In past articles I’ve talked about avoiding or reducing gluten in your diet and we’ve learned about the dangers of sugar and some of the better sweeteners. We’ve also learned about the dangers of GMO’s. Today I want to touch on meat.
Here in the heart of cattle country, this may make me some enemies, but I have to speak about what I know. Many people have experienced better health by eating a Vegetarian or Vegan or raw diet. They eliminate meat for a variety of reasons. Some of those reasons include the growth hormones, antibiotics and GMO feed fed to the cattle, chickens and hogs and some have a strong belief that slaughtering animals to eat is wrong. I’m not here to debate this issue. I have my own opinions on this, but that’s not the purpose of this column. The purpose is to educate people on the food we eat.
I wholeheartedly agree that eating meat from animals given unnecessary antibiotics and growth hormones and fed GMO corn and soybeans is definitely NOT what we should be eating. There’s a reason our young girls are maturing faster. There’s a reason why there are strains of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and superweeds. But there are alternatives to this type of meat. There are farmers who raise grass-fed beef cattle and free-range chickens. If you’re going to eat meat at all, I highly recommend choosing these options. The meat from these animals contains more of the nutrients our bodies need and fewer of the toxins. Meat is still very hard for the body to digest and should be eaten in very small amounts, if at all. Meat should not be the main thing on your plate, as it so often is in our society. It should be eaten with lots of fresh vegetables and greens to help your digestive system process and digest the meat so it doesn’t rot in your gut and cause digestive issues.
Meat should also be unprocessed. By that I mean it should not contain nitrates and other chemicals. Processed meats include bacon, hot dogs, corned beef, ham, lunch meat and smoked fish. Our bodies convert nitrates to nitrosamines. Nitrosamines are potent cancer-causing chemicals. The cancers most often associated with the consumption of processed meats include Colorectal Cancer, Stomach Cancer and Pancreatic Cancer. Based on a study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, “risks of these types of cancers increase 40, 50, up to 70 percent with consumption of processed meats”. If you have to eat bacon or hotdogs, choose those without nitrates.
So, in conclusion, it is best to reduce or eliminate meat intake. Don’t eat meat at every meal and don’t make it the focus of your plate. Choose grass-fed beef and free-range chicken and if you must consume processed meat, choose options with no nitrates. If we make these choices and support the farmers who raise their animals in a more natural way, maybe more farmers will follow suit and we will all be healthier.