This may be controversial in some circles…
Meat is GOOD for you!
Animal protein is far superior to plant protein.
You may be thinking, “But, studies say that meat causes heart disease and many other problems so how can it be healthier than plants? Shouldn’t we try to get our protein from plants if meat is so problematic?”
Does meat really do that? What foods were those studies really looking at?
If you look at studies that make the claims that meat is the cause of heart disease, they used processed foods in their studies.(1) All of these were clearly unhealthy meat options. Quality makes quite the difference.
It’s a bit hard to believe that our ancestors and other animals who are carnivores were, and are, healthy eating a meat diet but it’s suddenly a problem for us.
In reality, meat provides many nutrients that we just can’t get naturally or enough of in other diet options. We are talking science here. This belief that it is the same in plants is primarily due to a lack of awareness, as the science is crystal clear.
Taurine, carnosine, anserine, and creatine are all abundant in meat but are missing in plants. Hydroxyproline can be found in plants but it’s simply not enough. Here’s why these nutrients are so important:
Eating foods high in quality protein can help keep your appetite in check. This keeps you from mindlessly snacking or feeling hungry shortly after you’ve eaten which helps keep you at a healthy weight. This helps bodily processes run better and keeps energy levels up. Protein is the most satiating macronutrient and you need it on a daily basis in order for your body to get all 20 amino acids, 9 of which are essential, that the body cannot produce.
On the other hand, plant protein contains phytates, oxalates, and lectins i.e. phytochemicals that drastically reduce the absorption of minerals. So to make up for those minerals, and to ingest enough protein, your caloric load would have to increase more than if your protein source was meat. Not really the goal we’re going for here.
Higher protein intake is linked to increased muscle mass. If you look at anyone who has a healthy amount of muscle on their body, it is guaranteed that they will have a high level of quality protein in their diet. And the key word here is quality.
For example, to optimize muscle protein synthesis you would need 2x plant protein than animal (one study compared 50g of plant protein to 25g of whey) to get the same level of leucine (anabolic) or you would need to supplement additional leucine to the plant protein. Whey has immunoglobulins, growth factors to stimulate the immune system and recovery and essential fatty acids.
Choose unprocessed meats
Focus on WHOLE food. Processed foods have chemicals and can lead to problems down the road. Plus, you can’t receive the nutrients your body needs from processed foods.
Experiment with organ meats
Organ meats are a great complement to your diet because they have a very high nutrient content.
Minimize high-heat cooking
Cooking meat at very high temperatures may change the nutritional composition of the meat. (2)
Choose organic meat from small, local farms where livestock is raised and processed naturally. (3)
Check out one of my favorite brands, Slanker, here.
In conclusion, meat has been a staple of the human diet for thousands of years. It’s a rich source of protein, which provides health benefits for the body that really can’t be matched by any other source.
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