From the last 20-30 years, we have been told that meat is bad for us, cancer-causing should only consume it once-twice a week, yet we are sicker than ever.
However, meat contains many essential nutrients that help our immune functioning, gut health, energy metabolism and are extremely useful in certain phases of our lives such as pregnancy or older age.
Meat has much higher bioavailability of nutrients than plant-based foods, this is because the plants have to rely on the soil richness of these. Plants deplete the soil of critical micronutrients whilst animals give back.
Certain nutrients also are only found in animal products, such as vitamin B12 and provitamin A.
Folate instead, has got 10 times more availability in eggs or liver than vegetables.
Zinc & Selenium are those nutrients that closely depends on soil quantity and if we already have depleted fields due to the massive spraying and mono-cropping, you can see why these deficiencies are common in our diets. These two have an incredible action on white blood cells and inflammation, DNA replication and lower oxidative stress.
During pregnancy, lactation, growing and older age is important that the food eaten is nutrient-dense, providing all the micronutrients needed for our cells to grow healthily, to support our immune system to fight infections (a very normal part of our lives we need to go through), support energy metabolism and lower risk of deficiencies.
So, meat is not an enemy, it is not cancer-causing like the reputation that has been having, but it delivers essential nutrients and amino acids.
We, as humans, have consumed animal products for hundred thousands of years and only now, with the increased intake of carbohydrates-rich foods over animal-products we are seeing an explosion in metabolic disease, which are diet-related.
A healthy varied diet allowing different sort of animal products from seafood, poultry, red meat, offals from a trusted supplier with seasonal vegetables to pair up is the best way to go.
If you are concerned about the ethical side of things (the reason many people go vegan) you can perhaps support local growers, butchers and buy free-range and organic, rather than standard supermarket meat.
What do you think? Did you find this article useful with new insights? If so, let me know!
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Reference: Biesalski, H.-K. (2005). Meat as a component of a healthy diet – are there any risks or benefits if meat is avoided in the diet? Meat Science, 70(3), 509–524. doi:10.1016/j.meatsci.2004.07.017