There are so many articles extolling the benefits of vegetarianism/veganism and pescetarianism that I thought I would redress the balance for us carnivores and explain some reasons to eat meat. I have no problem with any diet that anyone chooses whatsoever; my choice is to be a meat eater, including meat in a healthy balanced diet. If you are contemplating becoming a vegetarian and are not solely swayed by the ethical stance of not wanting to eat animals, these are some reasons to eat meat that will help you in your deliberations. And if you’re a carnivore, they will reinforce your position.
Like many foods, meat contains fat. I think one of the issues of meat and fat is that unlike in so many other fat-containing foods, on meat, fat is actually visible and tangible. You can see you are EATING FAT! What you should know however, is that not all meat fats are bad. Some meat fat is monounsaturated – in beef for example, 50% of the fat is monounsaturated, and furthermore, the small amount of polyunsaturated fat in beef contains Omega 3s and Omega 6s. Not worrying excessively about fat is one of the good reasons to eat meat if you choose your cut wisely.
I know there are many sources of protein in the plant kingdom but somehow it all seems such hard work compared to simply eating meat. One of the genuine benefits of eating meat is that it is a major source of protein. You can easily opt for lean sources and cook in a sensible manner such as grilling or poaching it.
I’m quite happy to load up on veggies to get full but somehow, a meal of meat and two veg is more satisfying than a veggie meal and, to the eye also, looks more satisfying, thereby making you think you need smaller portions. Generally, meat takes longer to digest than many vegetables, meaning you stay fuller for longer. The meat appearing highest on the mendosa.com satiety index is beef. There are no reasons to give up meat if you want to lose weight – it’s all about choice of meat, cut of meat, cooking method and portion control.
There are some amazing sources of iron in the plant world but most meats are also rich in iron. When you know that the Center for Disease Control says that the iron in meat is able to be absorbed up to three times faster than iron from plant sources, you can understand that one of the benefits of eating meat is maintaining a healthy blood and oxygen supply throughout your body.
B12 is an important vitamin and is only available naturally in animal products. Many non-meat eaters take a B12 supplement. I personally prefer to receive all the nutrients my body needs from food and I make sure I eat a balanced diet without EVER needing to take a synthetic supplement. And let’s not forget, meat also delivers our bodies a healthy dose of vitamins B6 and B2, phosphorous, selenium, and zinc.
I’m essentially a lazy person, always looking for the simplest ways for everything to give me an easy life. This involves my food choices. I know that as a non-meat eater I would have to be more careful and considered in my dietary choices to ensure my body was receiving all the nutrients it needs. I know that vegetarians/vegans and pescetarians have to work harder to achieve this balance. I eat a full range of meat, fish, dairy, grains, fruit and vegetables, so I know I do not have to look for specific sources of any particular nutrient or vitamin.
I am never stuck for an idea of what to do with meat. There are billions of recipes for meat, and billions of combinations if you just go for the standard meat and two veg. There are tons of cooking methods for meat too. And, one of the most basic reasons to eat meat – it tastes good! How many vegetarians have you heard express a longing for a bacon sandwich? ^_^
I know meat isn’t everybody’s friend. I know there are arguments that meat production is bad for the environment. I will however, remain a confirmed meat eater. What’s your position on this?