"What the Health" for Meat Eaters
I think the hype is finally dying down, but a few weeks ago I was overwhelmed by the amount of people stating that they were done with meat, eggs, fish, dairy. They were becoming vegans with declarations of, "That's it. No more meat for me!"
Flash forward forty seconds later, they're all eating meat again and they've all chilled the 'eff out.
See, that's the thing that annoyed me most about What the Health. Its not that I'm so anti-vegan that I could not bear to hear their anti-meat message; it was that their solution was not realistic for a lot of people. Most people are going to continue eating meat.
So I wanted to create an infographic to help those of us who are going to continue eating meats and dairy and fish.
Let's talk about the infographic in a little more detail.
1. Why its totally okay to eat meat, poultry, eggs, dairy or fish when purchased from the right source.
Okay. I understood a lot of the points they were making. Animals raised by "commercial agriculture farming organizations" (CAFO) practices yield sick animals, use practices that harm the environment and the meat of these animals is "pro-inflammatory" meaning it makes humans sick and fat.
The best way to avoid dealing with "bad" quality meat is to buy animals from local farmers. You can use the site "Eat Wild"to find a farmer who provides grass-fed, humanely raised meat in your 'hood. Use the label suggestions in the infographic above if you're purchasing meat from your local supermarket. Pretty cool that the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods should make buying grass-fed, humanely raised meat less expensive.
Fish should be wild caught, although, honestly, even farmed salmon is loaded with anti-inflammatory fats that fight chronic disease. A great way to make eating wild caught tuna an affordable option is by stocking up on Wild Planet or Bumble Bee canned tuna. So cheap and awesome, high quality, wild caught quality!
Is high quality meat just totally out of your price range? Choose meatless meals more often, splurge on "free roaming" chicken eggs & buy chicken breasts & >90% lean ground meat. Lower fat CAFO meat is less harmful than higher fat cuts.
How does choosing grass fed/pastured/humanely raised/yaddayaddayadda change how the meat affects our health?
Because the way "we are what we eat," the same applies for the animals. The marbling and fat content of meat is totally changed depending on their diet. Grass-fed meat & dairy actually has fat content similar to salmon (omega-3 rich).
2. Pair your meat with a veggie.
There's science to suggest that the 'heme-iron' in red meat can increase your risk of colon cancer. Guess what? This risk is eliminated if you consume a source of chlorophyll when you eat meat. So choose a veggie of your liking everytime you eat meat to reduce your risk.
3. Choose a meatless meal at least once a week to save some money (since high quality meat, eggs, dairy & fish is pricier) & boost fiber intake!
Again, totes agree with the vegans that meat eaters do not eat enough fiber! But guess what, not eating meat is not the solution. You can be a vegan and eat a diet loaded with rice, processed grains and meatless-products...aka, devoid of fiber! To save some money & increase fiber intake, make a meatless meal at least once a week! I have some great recipes on my site like Broccoli Slaw Pad Thai& Pizza Lentil Loaf.
Besides saving money, you'll reap the benefits of a fiber rich diet which includes fighting obesity, reducing risk of diabetes and reducing your risk of cancer.
Clearly, I ain't no vegan. I don't have a plan on vegan-ing anytime soon, but my takeaway from What the Health is that I really cannot be complacent when sourcing my meat. Since watching the documentary, I've been visiting my local farmer's market weekly to "splurge" on grass-fed/high quality meat & have made the rest of my meals fish/legume based to compensate for the higher pricetag item!
What can you do to make sure you're the healthiest meat eater you can be?!