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The Main Reasons Why We Should Eat Meat with Scientific References

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  • The Main Reasons Why We Should Eat Meat with Scientific References

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    One of the emerging lifestyle trends seen across the industrial countries in recent years is a raised preference for veganism or meatless diets. Many people remove all meat traces from their meals and convince themselves for plant-based diets for sufficing their nutritional demands.

    According to statistics, 8 percent of Canadians, at the minimum, are vegetarian. Unfortunately, these individuals can be experiencing reduced brain volume, confusion, and fatigue, along with a deficiency of essential vitamins that are derived from quality meat sources.

    Also, one of the major drivers of the veganism trend is the idea that foods such as fish and red meat can negatively influence health. Thinking that meat occurs to be inherently unhealthy or dangerous for your health is patently wrong.

    There is a great amount of information floating about why you shouldn’t eat meat, but below, we will learn some of the main reasons why you should.


    Meat is basically an animal’s flesh. The term primarily relates to the muscle of mammals plus birds. It is typically eaten as steak, ribs, chops, or in the roasted or ground form.

    Offal, which includes the liver, brains, intestines, and kidneys, was commonly consumed in many cultures during the past. However, most of the Western diets exclude it now.

    Nonetheless, offal remains renowned in some areas of the globe, specifically in traditional societies. Several delicacies are organ-based as well.

    Foie gras, which is a delicacy of French cuisine, is prepared from goose or duck liver. Sweetbread is pancreas and thymus glands, while menudo occurs to be a soup, which consists of tripe (stomach).

    Most meat in the world today is sourced from domestic animals that are brought up on farms, mostly big industrial complexes, which house a large number of animals in a time.

    However, hunting animals is still the sole way of obtaining meat in a few traditional cultures.



    Some of the Myths Regarding Consuming Meat

    As far as myths are concerned about the consumption of meat, one of the biggest and most injurious myths is that meat does not belong to a healthy nutrition plan. Eating meat has been blamed for heart disease, obesity, high cholesterol levels, and elevated blood pressure.

    If anything is to be blamed for being the culprit for these health problems, then it should be sugar. Or blame the excessive consumption of carbs like potatoes and grains that break up into sugar inside the body. (More below in the science section)

    We have been primarily meat consumers for over two million years. The human pattern of eating shifted only in the previous 10,000 years when the legumes and grains cultivation began.

    But does a diet that is lesser in meat content more suited for you?

    In the past 10,000 years, the human body has gotten decreased in brain size and stature. With highly loaded sugar and grain-based diets, we are experiencing enhanced rates of cancer, osteoporosis, obesity, and diabetes. Moreover, we are also experiencing skin problems, all kinds of inflammation, and heart disease at an alarming incidence.

    The human genes were created prior to the farming revolution when we weren’t only meat consumers, but passionate ones for that. Not only that, but the human genome has also undergone a change of below 0.02 percent in the past 40,000 years.

    The human body was genetically designed for optimal running on a meal, which included meat from animal sources, and that designing hasn’t changed.

    Now let us see what science has to say regarding the consumption of red meat and processed meat as it is considered more injurious by many people.



    How and Why Scientists Contradict Each Other

    The WHO (World Health Organization) categorized red meat as probably carcinogenic to humans on the basis of limited evidence in 2018.

    The AHA (American Heart Association), in a similar way, has been suggesting to decrease your red meat consumption for lowering your heart disease risk.

    Red meat again came all over the news towards the end of 2019, however, this time, its results were more positive.

    NutriRECS, which is a worldwide association that offers nutritional guidance, published 5 new in-detail reviews concerning the consumption of red meat and processed meat.

    These studies analyzed the effect of red meat on diabetes, cancer risk, cancer mortality, heart disease, and cardiovascular disease. Based on the findings of the studies, the NutriRECS board recommended that adults can continue unprocessed red meat consumption.

    Possible Explanation

    The presence of correlation isn’t causation. Just because there are more incidents of heart disease in red meat consumers, it does not mean that meat led to the causation of heart disease. It can be due to a million other things as well.

    As discussed above, it can be because the individuals of the red meat group consumed a larger amount of sugar apart from meat. May be due to the inclusion of a greater number of cigarette smokers within the group that consumed red meat.

    It might be they were less physically active relative to the vegetarian group, or the group that consumed the red meat consisted of more participants that featured genetic likelihood for heart disease, or they consumed a greater amount of calories regularly, or they were living a highly stressful life, or they had greater weight on average.

    All these things are regarded as risk factors of heart disease. The question arises, how would you control them to ensure you are exactly studying the impact of red meat on the health of your heart?

    Ideally, you will divide participants into two groups, control their lifestyles and diets entirely for a duration of ten years, and then analyze their health profile. But that is both unethical and unreasonable.

    This occurs to be one of the largest problems of nutrition science as a whole. It is extremely difficult to control, plus it is carried out over such an extended time, that scientists have to depend on lower-quality scientific evidence derived from correlational research. It is the ideal they can probably do, however, it is not very useful.

    Since major nutritional reviews take a look at the bigger-picture of findings from dozens of studies (sometimes hundreds), they usually miss details, which turn out to be quite important.

    And the quality of diet matters. You can take the example of saturated fat. One of the reasons nutritionists recommend decreasing red meat intake is because it is rich in saturated fats. Observational research relates saturated fats to cardiovascular disease, elevated blood pressure, and some other health problems.

    However, if you look closely at where individuals receive their saturated fats, you will observe a totally different picture. Here we have put together some important points from where people in the United States receive their saturated fats:
    • 37.5 percent of the intake of saturated fat comes from pasta, chips, candy, pizza, fries, desserts that are grain-based such as cakes and cookies, desserts that are dairy-based such as frosting and ice cream, burritos/tortillas, and processed meats.
    • 24.5 percent comes from the remaining all other categories of food.
    • Only 24 percent of the intake of saturated fat comes from unprocessed, high-quality foods such as beef, eggs, nuts, butter, and dairy.

    The result concluded from these findings is that people in America consume a large amount of saturated fat, however, a major portion of it is derived from refined carbs prepared in fat, sugary desserts, chips, candy, and so forth.

    If a meta-analysis on a large scale prioritizes only saturated fat consumption, it will lose the details of where that saturated fat was derived from. Moreover, it will take someone consuming vegetables, steak, and eggs the same way as someone consuming pizza, candy, and fries. And that context occurs to be very crucial.

    Recent research revealed that generally, saturated fat associated with health decline – however, within that body of data, individuals who followed a diet, which was low in carbohydrates and rich in saturated fats (most of it coming from unprocessed meat) actually experienced improved health.

    Nutrition can be complicated, and it is difficult to pull one food out (meat in this case) and declare that it is unhealthy. It is better to look at your diet broadly.

    Besides diet quality, the quality of meat is also important. For instance, grass-fed beef contains many times more concentration of omega 3 fatty acids relative to grain-fed beef, along with considerably more antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins. Since grass-fed meat has more health advantages, we recommended it for consumption.

    The cooking of meat also makes a considerable difference. If the meat is grilled at a high temperature and it becomes deeply charred on its outside, then it produces a greater amount of cancer-causing substances than it would if seared for a short duration of time, prepared in sous-vide, braised, etc.

    We agree that eating meat is good for health, provided you consume it in the context of a balanced and healthy diet.



    Reasons for Eating Meat

    Now that we have, discussed the essential considerations regarding meat consumption, let us further learn important reasons for eating meat.
    • Humans have been created that way

    Humans are naturally meat consumers, and their bodily system has been programmed for it. Humans have incisors to tear the meat along with molars to grind it.

    If a human body was meant to survive on only vegetables, then their digestive system could have been similar to a cow’s digestive system that has four stomachs along with the ability for fermenting cellulose in plant substances.

    The prevalence of degenerative health disorders that is present today was not around when cavemen were subsisting on meat, vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and seeds.

    In hunter-gatherer diets, 45 to 65 percent of energy needs were based on animal sources, plus heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity, which are the diseases of the modern world today, weren’t a problem. With the advent of processed foods and grains, these diseases began to rise at an alarming rate.
    • Stable levels of blood sugar

    Due to the presence of fats and rich protein content, meat helps in maintaining the stability of your blood sugar levels. Constant blood sugar is vital in protecting against type 2 diabetes, along with other chronic disorders. It helps to keep the levels of your energy steady as well and produces a satiety effect between meals, lowering cravings for not so healthy foods.

    With a blood sugar that has stable levels, you drool less often for sweets and fattening snacks between meals. You can fight sugar craving by consuming more meat.

    Research shows that a low-carb and high-protein diet, which can include poultry and lean meat, may help in controlling blood sugars.
    • Muscle growth

    While you can lean over backward trying to bulk up or gain muscle, if you do not maintain proper nourishment of your body, you may as well discard your training program and begin long-distance running.

    Your body needs to be fueled with appropriate nutrients for achieving ample muscle recovery and repair to make muscle gains.

    You may take supplements of protein, however, the best protein source is meat. High-quality meat protein has been revealed to protect against muscle loss more effectively relative to other protein food items as we get older.

    Meat contains some important minerals and vitamins that boost muscle growth, such as iron that combats fatigue and increases energy levels, and zinc that aids in the process of muscle repair. It has been seen that beef is the best dietary source for zinc in a nutrition plan.

    Meat contains creatine as well, which is a nitrogen consisting compound that enhances protein synthesis along with providing muscle with energy and promoting muscle gain.

    Since meat features a big thermogenic effect due to the presence of protein content, it also aids in burning fat. 30 percent of meat calories are burnt in digestion alone. Research shows that carb digestion produces only 6-8 percent energy expenditure increase, while meat protein digestion usually produces a huge 25-40% increase.
    • Essential Nutrients

    There’re several nutrients present in meat, which are vital for overall health. Although there occur many protein sources, meat is by far the best source for complete protein as it contains all the essential amino acids required by our bodies that include the ones, which our bodies are unable to produce.

    All the vitamin Bs are present in a greater amount in meat as compared to plant sources. But vitamin B12 is a necessary part of the diet that is only derived from animal sources.

    This nutrient protects your body against anemia, maintains optimal functioning of blood and nerve cells, and also aids in making genetic material. Women require more of this vitamin. And the deficiency of vitamin B12 is frightening. It may mimic multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer’s disease.

    Clams and beef liver are great vitamin B12 sources as per the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Nearly every multi-vitamin contains vitamin B12, however, recent research recommends that vitamin pills can be useless.

    A complete meal plan’s ideal source is derived from your food plate, not from a pill.
    • Easier management of weight

    Strange as it may seem, the regular intake of moderate quantities of meat may help an average person losing weight and also keep those pounds off. It has been scientifically proved that a meal plan that is high in refined sugar and carbs plays a significant role in the epidemic of obesity.

    Consuming fish and lean meat regularly actually stimulates your metabolism and reduces cravings for sweets and grains.

    What is more, regular consumption of meat such as beef, which contains a high concentration of conjugated linoleic acids, may considerably decrease the level of serum lipids.
    • Neurotransmitter health

    Individuals who do not consume meat are particularly susceptible to imbalances in neurotransmitter levels due to insufficient presence of meat protein that provides all the essential amino acids required by the human body. These individuals are vulnerable to hyperactivity, depression, and anxiety.

    Neurotransmitters are basically chemical messengers, which regulate many important functions in the body, including mental, cognitive, and physical performance, along with your weight, emotional states, and sleep cycle.

    Meat protein offers all the necessary amino acids that are required by the human body.

    According to scientific research, vegetarians experience 2 to 3 times more eating disorders, anxiety, depression, and somatoform syndromes and disorders as compared to meat-eaters.

    We depend on prescribed drugs to treat some of the above-mentioned disorders when the cure can be as straightforward as a serving of delicious chicken breast or a juicy hamburger.
    • A better immune system

    Do you know what the biggest disadvantage of vegan and vegetarian diets is? It is the real risk of an impaired immune system. For the antibodies to be created, your body is required to ward off illness. And this requires a high mix of essential amino acids.

    Consuming different kinds of meat frequently in a week can provide zinc, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium to your immune system that ensures its peak performance.

    Ultimately, the intake of meat can protect against illness and decrease your healing time when you get sick.



    Nutrients present in the meat

    One of the excellent protein sources is lean meat. It contains nearly 25 to 30 percent protein in weight after being cooked.

    A 100 gram (3.5 ounces) serving of chicken breast (cooked) contains approximately 31g of protein. And the same lean beef serving has around 27g of protein.

    Animal proteins are considered complete proteins. This means that animal protein provides you all of the 9 essential amino acids.

    A 100 gram (3.5 ounces) of lean beef offers:
    • Protein: around 27 grams
    • Calories: 205
    • Riboflavin: 15 percent daily value
    • Niacin: 24 percent daily value
    • Vitamin B12: 158 percent daily value
    • Vitamin B6: 19 percent daily value
    • Zinc: 68 percent daily value
    • Phosphorus: 19 percent daily value
    • Selenium: 36 percent daily value

    The nutrient status of other meats is also similar, though they contain zinc in fewer amounts.
    When it comes to organ meats, liver and some other organs contain vitamin B12, vitamin A, selenium, and iron in high amounts. They are also a perfect source of a vital nutrient for muscle, liver, and brain health, known as choline.




    The Final Word

    The final reason for eating meat? It is simply a delicious treat for your taste buds. A beef steak from the grill, tender meat roasts, roasted chicken, need to be said more?

    For the majority of people, a food plate is incomplete when there is not a tender meat cut in the middle of it.

    With different myths circulating about the consumption of meat, we have mentioned above some powerful science-backed evidence that not only informs you about the safety of eating moderate amount of meat but also reveals the plethora of crucial health advantages that meat offers, which are essential for optimal performance of the human body.

    Humans are meat eaters by nature, so you should be true towards the nature of human beings and the taste buds. There is no point of slashing out meat from your life when it has too much for offering.
    Last edited by Stephanie Motta; 07-04-2020, 10:55 AM.

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