Is meat good or bad for health?
For a few decades, one of the hot discussions among the health gurus is on the pros and cons of eating meat.
A lot of health experts squarely blamed the consumption of meat for cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, obesity, and all cholesterol-related diseases.
All these blames on meat is far from reality. The biggest culprit behind most of these modern diseases is sugar and a high carbohydrate diet.
Human beings are eating meat for thousands of years. It is quite strange to put all the blame on meat for the new diseases…especially when humans were lavishly eating meat from the earliest known periods of human history sans these modern diseases.
Of course, the people in the olden days ate meat that was unprocessed and of naturally grown animals without the spicy and fried-in-oil food preparations of modern times. The healthy ways of eating meat are also important to ensure that not even a small harm it does to the body.
Reasons Why Eating Meat Is Good
In this article, I would like to bring to you why you should NOT stop eating meat. In the below paragraphs, I have chosen nine reasons why meat is good for health.
1. Human Beings Are Naturally And Biologically Designed To Be Omnivores
The digestive characteristics of humans are suggesting we are omnivores.
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 herbivores animals have a long digestive system with specialized organs to digest cellulose in the plant food, but the human digestive system is short and has no special organs for cellulose digestion.[3,4]
The human intestine is similar to that of carnivores to the herbivores for the intermediate-sized digestive tracts.
All these are natural indications to prove that humans are omnivores since the evolution periods of homo-sapiens.
The vegan community has propounded some theories to prove that humans are herbivores, but the biological nature and historical evidence of humans do not support their claims.
Fortunately, the human body can survive without meat, but better health is easily achievable only when meat is also included in the daily diet.
2. Quality Proteins From Meat Is Best For Human Body
The proteins got from the meat are extremely beneficial to the body.
It is only in animal proteins 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 body.
It is hard to build up a muscular body for those who are vegetarians. Those who follow the omnivore’s diets have larger muscle mass and greater stamina in most cases.
The health of the skin and bones are also dependent on protein intake. Animal protein consumption increases the depth of bone density. The vegetarians in old age are found to be encountering more health issues related to the bones and joints than the meat-eaters.[11,12,13] vegans must be cautious of the protein (essential amino acids) shortage and should take substitute supplements to mitigate the quality proteins they miss by not eating the meat.
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 B12, B3, B6, Selenium, Zinc, Iron, and other minerals.
Vitamin B12 is a critical nutrient that is naturally found only in meat. Those who eat only the foods from the vegetables’ 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.
The body requires the Omega-3 fatty acids in DHA and EPA, which are found only in the 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.[19,20,21]
There is not a single food in the vegetables’ world that can match the number of micro-nutrients and macro-nutrients found in the meat. Some of the essentials nutrients are only found in the meat and none of the vegetables or grains.
As the creatine nutrient which efficiently manages the energy reserves in the brain and muscles is only found in animal food. Especially at the time of long hours of work or mental activity, it is creatine that maintains the optimum level of mental and physical performance with a constant supply of energy.[22,23,24]
The meat also has powerful anti-oxidants like Carnosine, which are good for preventing inflammation and purifying the body of free radicals. Unfortunately, Carnosine anti-oxidant is not found in vegetable foods. ([25,26]
The vegetables mostly have non-heme iron that is not easily absorbable and usable by the body. Recent researches have 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.[27,28]
4. The Meat Protein Is Good For Weight Loss
In the western countries about 50 years ago, the consumption of protein drastically went down due to the fear of cardiovascular diseases and obesity….but the result was just the opposite as the cases of obesity became rampant with increased consumption of carbohydrates and sugar.
Calories rich diets, especially vegetarian diets, increase the fat and sugar deposits in the body.
Vegetarian diets are less filling and satiating; for this reason, most vegetarians mostly end up eating more calories than required by the body.
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, diabetes, and cancer.
All issues with meat began outright condemnation of saturated fat as a cause of these modern diseases; a lot of fat found in meat is this same fat.
However, extensive studies on saturated fats in recent times have shown the saturated fats is not dangerous as it was thought to be. Now, it has come to the light that saturated fat has NO big impact on cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases.[39,40]
Saturated fats do not increase bad cholesterol or cause any harm to the heart.
If the meat causes any health issues at all, it could be only from processed meat or red meat with high-fat content.
The processed meat is bad, and it may cause cancer in certain cases, but NOT the meat got from animals that are fed with green grasses while roaming wide on natural pastures.
If some cholesterol issues arise from meat-eating it is because of the ill-healthy cooking methods used to prepare the meat.
Meat is 100% safe and good for 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 Essential Part Of A Balanced Diet And ‘No Meat Diet’ Is Bad
We have already discussed above in detail some of the essential vitamins, and nutrients like Vitamin B12, D, high-quality protein, Omega-3 fatty acids, several amino acids, etc. in natural form are found only in meat.
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 by not eating meat, and 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 the meat is included in your daily diet.
Of course, there are number muscle building supplements available out there promising to add a massive bulk to your muscle mass. But the over-dependence on them might also have side effects that might 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.
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’ burning by about 40% higher than 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. (
9. Eating Meat Is Tasty And Gives You A Variety Of Food Choices
Finally and most importantly, meat makes the food much tastier and 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.
The Bottom Line
If you are serious about having a healthy and balanced diet, it is difficult to think of diets without meat. Vegetarians may have many emotional and religious reasons to avoid meat; but 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; the plant protein does not come anywhere close to its quality and health benefits.
If you do not have any convincing reason to be a staunch supporter of veganism, it is better to include meat in your diet for the many health benefits it will bring to you.
And if you still think meat is for and it can do no good for your health, please carry on with the vegan diet that makes you happy and contented.
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