Meat My Friends, Veggies…

There’s nothing like a nice, thick, juicy t-bone steak, cooked to perfection on a grill. Nothing marks the beginning of summer quite like it! In fact, we had amazing steaks for my wife’s birthday. And if I do say so myself, they were delicious!

But it’s amazing how in the past couple of decades, an unspoken war against meat has taken place (or maybe it isn’t THAT unspoken if you follow social media). With the advent of all the new fitness and nutritional trends that have hit our societies in recent years, there’s been a push in favour of vegetarians and vegans.

Before I get to far into the fray, we should start by examining what the differences are between vegan and vegetarian.

A Vegetarian is defined as someone who does not eat meat, sometimes for moral or religious reasons, but most often for health reasons.

A Vegan is defined as someone who does not use or consume ANY animal product. This means that things like milk and cheese are off the menu as well. For the sake of this post, I’ll mostly stick to the term vegetarian.

So what are humans MEANT to be? The reality is that most medical professionals agree that the human body is designed to be omnivorous. This means that we are designed to consume meat AND vegetables. Sorry to break it to you, vegetarians… Humans can and should eat meat.

According to an article published in Medical News Today, part of what allowed humans to gain an evolutionary advantage in prehistoric times may have been their consumption of meat. The increased amount of protein and energy may have been what contributed to the evolution of our complex brains and our overall evolution. And it is important to note that evolution takes place over hundreds of thousands of years. So we can’t turn back the clock on our bodies simply by cutting out meat.

A vegetarian diet can lend a certain number of benefits. There have been studies linking a vegetarian diet to lower risk of cardiovascular disease. A vegetarian diet also contains higher levels of fibre and less fat.

Vegans are a bit more on the controversial side, as some studies have shown that being a vegan can actually be LESS healthy than a diet including meat. Although a vegan diet can also involve reducing certain cardiovascular risks and may contribute to a certain level of weight loss, a vegan diet lacks certain vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin B12, which is usually found in eggs, fish and meat and is required for proper cell health.

According to an article posted by Independent, “A study conducted by the Medical University in Graz in Austria found that the vegetarian diet, as characterized by a low consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, due to a higher intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grain products, appeared to carry elevated risks of cancer, allergies and mental health problems such as depression and anxiety.” Definite food for thought (see what I did there?) Here’s that article: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/vegetarians-are-less-healthy-and-have-a-lower-quality-of-life-than-meateaters-scientists-say-9236340.html

Before I close up, let’s examine this from a Diabetes perspective. Some studies have shown that a vegetarian diet can help better manage Type 1 Diabetes and in some cases, can help prevent Type 2 Diabetes. Since being vegetarian can help control weight and blood sugar levels as well as increase the body’s insulin response, it can certainly be helpful (as much as it breaks my heart to says so).

Any change in diet should definitely be done in consultation with your health practitioner and a qualified dietitian. As cute and trendy as being vegetarian or vegan sounds, there are a number of supplements and lifestyle changes you’ll have to make to allow this diet to work for you.

Bottom line is that the average person should be consuming small amounts of meat in combination with plenty of healthy vegetables and some carbohydrates. Also, meat such as poultry or fish is much better for you than red meat.

And last but not least, all of this is a lifestyle choice. Although some people are forced to be vegetarian due to health concerns, the vast majority CHOOSE to do so. And respecting someone’s choice is important. There are shown benefits to both diets, so do everyone a solid and follow the simple idiom, You do you, and let me do me… Meaning that no one needs to hear that they’re murderers simply for consuming meat. ☯

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Published by

Shawn

I am a practitioner of the martial arts and student of the Buddhist faith. I have been a Type 1 Diabetic since I was 4 years old and have been fighting the uphill battle it includes ever since. I enjoy fitness and health and looking for new ways to improve both, as well as examining the many questions of life. Although I have no formal medical training, I have amassed a wealth of knowledge regarding health, Diabetes, martial arts as well as Buddhism and philosophy. My goal is to share this information with the world, and perhaps provide some sarcastic humour along the way. Welcome!

6 thoughts on “Meat My Friends, Veggies…”

      1. I respectfully disagree.

        What I’m presenting isn’t a premise; it’s simply information I’m passing on from articles, websites and various sources, most of which have been peer reviewed or are reputable in some way. Although my opinion is mixed in with some of that, there is no pseudoscience about any of it.

        The posts I write are also subject to opinion, which I DO welcome. Should you disagree with what I’ve written, that is your freedom. There are many who believe the Earth is flat. Although we know this isn’t true, those who believe it are free to do so. It is their opinion.

        As the kids like to say: “If you don’t like it or disagree, there is no need to comment. Just scroll on by…”

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      2. The assertion that the human species is omnivorous is certainly comparable to flat earth theory, because it is not backed up by anything but biased pseudoscientific claims. Glad you brought that up.
        Your comments section is open, so I have to assume you welcome comments.

        The human anatomy is that of a frugivorous herbivore The teeth, the jaw, the nails, the intestines, the enzymes in the saliva, the stomach acid, the physical abilities – they’re all attributes of non-predator species (gatherers).

        Omnivorous species can be saturated with animal fat and cholesterol and face no repercussions, and yet the human body is the opposite of that. Our body makes 100% of the cholesterol we will ever need without us having to consume any at all (animal products are the only “foods” that contain cholesterol, in case you didn’t know).

        The fact that we have absolutely no need for meat (or animal products of any kind), not to mention that they are profoundly dangerous for us, tells us that we are not anatomically designed to consume them. (And it is therefore unethical to do so.)

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      3. Considering any of those studies to be pseudoscience is also a matter opinion. Can I ask, are you vegetarian or vegan? No disrespect if you are, everyone is entitled to their choice. And I agree that pre-historically, the human ancestor was a gatherer. But humans have evolved to become omnivores. The introduction of meat into the human diet during our ancestors’ time is what caused that evolution.

        The reality is that our digestive tract is too short to accommodate a strictly plant-based diet. And our stomach lining and acids are not as such to accommodate a strictly meat-based diet. But the requirement for both is still present.

        I’m entertained by the fact that you put the word “foods” in quotation. In some respect, you must acknowledge that human beings are animals and are inherently part of the food chain. And the comment on cholesterol is only partly accurate. Animal products are the only source of “dietary” cholesterol, but plenty of non-animal based consumables contain cholesterol as well, such as coconut and palm oils.

        Like everything else in life, it becomes a matter of balance. I agree that if you consume a 20-ounce steak every night, you’ll cause critical damage to your systems. This is why the Canada’s Food Guide recommends allotting only 25% of your plate to meat or protein, with 50% to fruit and veggies and 25% to wheat-based or carbohydrate foods. But that in no way makes meat inherently dangerous for the human body. All things in moderation…

        Thank you for reading and for your comments. I always welcome a good discussion. But let’s call it a draw and move forward, shall we?

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