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Should You Cut Down on Your Meat Intake?

Written by Courteney

Posted on July 24, 2016 at 11:53 pm


Recent research suggests most Americans double the daily recommended intake of meat. Should we be eating less? There has been an ongoing debate within the medical and holistic wellness communities on the benefits verses the downfalls of eliminating (or at least drastically reducing) meat intake. On one hand, organizations like the American Heart Association says that getting your share (less than 6oz daily) of fish and lean meat can help maintain proper nutrition, while others argue meat only increases the risk of diseases and unhealthful effects. More specifically, there have been significant links established between positive health effects and drastically reducing red meat consumption. Some of these benefits include weight loss, disease prevention and a longer lifespan.

Health Risks of Eating Red Meat

The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine asserts that cutting down on, or eliminating meat from your diet can significantly reduce your risks of developing such serious conditions as high blood pressure, heart disease, kidney complications, cancer, diabetes and osteoporosis. That alone seems like enough to give it a try, but there is more. There’s also been research conducted establishing the connection between too much meat ingestion and excess iron levels in the brain which can contribute to Alzheimer’s Disease. Red meat is the primary culprit for these issues and many others, including triggering asthma attacks in some people.

Antibiotic Resistance

Another benefit to eating less meat is a decreased risk of contracting an antimicrobial-resistant infection. Animals bred for consumption are often pumped full of antibiotics to encourage growth and cut down on infections caused by unsanitary living conditions. Unfortunately, this leads to antibiotic resistant cells to grow in the animals that can then be passed to humans who later eat the animals. This leads to the growing and scary problem of antibiotic-resistant infection.

Nix Meat To Lose Weight

Another sought-after benefit of keeping meat to a minimum is the increased potential for weight-loss. Nutritional specialist and medical writer L.Bellows asserts that vegetarians tend to have lower caloric consumption, less fat (as most meats and dairy products are high in fat), and lower overall Body Mass Indexes (BMIs). He says that people who shy away from red meat also have lower cholesterol levels and a higher chance of living longer, healthier lives. As long as people who give up eating meat don’t replace those forsaken calories with other fatty foods, they should see weight-loss results.

Making the Tricky Transition

Laura Barton, vegetarian and writer for the Guardian has several tips on how to help ease the lifestyle transition for prospective meat-shunners. She advises people who wish to decrease their meat consumption to do so gradually, as giving up something immediately often doesn’t stick. Laura also advises people not to think of their new diet staples as substitutes for meat, but just as new foods, “If someone replaced my tofu with some tofu-flavoured chicken, I too would be upset. So likewise, it’s best not to try directly replacing a meat you love with a vegetarian alternative – a craving for pork chops will never be met by a slab of tempeh, and vice versa.”

(Non-Carnivorous) Food for Thought

We aren’t saying you should go full-on vegetarian, but there are some sure-fire health benefits to cutting down on your meat intake, specifically red meat. There are many health benefits associated with eating fish, so that is not a food group you should cut out (unless you are a vegetarian for ethical reasons). Similarly, lean white meats can also provide many health benefits, but as with everything, moderation is the key. It is worth a try to cut back on red meat at least, hey? Thanks for visiting DocChat!



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