Let’s start at the basics. What is meat? Meat is the flesh of any animal, including fish and insects (popular in Thailand) and, as you know, is widely considered as ‘food’ for humans. It is a source of high protein and this is one of the reasons why it’s touted as a nutritious food for us to eat. Most animal muscle is 75% water, 20% protein, 5% fat, carbohydrates and some other special proteins. So basically, it has muscle-building qualities and stimulates human growth. Most of us humans do not eat raw flesh, so we tend to always cook meat in order to consume it.
There are a lot of sources of meat. There is fish meat, chicken breast, lamb, pork, beef steaks, shellfish. Fish meat has the lowest protein content which is 20-25 grams, and has calories ranging from 110-140 per 100g. Not only that, it has 1-5 grams of fat. Oily fish has more calories and fat content. Compared to fish, the steak (beef top round) has the highest protein content which is 36 grams.
But can it be harmful to us humans? Scientific research tells us that meat can cause a lot of problems if taken frequently. This is because of the high protein intake that we think is so good for us. It is not the case that more is better. The proteins in animal flesh are hard to break down and assimilate in our own bodies. Also, all meat contains high levels of saturated fat, which is bad for us whichever way you look at it. You should limit your meat intake, if not eliminate it as I and many other people who take their health seriously have done.
So why is too much meat consumption harmful? Here are some effects of high protein intake on humans.
First of all, ‘weight gain’, too much protein and calorie consumption can create a lot of excess body fat. Meat comes hand in hand with saturated fat, as we discussed earlier, so with every portion of meat you eating fat that is going directly to your waistline and arteries, no matter how ‘lean’ the meat claims to be. This is one cause of obesity and can lead to other forms of diseases, such as diabetes.
Next is dehydration. Too much protein can cause this. It is advisable that you drink a half liter of water per every 100 grams of protein you eat. Also, too much protein can hurt your stomach, causing constipation or diarrhea and also excessive gas excretion.
Furthermore, it can cause kidney and liver problems because of the concentrated and hard-to-break-down protein diet you are consuming. Lastly, the mostly lethal things that could happen from meat consumption is heart disease and cancer.
You can get all the protein you need from vegetables. Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, kale, wheatgrass are THE BEST form of protein for humans – readily available in amino acid form to be assimilated to build our muscles, without the saturated fat and strains on our liver and kidneys.
To learn more about the harmful effects of meat and why it should not be eaten as part of a truly healthy and alkaline diet, watch Dr Neal Barnard’s video – Breaking The Food Seduction on YouTube