Having Meat In Your Diet Is Healthy

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Having meat in your diet is healthy

There is, however, some reasonable evidence in the scientific literature to support the idea that people should include some animal products in their diet. There are primarily three weaknesses of a vegan diet, they are:

* Plant foods do not contain B12 (all vegans should take B12).

* Some people have a need for more taurine, and may not get optimal amounts with a vegan diet. (Some vegans need to take a taurine supplement, or they could get a blood test to assure adequacy).

* Some vegans may not produce ideal levels of DHA fat (from the conversion of short-chain omega-3 fats) found in such foods as flax and walnuts, if they don't eat fish(Glattre, et al., 2008). AUTHOR advocates that vegans and people who do not eat fish should supplement with DHA or get a blood test to assure adequacy.

Obviously, these three areas of potential deficiency on a vegan diet are easily remedied by taking a few supplements. There are loads of advantages of a vegetarian diet however that also should be considered, but that is not the topic of this article. And clearly a poorly designed vegetarian diet or one that is not supplemented properly with B12, Vitamin D (the sunshine vitamin), can be dangerous for one's health, but that still cannot be used as an argument to justify dietary recommendations with lots of high saturated fat animal products.

Meat in a Vegetable-Based Diet

Ignoring the ethical and environmental benefits to a vegan diet, which undoubtedly are substantial; claiming that a vegan diet-style is healthier and will make one live longer than a diet-style that contains even a small amount of animal products is not an argument that can be made with good scientific integrity.

We have substantial evidence from not only the China Study, but thousands of other studies to conclude that animal products when consumed in even moderate amounts such as 20 ounces a week can contribute to the development of chronic disease and are not health promoting(Stripp, et al., 2008). Many of these studies are referenced in my book Eat to Live and some can be reviewed elsewhere on this blog. However, these studies and the China Study cannot be used to validate the necessity of a strict vegan diet for optimal health as vegan populations were not studied in this enormous project. The lowest ranges of animal products consumed in the China Study were in the range of 1.7 servings per week or about 10 ounces per week.

Below that level of animal product consumption supplementation with B12 become critical for populations. If there were studies with large populations on vegan diets, a J-shaped* curve would likely be experienced, showing that as diets get lower than one serving of animal products per week, later life morbidity and mortality would start to be increased. The reason for this is that strict vegans who don't take supplements will likely develop B12 deficiencies (rural villagers do not take supplements) leading to life shortening events, lessening the ...
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