Meaty Meals: Get the Beef
I’ve written in the past about the myriad benefits of a plant-based diet, such as productivity, climate stability, and enhanced learning. Let’s look at the flip side of that: what eating meat actually does to the human body:
- Inflammation: Eating red meat and saturated animal fat releases endotoxins, a type of bacterium that causes inflammation in the body within an hour of eating the meal. Inflammation raises the risk of heart disease, stroke, and diabetes.
- Cholesterol: Eggs, dairy, red meat, and especially liver, contain high levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol also increases the risk for heart disease and stroke.
- Bad bacteria: Red meat consumption causes a compound called trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) to be produced in the gut, and TMAO is linked to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), which can cause heart attacks.
- Aging: Eating processed meat containing trans fats can shorten telomeres, regions of our DNA, and this shortening is associated with faster aging due to inflammation. Plant-based foods contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents that slow down aging by lengthening telomeres.
- Diabetes: Increasing meat intake by more than half a serving per day for four years raises the risk of type 2 diabetes by 48%, according to a series of studies.
- Weight gain: Eating more protein than we need leads to weight gain, because our body stores the extra protein as fat.
- Threat to life-support system: Eating animals destroys, pollutes, endangers, and/or destabilizes our land, water, fish, animals, wildlife, and climate. Eating meat is a high price to pay for destroying our own well being, and that of other life forms.
Now that you’re sufficiently appalled, let’s look at the silver lining: a plant-based diet basically does the opposite of the above, reducing inflammation and cholesterol, reducing harmful gut bacteria, slowing down the aging process, reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and weight gain, and supporting a safe and healthy life now and in the future, for all. Bonuses include a lot more energy, a higher sex drive, and as I mentioned before, better productivity. Everybody wins!