I am asking this more as a theoretical question than with any specifics in mind. It seems accepted by many here that other paleo foods can have potential down effects. As a brief example:
Nuts = to much omega 6 fats.
Fruit = fructose.
Vegetables = antinutrients.
Tubers = high starch.
Many of these foods have been eaten for longer than meat in our evolutionary history yet it is accepted thay they have potential downsides to their consumption. Is it not possible that consumption of meat and animal fat can also have potential downsides as well as benefits?
Yes, I'm sure everything has a potential downside. But I think you have to be careful you get completely paranoid about everything you eat. Keep educating yourself and keep learning about how food is made and processed and make continual improvements. But you can't be frightened about everything and every kind of food.
I think it's important to eat a variety of things so that the good and bad even each other out.
The fact is that at the moment I can't eat 100% organic / grass fed / raised peleo style all the time. I have to do the best I can living in the modern world.
Absolutely all of the bad stuff. The quality of the meat is directly proportionate to the animals diet and health.
In addition, I'm sure meat isn't 100% optimal or there would be no waste.
Our bodies, luckily are designed to filter the waste via a very efficient system
All that being said, I believe strongly that of all natural foods, meat is the best choice we have available
It's also the only source of food that can be lived on with the exclusion of all others.
Likely has something to do with why it's so tasty/appealing to most everyone, even the Veg*ans want meat flavored food
Again it is about quality. I'm not really ready to speculate about "toxins" in grain-fed animals but what I can say is that certain meats tend to have massive omega 6 content, which isn't healthy. And way too much protein (above 20% calories) tends to be unhealthy due to activation of the mTOR pathway. So that's why I like extremely fatty grassfed beef, seafood and game meat with added fat. but there is also a lot right like carnitine, phosolipids, phytanic acid, CLA, omega 3 fatty acids and tons of nutrients, and the fact that meat replaces grains and legumes which do have tons wrong with them. I agree that we don't really know all there is to know about meats, but we know much about our adaptation to them and barely anybody knows about some of the excellent aspects except for the people at evomed.
And there is plenty of evidence contradicting the notion that even the corniest, grainest beef causes any health issues. Studies usually conflate processed pork products with fresh beef or don't control for confounding factors. So I'm thinking that grassfed beef and game meat would even be a positive. I think that conventional pork and chicken are unhealthy due to the omega 6, but conventional beef, while not optimal, has very low omega 6 content and nothing ostensibly wrong with it other than it is missing some beneficial biochemicals.
There are balance issues. Too much protein could cause problems for some, especially if there is not much fat eaten with it. At some point, you just don't need to eat any more protein, so if you are eating lots of lowfat protein, you might actually be better off eating less protein and instead eat some other things with other nutrients.
On the flip side, fat has a lot of calories. For many of us, the natural satiation mechanism will cause us to feel full and not over partake of fat, but for some of us, the satiation mechanism is broken via years of SAD and/or psychological issues, and thus for those people, it might be easier to eat too many calories when consuming fat. I have also noticed/heard that the smoking of a certain illegal substance that makes food (especially fat) taste really good will also easily cause one to overindulge, as if the body no longer notices when it is full, thus potentially causing one to feel very overly stuffed later on when it wears off. I have found it is wise to put a limit on the food available for intake in such a situation so as to prevent overindulgence.
Also, some people have trouble digesting too much fat. Once when I was in college, I was very ill for a while, and aftewards, it was many months before I could eat much fat of any kind without quickly becoming very ill again. It was probably carbs that made me sick in the first place, but the end result was fat digestion was severely damaged for a long time after that. Luckily, now many MANY years later, it's fully functional again. But for those with gallbladder problems, etc, there may be a limit to how much fat they can safely tolerate.
i would say part of the special place that meat and animal fat get is because only protein and fat, macronutrient-wise, are essential, whereas the carbohydrate (which includes all the potential baddies you listed) is not. Im not demonizing any of them, just repeating the facts is all. I do love my meat and fat, though:) Although, a big salad with good olive oil is stupidtasty, too!
I suspect there's probably still a lot we don't know about how foods effect us. To echo the others, variety is golden. One major beef (pun intended!) I have with the food scene in the U.S. is the relative lack of variety. Here in China there is a crazy variety of veggies and animals. How could I make it in the States now without my bullfrog, swamp eel, and mantis shrimp!
I think it has to be a matter of comparison. Since one has to eat, one must consider each food as compared to its alternatives. So whether or not meat and animal fat are completely optimal, without putting any undue strain on the body (which seems unlikely), is a secondary question to me. My question is, what is the best food I can eat at this time to improve or maintain my health? At this juncture for me, it's usually meat and animal fat. Sometimes, it's nothing. I'm learning that taking longer breaks from eating anything at all is sometimes better than just eating because food is available.
So if I rephrased the question to ask if meat and animal fat have any downsides compared to eating some alternative, I would answer no, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm too emotionally attached to the idea to be open about it.
As others, I emphasize the quality of the meat. I was recently wondering if eating liver from regular, factory-raised meat isn't more harmful than beneficial. Liver is likely to be packed with toxins, which are plenty with antibiotics-packed conventional meat, right? Too much offal can also be potentially harmful, no one would suggest eating liver (Even organic, grass-fed) everyday.
So I think in general there is very little harm in the meat as a rule. The problem is what the humans did to the environment and the animals that changes this rule. It's still the best we have, and just need to do our best to find the healthiest animals possible.
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