of calories and produces more energy.
5. Meat Do Not Cause Diabetes, Cancer, And Cardiovascular Diseases
The meat was condemned and criticized in the past decades as it was thought to be the major culprit behind increasing cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, and cancer.
All issues with meat began with the outright condemnation of saturated fat as a cause of these modern diseases; a lot of the fat found in meat is this same fat.
However, studies on saturated fats in recent times have shown that they are not as dangerous as they were thought to be. Now, it has come to light that saturated fat has no big impact on cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.
It does not increase bad cholesterol or cause any harm to the heart.
If the meat causes any health issues at all, it could be only processed meat or red meat with high-fat content. Also, meat may be detrimental to your health if high temperatures are used to cook meat, especially red or processed meat,
Processed meat is bad, and it may cause cancer in certain cases, but not the meat from animals that are fed with green grasses while roaming wide on natural pastures.
If some cholesterol issues arise from consuming meat products, it is because of the unhealthy cooking methods used to prepare the meat.
Meat is 100% safe and good for your health if gentler cooking methods are used and by ensuring the visibly fatty portions of the meat are cut off and not used for eating.
6. Meat Is an Essential Part Of A Balanced Diet And ‘No Meat Diet’ Is Bad
Meat is an ideal part of your balanced diet A healthy wholesome diet consists of meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains.
Meat provides some of the essential vitamins, and nutrients like vitamins B12, and D, high-quality protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, several amino acids, etc.
Avoiding meat from our diet does more harm to the body in the long run.
The vegan theories on meat as unhealthy food are not based on any scientific studies or natural biological conditions of human beings.
The health of a person also has a lot to do with the lifestyle of the individual. Some meat eaters falling sick are not exactly because of the meat, but it could be due to numerous other reasons like faulty lifestyles and bad addictions to something not healthy.
On the whole, most vegetarians fear the lack of certain essential vitamins and nutrients caused by not eating meat, so they become precariously conscious of their health and lifestyle, and earnestly try to prevent all possible health issues.
I have personally experienced; my vegetarian friends are more paranoid about health issues than the non-vegetarians, who are generally cool about everything.
7. It Is Easy To Build A Muscular And Healthy Body With Meat Diet
The best way to build a healthy and muscular body is by having a regular consumption of meat protein. Your workouts in the gym and controlled diet will achieve better results if meat is included in your daily diet.
Of course, there are a number of muscle-building supplements out there that promise to add a massive bulk to your muscle mass. But over-dependence on them might also have side effects that affect your health in the long run.
There is no natural substitute for high-quality protein and some of the rare nutrients and vitamins found in animal meat.
The mineral Zinc in the meat boosts muscle growth, and iron boosts energy levels and combats fatigue.
Creatine, a nitrogenous organic acid, exclusively found in meat, improves protein synthesis and provides muscles with energy; it also helps in muscle gain.
The consumption of meat protein increases the fat burning that helps in the growth of lean muscle mass.
The digestion of the meat is highly thermogenic, and this alone burns off nearly 30% of the calories found in it. Approximately, digestion of the meat protein increases calories burned by about 40% compared to digesting carbohydrates.
It is rather difficult to build and maintain a muscular body without the good proteins and nutrients found in meat.
8. Meat Diet Improves Neurotransmitter Health
Meat protein is also very good for improving neurotransmitter efficiency in the brain.
The brain functions are improved with an adequate supply of essential amino acids in the meat.
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that regulate all the functions of the brain, especially cognition, reasoning, memory, emotion, physical commands, etc.
It is found that people who have meat as part of their diet, have better neurotransmitter ability especially as a person grows older in age.
There are also study results that point out that vegetarian is more prone to depression, digestive disorders, anxiety, and mood swings.
9. Eating Meat Is Tasty And Gives You A Variety Of Food Choices
Finally and most importantly, meat makes food much tastier and more satisfying.
There is also a large variety of meat preparations and dishes that give us better pleasures of dining.
It is really hard to prepare a sumptuous vegetarian meal as you will require a variety of vegetables and ingredients to make a tasty meal with many dishes; plus a lot of time is required for the preparation.
However, a single good food item prepared with meat alone can make the meat eater satiated and satisfied with the food.
Caution And Warning
Eat beef liver in moderation, as consuming too much of it could result in vitamin A and copper toxicity.
The U.S. Department of Health and Social Care advises people to stick to 90 grams or less of red meat consumption per day.
Limit red and processed meat consumption for they can have adverse effects on your cardiovascular health. Eating processed meat and cancer are found to have some links. Recent research from the World Health Organization (WHO) points out that processed meats may increase your risk of colon cancer.
How much meat per day should you be eating? Variety is the key to greater health. A maximum of around 7 servings (1 serving = 3 oz) of lean red meat intake is recommended over the course of a week.
Lean meat and poultry with less fat are the healthiest meats to eat.
There aren’t any health benefits for humans associated with eating raw meat,
If you are serious about having healthy eating habits, it is difficult to think of diets without meat. Vegetarians may have many emotional and religious reasons to avoid meat. In fact, when vegans give up the meat, they are also going to miss a few essential nutrients and vitamins exclusively found in the meat.
Most importantly, meat protein is precious to health; plant protein does not come anywhere close to its quality and benefits.
If you do not have any convincing reasons to be a staunch supporter of veganism, it is better to include white or lean red meat safely in your diet. Eating less meat in the right proportion has many benefits, including mental and bone health.
And if you still think meat is bad for your health and can do no good for it, please continue with the vegan diet that makes you happy and content.
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