Media has made veganism trendy and everyone talks of eating more vegetables but no one talks about why you should eat less meat. Meat is a healthy source of protein and vitamins that has nourished humanity for millennia and it is not about to go away any time soon. However, there still remains a question of how much meat is safe to et every day and the NHS in the UK recommends 70g of cooked red meat per day while the USDA recommends 5 ounces of lean meat per day. In reality, most people eat way more than that and the health implications are dire. From excessive cholesterol accumulation to increased risk of heart disease, eating too much meat is not the healthiest of choices and the benefits of cutting down to the recommended levels are enormous starting with these 10.
Create Room For Healthier Protein Sources
Meat, eggs and dairy products contain all the essential amino acids making them a great source of protein but you need to supplement with proteins from beans, soy and other plant-based foods to get your amino acid balance right. Meat keeps you full for longer and takes even longer to digest in your body as compared to plant-based sources of protein. If you serve less meat at your table, you will realize that you will have room to eat beans and other plant-based sources of protein.
Reduce Your Risk Of Getting Heart Disease
The risks, in this case, are mostly associated with processed red meat. Many people around the world consume red meat every day. Salt is a common component in processed red meat, which makes people more susceptible to heart disease. It is one of the reasons why red meat consumers often end up visiting the likes of Cardiovascular Group for heart disease treatment. Besides this, saturated fat contained in red meat has also been found to cause narrowing of blood vessels resulting in coronary heart disease. These pieces of information were found in a University of Oxford paper published in July 2021. Moreover, the paper was published in support of previous studies with similar findings.
Do Your Part In Saving The Climate
The global demand for meat has hit an all-time high and it is only bound to go up as the human population increases. Animal agriculture is the second-highest source of human emissions of greenhouse gasses which is a major contributor to climate change and degradation of our environment. One person cutting down on their intake of meat and other animal products may not do much to change that, but you can only do your part.
Better Skin Health
Vegetables and unsaturated fats are the recipes for improving your skin. Generally, taking a balanced diet every day and hydrating properly helps your skin cells grow and rejuvenate giving you the glow you need. Meat, especially red meat has lots of unsaturated fat which are no good for your skin. Meat also uses up more of your energy reserves during digestion causing general fatigue and less room for your body to produce collagen to regenerate your skin health.
Doctors recommend eating moderate amounts of lean meat if you are suffering from high cholesterol. Most people don’t adhere to these recommendations even when they have high cholesterol which leads to more health problems. You can keep your cholesterol in check and avoid having to visit a doctor by eating moderate amounts of meat. You should especially reduce the number of hot dogs, sausages and other processed meats which store lots of cholesterol.
As mentioned earlier, regular consumption of high saturated fat foods might increase your chances of visiting a doctor. Remember that you might also need to undergo several tests if your doctor suspects you of having high cholesterol. For instance, you might have to consider getting a test kit for checking your cholesterol level at regular intervals.
Better Bone Health
Fish and dairy products are good for your bone health by most health standards but the same can’t be said for other types of meat. A 1996 study by the Cornell-China-Oxford project concluded that eating less meat also reduces your chances of suffering from osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is a disease that is associated with low bone density mostly associated with ageing and which results in higher chances of suffering from fractures.
Manage Your Weight
We have discussed that meat has saturated fat and cholesterol that cause the build-up of plaque in your blood vessels increasing your risk of suffering from heart disease. Something else that excessive consumption of high cholesterol meat causes is increased body weight. A 2017 study found that cutting meat out of your diet is two times more effective at losing weight. You don’t have to cut off all your meat to manage your weight though, just cut down on it.
Improve Your Gut Health
The impact of animal protein on gut health has not been extensively researched but the load that excessive consumption of meat has on your digestive system is enormous. Fatty and processed meats are especially harder to digest and the cause release of too much acid into your stomach which results in discomfort and other gut health complications. Eating moderate quantities of meat reduces the workload on your gut bacteria and your system as a whole which is good for your health.
Reduce Your Risk Of Contracting Some Forms Of Cancer
The WHO lists processed meats as a group 1 carcinogenic substance to humans meaning there is a proven relationship between its consumption and having certain forms of cancer. The same goes for the consumption of certain types of animals and fish, especially high mercury fish which also put you at similar risk. Forms of cancer associated with increased cholesterol and saturated fats can also be avoided when you eat less meat.
Be More Energetic
The energy used to digest meat is higher than that used to digest carbs. Your body has to sacrifice even more energy reserves if that meat is fatty, especially processed meats. That is why you feel less energetic and motivated to work when you eat lots of meat-based diets. It can all be avoided if you cut down on your meat consumption to allow your body to preserve its energy reserves.