There’s disagreement about whether humans are designed to eat meat or not. After all, we lack the claws, teeth, speed, and physical prowess to catch any wild animals that most people would consider worth eating.
Regardless, there’s a lot of evidence to support that most of us would be healthier if we reduced, or even eliminated, meat from our diets.
Consider these benefits of limiting your meat consumption:
- Cost. Meat can be one of the most expensive foods. Reducing or eliminating your meat consumption can do wonders for your budget. Notice how much you spend on meat the next time you go shopping. Extrapolate that information and calculate how much you spend during a year.
- It’s better for the environment. Meat consumption is hard on the environment. 41% of the land in the United States is used for grazing livestock or growing crops for animal feed. Those fires in Brazil are to clear land for cattle. Raising animals for meat is a very inefficient way of producing food.
- A lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Those that eat a plant-based diet are less likely to suffer from heart attacks and strokes. You could potentially be healthier and live longer by eating more plant foods and less meat.
- Lower body weight. Meat is a calorie-dense food. Reducing the amount of meat in your diet can lower your body weight. This is great for your appearance and your health. Obesity is associated with numerous health issues.
- You’ll eat fewer hormones. Most of the meat available in the store contains hormones that were fed to the animal. These allow the animal to grow faster, which makes it cheaper to raise. Some of these hormones can be unhealthy. Your body would prefer to manage its own hormones without outside interference.
- You’ll be less likely to suffer from type II diabetes. Diabetes is incredibly hard on your organs and blood vessels. Eliminating high-calorie foods like meat can help to prevent developing this dangerous disease.
- You’re likely to lower your cholesterol and blood pressure. Meat and obesity can raise your cholesterol and blood pressure. Both are bad for your blood vessels and can lead to heart attack and stroke.
- The meat industry can be ugly. Animals crammed into cages. Animals treated poorly. In an effort to maximize profit, the meat industry doesn’t treat animals well in general. When you skip the meat in a meal, you’re not supporting an industry that is unkind to animals.
There’s one scientifically supported hypothesis that eating meat isn’t a bad choice, providing you don’t have any health risk factors. Some of these include smoking, diabetes, hypertension, existing heart disease, high cholesterol, and obesity.
The truth is that no one knows the best diet for certain.
However, most people would experience health benefits by reducing the amount of meat they consume.
Try an experiment. Cut your meat intake by half for the next two weeks and notice how you feel. Check your weight at the beginning and at the end. Decide for yourself if you want to go back to your normal portion of meat, or if you’d rather, cut back even further and run an additional experiment.
Keep in mind that avoiding meat doesn’t mean that chips, ice cream, and other processed carbohydrates are suddenly okay to eat. It doesn’t help if you drop one unhealthy option for another. You already know which foods are healthy and unhealthy.
Make healthy choices and cut back on your meat consumption. You’ll be helping yourself and the environment.