From The Straits Times    |

Photo: 123rf

Modern science shows us clearly that if we want to thrive, we should avoid all meat as much as possible, or even better, cut it out altogether.

By now you may have ditched bacon, sausages, ham and salami, after the huge WHO report came out classifying red and processed meats as class 1 carcinogens, the same as smoking.

But there’s more than that to worry you. And it doesn’t stop at steak.

An increasing body of evidence shows that meat, including white meat such as chicken, offers no health benefits compared to the alternatives, and it is linked to causing heart disease, diabetes, cancer and premature death.

A study of 70,000 people found veggies were found to be 12 percent less likely to die after 6 years compared to meat-eaters.

Physician Dr Michael Greger, author of How Not to Die, has said: ‘Going meat-free is one of the best things you can do if you want to lead a long and healthy life.’

Here we report on what meat is REALLY doing to your body.


The saturated fat strains your heart

Photo: 123rf

Not all saturated fat is bad – a little coconut oil does no harm.

But over-consumption saturated fat and cholesterol from animal products like meat increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, heart attacks, strokes and cancer.

These heavy compounds put a great strain on our cardiovascular system, and nowadays meat contains more saturated fat than ever due to modern farming practices, so it’s hard to avoid harmful amounts.

This animal fat leaves fat deposits in the arteries and damages them, increasing blood pressure and causing serious weight gain.

Saturated fat has even been linked Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, and cognitive decline.


Your body finds meat toxic

Photo: 123rf

It literally goes into shock the minute you put it into your mouth due to endotoxins (toxins released from bacteria commonly found in animal foods).

The toxins together with the saturated fat trigger an inflammation defence response, as the body thinks it is under attack, and this can become chronic.

While temporary inflammation is a normal response after something like an injury, long-term it causes immense stress on the body and can be deadly.

Chronic inflammation has been linked to atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes and autoimmune diseases.



It can actually poison you

Photo: 123rf

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) says 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by contaminated animal flesh.

Now of course this is an American statistic, but land-scarce Singapore imports the vast majority of its food so we need to look into the risk from suppliers.

A pork, beef and chicken firm in Brazil was found to be falsely selling rotten meat as good stock in a recent scandal. Luckily, Singapore’s batch was clear, but the potential for farms to sell diseased animal flesh remains.

Aside from bacteria feasting on rancid meat, products can be tainted with faeces, especially chicken. A study found 97% of raw chicken in U.S. was contaminated with faecal bacteria.


On the other hand, the antibiotics can make you ill

Photo: 123rf

Disease is one of the reasons why antibiotics are such huge business on farms. Did you know that up to 80% of antibiotics are administered to animals on farms, not humans?

The pills are being used to help cows, chickens and pigs grow and stay alive in unnatural factory farming conditions that would otherwise kill them. In turn, countless new strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria have developed.

The more animal flesh we eat, the more we are also pumped with these pills, and so we run a greater risk of making ourselves antibiotic-resistant.

Some last-resort drugs used to treat pneumonia don’t work anymore because resistant strains have developed in farmed animals given the medicine as a growth stimulant.

Evolving superbugs and antibiotic-resistance poses an increasing threat that we can’t afford to ignore.


It messes up your gut health

Photo: 123rf

We’re talking slow digestion, putrefaction and constipation. Not nice.

We know processed meat causes colon cancer, but it messes up your gut in even more ways.

Meat takes a long time to digest through the intestines, where during this time it putrefies.

This kind of rot produces toxins in the liver, kidneys and intestines, destroying beneficial bacterial cultures and causing degeneration of the lining of the small intestine.

After years of eating meat regularly, the putrefied flesh can stick to the lining of your intestines and cause IBS, cramps, prolapsed colons, haemorrhoids, constipation and many other problems beyond the intestines.


Meat is a red light for cancer

Photo: 123rf

Multiple studies show that vegetarians are less likely to develop cancer. There are various theories around why.

Unless it’s organic, a farm animal’s flesh will probably contain added hormones used to speed up its growth, which increases your cancer risk.

It may also contain carcinogenic compounds such as heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), which are formed during the processing or cooking at high temperatures. This includes red meat, pork, turkey, chicken and even fish.

Boiling meat could be one of the safest methods to cook it, though the longer it’s boiled for the more HCAs develop. But you wouldn’t want to undercook it due to risk of bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli.

Also, the more meat you eat, the less fibre and other cancer-protecting nutrients you ingest. You’d be safest leaving it off your plate all together.

You’re more likely to gain a dangerous amount of weight

Meat-eaters are three times more likely to be obese than vegetarians, and nine times more likely than vegans.

On average, vegans are 10 to 20 pounds lighter than adult meat-eaters.

Vegetarian diets are also associated with higher metabolic rates, meaning they burn more calories quicker (around 16 percent faster for vegans compared with meat-eaters).


p.s. It might cause erectile dysfunction in your man

Photo: 123rf

Animal-derived foods including meat slow the flow of blood to all the body’s organs – and the penis requires a good blood flow to work.

According to the Erectile Dysfunction Institute, up to 90 percent of all cases of impotence are physical as opposed to psychological, meaning the high cholesterol, obesity, diabetes, prostate cancer or inflammations, and hormonal imbalances that eating meat causes might also contribute to impotence.

The best way to prevent artery blockage as well as multiple other conditions that cause impotence is to eat a whole foods plant-based diet high in fibre, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

One of the best things you can do for your health is to either eat less meat, or cut it out altogether.