MEAT—OBESITY, BACTERIA & FREE RADICALS
The ideal balanced diet requires 75% fresh foods and 25% cooked foods. Nearly all cooked foods are acid forming. Meat is one of the most acid forming foods. When the blood is in an acid state it can lower the immune system’s ability to protect and heal the body. Excess acidic foods cause the body to produce more mucus in an attempt to protect against the acids. Alkalinity in the blood is vital for the process of reproduction. For maximum healing, the blood needs an alkaline balance. Minerals are the main provider of both acid and alkaline elements. The pituitary gland controls the body’s acid-alkaline balance. Nearly all fruits and vegetables, almonds and rice are alkaline foods. Most other foods, especially crustacea, meat, poultry, fish and eggs, are acid forming. A constant acid diet can cause a person to experience considerable dicomfort. Conditions such as headaches, sluggish liver, poor circulation and constipation can all be attributed to excess body acids.
Coffee, alcohol, soft drinks and tannin tea are also acid forming to the blood. The best advice for the regular meat eater is to ensure that adequate servings of fruit and vegetables are obtained regularly and to choose legume meals whenever possible.
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Obesity is a ‘growing’ problem in some countries and there are a few connections between eating meat and obesity. Calories do add up in the diet, and with meat, over 50% of the calories are from fats (lean ham 75% fat, sirloin steak 76% and trimmed sirloin steak 35% fat). Most of the fat is saturated and often extra fats or oils are added to the meat when cooking; these are 100% lipid content. Overeating is a major cause of obesity, and with meat it is common to see large portions on the plate that are eaten completely and followed by extra serves later. To encourage the appetite and make the meal full of flavour, for some there’s often added sauce, plus the saturated fats satisfy the appetite. Over the years, a person can consume more as their stomach and intestines stretch, and if there is no reason to stop eating, obesity increases. Obesity is often related to a slow metabolism and the excess intake of processed and takeaway foods, soft drinks, alcohol, chocolate and those ‘traditional’ family meals.
The digestion time for meat is longer than for any other food group, especially if added fats are combined. Meat requires 5-6 hours preparation in the stomach, poultry 4-6 hours, cheese 3-4 hours. The problem really occurs later in the small intestine and particularly in the large intestine, the colon. The adult human digestive system is approx.10m long; most carnivorous animals digestive system is only 2m long. As meat putrefies easily in a warm environment, the digestive system of humans is an ideal breeding ground for bacteria as it can take up to 18 hours or more for the meat chyme to pass out of the body. Meat provides no fibre and unless the diet includes fibre-rich foods, the meat can ‘hang around’ the colon for days. This is a major cause of colon cancer and allows for the absorption of numerous toxins, leading the way to poor health due to the strain on the immune system
Free radicals are abundant in cooked, fried and roast meat. The barbecue is the greatest provider of free radicals, so make sure you eat the salads with flax or olive oil to protect against the damage. Free radicals are now recognised as cancer-causing elements within cooked fats and oils.
Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that is required for life, from the diet. Meat supplies omega-6 and large quantities of saturated fats. Refer to the chart in section entitled as What are the main functions of Omega-6?
As meat is cooked, all heat-sensitive nutrients are depleted. Meat is not a nutritious food, due to the low mineral and vitamin content (refer to chart below), plus the numerous detrimental factors mentioned above.