Removing Meat from Your Diet
Are you a meat-eater?
You’re not alone. In fact, estimates show that nearly 95% of Americans eat meat. Only 5 to 10 percent of the American population follows a plant-based diet. Some of us jump on the plant-based wagon for a few weeks and then fall back off into the Standard American Diet; chock-full of meat.
Over the next 21 days, you will slowly eliminate meat from your diet. Each day, we will ask you pointed questions to help you understand the complex emotional and physical relationship between you and meat consumption. Trust us, it's more complicated than you think!
We will also educate you with scientific information about the negative health and social consequences of consuming meat. With your full commitment to our group challenge, you'll stay meat-free each day while you answer thought-provoking questions about your desire to consume meat.
Are you ready to go plant-based? At least for a little while?
Well, com’on, let’s get started!
Step 1: How do you cook your meat?
Meat is a highly controversial food. On one hand, it’s a staple in many diets and a great source of protein and important nutrients. On the other hand, some people believe eating it is unhealthy, unethical, and unnecessary. According to healthline.com, many people claim that eating meat raises cancer risk. However, this probably depends on the type you eat and how it’s cooked. Some observational studies link a high red meat intake to several types of cancer, including digestive tract, prostate, kidney, and breast cancers (13Trusted Source, 14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source, 16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source, 18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source). However, in nearly every study, the association was between cancer and well-done meat, PAHs, or HAAs, rather than red meat itself. These studies indicate that high-heat cooking had a very strong effect.
Step 2: Weight Control
Several observational studies link high intakes of red and processed meat to obesity. In one study, researchers found that although there was a relationship between frequent red meat consumption and obesity, people who ate the greatest amounts also took in about 700 more calories per day than those who ate smaller amounts (53Trusted Source). Although negative studies exist, you must also realize that meat consumption benefits do exist. One area is the retention of muscle mass. Animal protein intake is consistently linked to increased muscle mass. In one study in older women, eating beef increased muscle mass and reduced markers of inflammation (61, 62Trusted Source, 63Trusted Source, 64Trusted Source, 65Trusted Source). We encourage you to always analyze both sides of an argument and practice moderation in everything.