You may have heard that there are many benefits to eating less meat. There are actually many health benefits if you eat less meat, but these seem to depend on what other food you eat and what type of meat you want to limit or avoid. Find out 6 different reasons why it is good to eat less meat in this article and how!
1. Better Overall Health
Many people eat no or limited amounts of meat. Eating these diets has been linked with good things like a lower risk for heart disease and cancer, improved insulin resistance, and less chance of type 2 diabetes (source). Limiting the amount of meat in your diet might also help you lose weight or keep it off.
An analysis of 12 other studies and found that vegetarian diets were better than nonvegetarian diets for helping people lose weight. The possible health benefits to limiting meat and eating more plant-based foods like leafy vegetables and fruits likely come from a higher intake of certain healthy plant compounds like antioxidants, fiber, and micronutrients (source). Some fruits also play a vital role in losing weight, you may check the whole list here.
People who eat plant-based diets tend to consume lesser calories and less fat. This is true even if they are eating processed foods that do not have meat. But it’s important to realize that people with these diets may not get enough of certain nutrients like the protein found in animal foods. They might need supplements or specific types of vegan food for this reason.
2. Helps to Aid Heart Ailments
Some research has found that a plant-based diet can be good for your heart. One type of food that may not be good for your heart is red meat. People who eat too much meat have a higher chance of having a heart attack. Another thing to watch out for is how much fat you eat, especially if the food has a lot of saturated fat. You should avoid eating fatty cuts of red meat, bacon, sausage, and hot dogs (source).
Meat with less saturated fat includes poultry and leaner cuts of meat. Replacing saturated fat with unsaturated fat can also help reduce your risk of heart disease. This happens because it is more likely that the fats will be polyunsaturated, which is more healthy.
Plant-based diets include no meat and are often full of unsaturated fat and fiber. Eating more plant-based food and less red meat can help with health problems from eating too much-saturated fat. The type of meat you eat also makes a difference – it can be healthy to eat chicken or fish compared to red meat and bacon.
Plant-based diets do not include much meat. They are good because they tend to be high in fiber, which can help with high cholesterol levels. You can also pick the type of meat you eat and make sure it is not too fat. Eating like this could make your heart healthy (source).
Read More: 9 Foods That Can Help Reduce Cholesterol
Processed meats are also high in salt, which can lead to high blood pressure. Eating leaner cuts of meat, replacing some meat with fatty fish, and avoiding processed meats while eating fiber-rich plant foods is good for your heart.
3. Makes Gut Healthy
Since diets that exclude meat often have fruits, vegetables, grains, and other plant foods in them, they tend to be high in fiber. Fiber feeds the good bacteria in your body that make compounds with anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting roles. The bacteria may also play a role in preventing cancer cells from growing and protecting you from diabetes. Plant-based protein and beneficial compounds called polyphenols may also help keep your gut healthy (source).
Some research suggests that animal fats could lead to the growth of less healthy bacteria in your gut. Eating a diet that includes more plant foods and limited meat may help nourish healthy gut bacteria. But the gut microbiome is complicated, so more research is needed to understand whether eating meat can have any effect on your health.
4. Protection from Cancer
Limiting some types of meat may also help reduce your risk of certain cancers. Eating many red and processed meats, such as bacon, hot dogs, and other smoked or cured meats has been associated with a higher risk of developing colorectal cancer (source).
Poultry and fish have not been connected with increased colorectal cancer risk. Red and processed meat intake has also been associated with an increased risk of other cancers, including breast cancer.
Some foods affect cancer. Some researchers believe that saturated fats and carcinogenic compounds from meat processing and cooking at a high temperature may be linked to cancer. Other research suggests that plant foods, like vegetables, may help protect against colorectal and other cancers. A study of 77,000 adults found that vegetarian diets and non-veg diets, including fish and some meat, were linked to a lower risk of colorectal cancer than non-vegetarian diets (source).
5. Environmental Friendly
Eating more plants and less meat may be good for the environment. Producing meat usually requires more resources than producing fruits, vegetables, and other minimally processed plant foods. And it is even worse for the environment because it leads to more greenhouse gas emissions and deforestation. So if you want to do something good for the environment, you might think about eating only plants instead of meat.
You can make a difference by eating less meat. Eating this way may even be better for the environment. A study found that diets, including vegetarian, pescatarian, and vegan, could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by as much as 80%.
6. Other Benefits
You don’t need to cut out meat completely. You can reduce the amount of it that you eat. This is called a flexitarian diet. People who do this have many health benefits, such as less cancer and heart disease. Some people also find that they lose weight more easily when they eat less meat because meat has lots of fat and calories. But some research says these diets are not as healthy as we think, so you should talk to your doctor before making any changes to your lifestyle or diet plan.
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Finally, many of the benefits of plant-based eating stem from what is included in the diet rather than what is left out. That means that if you stop eating meat, you will not see as many benefits as if you eat more vegetables and fruits with other healthy foods.
It also means that if people eat unhealthy food like french fries and white bread, they will not benefit even if they stop eating meat. Consider reducing your intake of foods high in sodium and unhealthy fats like french fries, or sugary drinks made out of refined grains like white bread