There is no one right way to eat for everyone. We are all different and what may work for me may not necessarily work for another person.
I advocate consumption of both animals and plants and there is plenty of evidence that this is a reasonable way to eat. There are others who are vegetarians for religious reasons or because they have some chronic disease that doesn’t allow them to eat meat. Others just don’t like the taste of meat. However there are those who believe that completely eradicating animal products from their diet is a moral choice or because meat is bad for your health. I normally avoid such people because I think they are being ridiculous. There are several reasons why.
1. You’re Missing Out On Important Nutrients
Human beings are omnivorous, that is to say we can eat both animals and plants.
There are some nutrients that can only be gotten from plants, like Vitamin C, and others that can only be gotten from animals. Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is involved in the function of every cell in the body. It is particularly important in the formation of blood and the function of the brain. Because B12 is critical for life and isn’t found in any amount in plants (except some types of algae), it is by far the most important nutrient that vegans must be concerned with.
B12 deficiency is very common in vegans, one study showing that a whopping 92% of vegans are deficient in this critical nutrient.
Other than B12 not eating meat deprives you of other nutrients important for bodily functions.
Animal protein contains all the essential amino acids when taken in the right amount. It is important for muscle mass and bone health. Vegans don’t get any animal protein, which can have negative effects on body composition.
Creatine helps form an energy reservoir in cells. Studies show that vegetarians are deficient in creatine, which has harmful effects on muscle and brain function..
Carnosine is protective against various degenerative processes in the body and may protect against aging. It is found only in animal foods.
Cholesterol is a crucial molecule in the body and is part of every cell membrane. It is also used to make steroid hormones like testosterone.Studies show that vegans have much lower testosterone levels than their meat-eating counterparts.
2. There Is No Scientifically Valid Health Reason
Humans have been eating meat for hundreds of thousands of years.Our bodies are perfectly capable of digesting, absorbing and fully utilizing the many beneficial nutrients found in animal foods.We evolved this way. Even though processed meats cause harm, a fact that is supported by many studies, the same does NOT apply to natural, unprocessed meat.
Unprocessed red meat, which has been demonized in the past, really doesn’t have any association with cardiovascular disease, diabetes or the risk of death. It has only a very weak link with an increased risk of cancer and this is probably caused by excessive cooking, not the meat itself. Studies on eggs show no effect either. Multiple long-term studies have been conducted on egg consumption, which are very rich in cholesterol, and found no negative effects.
Meat, fish, eggs and dairy products for those who can tolerate them, are extremely nutritious.
3.Meat is SO Delicious
I admit this isn’t really a point but I personally cannot survive without meat in my diet. Becoming a vegetarian means never eating meat again. That means no steak, bacon, chicken, fish fingers or BBQ ribs. EVER AGAIN.
Your veggie burger does NOT tastes better than my double bacon cheeseburger, okay? Nothing will convince me that those nasty pieces of soya you’ve sprinkled in your food are meat. No it doesn’t taste the same. Sossi will never taste as good as a greasy piece of bacon.NEVER.
If vegetarians are so concerned about their health, then why do they opt for highly processed foods likes breads and cereals that are not found in nature as opposed to real animal meat which has been around FOREVER?
4. Becoming Vegetarian Is Bad For The Environment
It has often been claimed that avoiding red meat is beneficial to the environment, because it lowers emissions and less land is used to produce alternatives. However embracing this ‘healthy lifestyle change’ will mean supporting the destruction of ecosystems to obtain your food.
A study done by Cranfield University, commissioned by WWF has shown that a switch from beef and milk to highly refined livestock product analogues such as tofu could actually increase the quantity of arable land needed to supply the country. The results showed that the amount of foreign land required to produce the substitute products – and the potential destruction of forests to make way for farmland – outweighed the negatives of rearing beef and lamb. Even though livestock do cause a lot of damage, if you’re aiming to reduce your environmental impact by going vegetarian then it’s obviously not a good idea to rely on highly processed products.
The bottom line is that you should pick a diet that’s good for you and ensure you know the facts.
(image courtesy of http://www.laurelofleaves.com/)