Is Meat as Unhealthy as People Think?
By: Kevin Ye
Humans are omnivores. This means that we eat fruits, vegetables and meat. Throughout history, humans have evolved off of this diet. Nowadays, we have vegetarians and vegans who are criticizing this diet. The only difference between vegetarians and vegans is that vegetarians refrain from eating meat while vegans refrain from eating meat or any animal-based products such as dairy and eggs. The reasons for them choosing this lifestyle may be religious, humanitarian or health-based.
Why You Shouldn’t Eat Meat
There are two sides to every story, so let’s first explore the anti-meat stance. There is a belief that eating meat poses many health risks. Meat contributes to weight gain through trans and saturated fats. Many types of meat are also filled with antibiotics, medicines originally used to treat and prevent human illnesses. Some farmers inject these antibiotics in their livestock to prolong the life of animals in harsh living conditions and to make the meat taste better. Little do we know, using antibiotics has a negative impact on the animals because it creates more antibiotic-resistant bacteria which is also passed up the food chain.
There have been protests saying eating meat is murder. Massive deforestation and the destruction of many wildlife habitats are arguments against global vegetarianism. Earth is a large food chain and we share the earth with other carnivorous predators like lions and tigers. Eating meat is inevitable but perhaps we can stop inhumane practices against animals and promote wildlife growth.
Benefits of Meat
There are also many arguments that are on the pro-meat side. Meat is rich in proteins, vitamins and minerals. For example, vitamin K2 is only present in animal foods. While some people rely on a vegetarian diet, some people do the opposite. Famous Canadian psychologist and University of Toronto professor, Jordan Peterson, relies on a meat-only diet to alleviate certain health issues. Despite all the criticism it receives, red meat is one of the most nutritious foods you can consume, especially if the meat is organic and naturally raised. It is loaded with proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, iron, zinc, creatine, carnosine and various other nutrients that can have profound effects on health. Non-meat eaters are often lacking these nutrients, which may potentially affect muscle and brain function.
Now let’s talk about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy substance and you can find it in your bloodstream. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. Saturated fats, which are common in meat, increase cholesterol. Manage the saturated fat you intake by eating a moderate amount of meat along-side with vegetables. Don’t be afraid to mix it up! When buying meats, purchase leaner options. Refer to the Canadian food guide to get a good idea of how your daily meal plans should look like.
Lastly, meat is delicious. When cooked properly and seasoned well, it can make your mouth water. It is important to eat food you enjoy because it makes you happy and we all need happiness to live a healthy life.
The Right Choice
In conclusion, eat what works for you. Meat can have positive results for some people and negative results for others. Everyone has a different body and each person adapts to different diets. It is very important to eat in moderation. I personally know people who are vegans and I know people who love meat. There is no right or wrong answer regarding food. Experiment and find a diet that is right for you. Also, remember to avoid junk foods and drink a lot of water. Take care of your health and I hope this helps you find your path on this exciting food journey. Happy eating everybody!