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The consumption of meat in different forms is the norm today, and many people prefer a high-protein diet. However, the excessive consumption of animal protein can be fraught with dangerous consequences for the human body. It is not just about digestion difficulties since meat is a hard product for the stomach but also some other problems, including such dangerous ones as asthma and cancer. Reducing the intake of animal protein can help the body to recover, and various scientists and nutritionists confirm this fact. One of the basic rules is balance. It is not necessary to completely eliminate meat from the diet, but it is significant to observe certain doses of consumption and not exceed this amount. The additional benefit of the constant use of vegetables and greens in food is scientifically proven; therefore, one of the ways to improve health is to reduce the amount of meat consumed and eat more vegetables, fruits, and greens.
The use of meat for food has always been considered the norm since this product, as it is known, not only contains various nutrients, in particular, animal protein but also has a delicious taste. However, today, there is a tendency to refuse meat for various reasons, and this movement is gaining momentum. Not for nothing that various vegetarian diets are considered to be a good way to cleanse the body of toxins and eliminate the risk of developing dangerous diseases.
The fact is that the excess of the protein of animal origin cannot be digested properly when getting into the body, which has a significant burden on the human digestive system and causes the liver to experience colossal tension. It does not mean that it is necessary to completely abandon the consumption of meat dishes and entirely eliminate this product from the diet. Nevertheless, the path to health lies through a reduction in the rate of meat consumption since the confusing eating of all types of fatty foods can lead to dangerous consequences.
Reducing the intake of animal protein can help to improve digestion. The organism will be easier to perceive other foods that are less caloric and saturated. Therefore, no matter how useful the meat is, its excessive use can do more harm than good.
Possible Negative Consequences of Excessive Meat Consumption
Despite the fact that meat contains protein, amino acids, and other useful minerals, in particular, iron that helps in the prevention of anemia, this product does not contain other important components for the body. Thus, it does not contain fiber that contributes to the normalization of the gastrointestinal tract; therefore, meat is heavily digested, and the body has to spend a lot of energy on its processing. Also, eating meat causes many serious diseases, including asthma, diabetes, problems with the cardiovascular system, and even cancer because of the presence of harmful fat (“Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk”). Excessive consumption of meat is fraught with permanent processes of putrefaction in the intestine. The liver and kidneys begin to work hard to neutralize the toxins that result from putrefactive processes. It, in its turn, leads to the disruption of the work of these important organs.
The damage caused by meat consumption is greatly enhanced by modern methods of its processing. Various hormones to enhance the growth of livestock and poultry, feed saturated with nitrates and pesticides, cruel conditions for slaughter animals, and chemicals to give the meat a beautiful color leave no nutrients in meat, exacerbating its harmful properties. Therefore, views on meat consumption are recommended to be reconsidered in order to avoid severe health consequences.
Ways to Reduce the Negative Effects of Meat
One of the ways to completely stop eating meat is vegetarianism. Kellman describes it as the way of life and claims that its popularity over many years is due to a positive effect on health (402). Similar views are presented in the work by Richman who examines vegans and lists many advantages of such a diet, separately noting successful culinary decisions (388). Despite the fact that a complete rejection of the consumption of animal protein can be a drastic measure, there are certainly particular advantages of such a diet.
First of all, it is worth remembering the main rule of healthy nutrition: it is required to eat balanced. If vegetables, fruits, cereals, nuts, and beans are present in the daily diet in addition to meat, the harm will significantly decrease, and it will be easier for the body to digest protein. Also, the prescribed rate of eating meat should not be exceeded.
When touching upon the topic about what meat is the most harmful, it is the meat of mammals: beef, pork, lamb (“Meat and the Environment”). Poultry meat, especially white (chicken fillet), and also by-products are less harmful. Fish meat almost has no harmful properties. In addition, it is very important to combine protein with other products, which can enhance or, conversely, weaken its dangerous impact. Thus, for instance, it is extremely undesirable to eat meat with vegetables containing starch, and it is better to give preference to greens and vegetables.
Additional Use of Vegetables
The benefits of vegetable products for food are obvious; however, it applies to not only human health but also to the state of the environment as a whole. Thus, according to scientists, the number of harmful emissions to the atmosphere can be reduced by two-thirds by 2050 if people completely switch to a vegetarian lifestyle (“Why Eating More Vegetables is Good for the Environment”). Accordingly, if the population continues to eat meat in large quantities, the air will be polluted more, and the risk of increasing the number of emissions to 75% by 2050 arises (“Why Eating More Vegetables is Good for the Environment”). These figures are quite frightening; therefore, it is essential to pay attention to vegetable diets for the safety of the planet.
Another reason to abandon the constant consumption of red meat is the real figures based on scientists’ research. For example, if people replace animal protein with plant products, the risk of mortality may decrease from 7% to 19% (“Risk in Red Meat?”). It is also a significant argument in favor of the fact that the excessive consumption of meat negatively affects human health.
Thus, despite some useful substances contained in meat, its excessive use will bring more harm to the person than good. A complete rejection of animal protein is possible but not necessary. It is important to adhere to the norms and not to overeat; otherwise, there is a danger of excessive load on the internal organs, in particular, the digestive tract and the liver. The increase in the volume of vegetables and greens in the diet not only positively affects the improvement of well-being but also has significant environmental benefits.
Kellman, Stephen G. “From Fish, Flesh, and Foul: The Anti-Vegetarian Animus.” Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert and Roger J. Porter, W. W. Norton & Company, 2016, pp. 400-407.
“Meat and the Environment.” PETA, Web.
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“Meat Consumption and Cancer Risk.” Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Web.
Richman, Alan. “From Fork it Over: My Beef with Vegans.” Eating Words: A Norton Anthology of Food Writing, edited by Sandra M. Gilbert and Roger J. Porter, W. W. Norton & Company, 2016, pp. 385-392.
“Risk in Red Meat?” NIH Research Matters, 2012. Web.
“Why Eating More Vegetables is Good for the Environment.” The Economist, 2016. Web.