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Is it time to reduce our red meat consumption?

by | Sep 8, 2020 | Nutrition

A 2016 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows a doubling of the risk of colon cancer for people who are heavy consumers of red meat. More specifically, it shows that the risk doubles compared to those who consume smaller quantities of red meat. Doing so is easy and you don’t have to be a vegetarian. You can still be a consumer of other sources of animal protein (fish, seafood, etc.) while avoiding red meat.

There are plenty of health reasons to avoid eating red meat, and a higher risk of colon cancer is just one of them. The saturated animal fat found in red meat products contributes to heart disease and atherosclerosis. In addition, red meat can contain contaminants such as heavy metals, pesticides and undesirable environmental pollutants that tend to collect in the fat tissues of cows, which are absorbed into your body when you eat cow fat. And you can’t eat red meat without getting some animal fat.

The negative impact of frequent consumption of red meat is now well known and this is why more and more people are now giving up red meat and moving to healthier foods like fish, free-range chicken, or better yet, plant-based proteins like spirulina or soy products like soy milk and tofu. This is where you get your best protective effect and disease prevention. Plus you will be helping protect the environment at the same time. After all, it is far less stressful on the environment to produce food as plants than as animals.

It takes 10 acres to produce the same amount of red meat protein as it does to produce one acre of soy beans. And producing spirulina yields a tenfold increase over the production of soybeans. So think about it: one acre of farmland used to produce spirulina can produce 100 times as much protein as beef and red meat. That will be very important to realize as our world population grows and it becomes increasingly difficult to produce the protein required by the population.

These are all reasons to avoid an animal-based diet and pursue a plant-based diet. Some people reading this may already be following a plant-based diet, but this doesn’t work for all. Perhaps you want to merely reduce your consumption of red meat but not give it up completely yet, which is great as that is the way ex-meat-eaters got into plant-based diets to begin with.

The transition away from red meat may be difficult at first. The bottom line on red meat is that there is an increasing body of evidence supporting the notion that you can prevent cancer by pursuing a plant-based diet. If you want to be healthy, it is time to join the vegetarians. Maybe even join the vegans if you have the courage.

There is nothing quite like a beautiful steak straight off the BBQ and if the moment takes us we should enjoy one from time to time. But think about limiting your consumption of red meat and instead nourish your body with the many other bountiful options we have today.

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