with Kezia Hall

Why Meat is Good for You

CATEGORIES:  GAPS Nutrition

muscle man illustration WEB

 

This is the first in a series of posts for men. 

 

In all my research I have yet to come across anything that caters for men’s health that isn’t purely based on chemical-filled protein shakes for muscles.  I thought I would fill the gap and provide natural health advice, on how to naturally increase protein and build big muscles, specifically for men. Obviously, I am not a man, so I will be asking some healthy man friends of mine to contribute.
 

To begin this momentous occasion I thought it would be fitting to begin the discussion with a topic close to the heart of most men (and my own): Meat.

 

Now it may come as a surprise to many of you, that I am a meat eating advocate, as most people assume that I am a vegetarian/vegan. These meat free ways of eating have become fashionable as the healthy way to eat. The raw food diet, macrobiotics and the vegan diet are always receiving lots of good press about how much healthier they are for you. Also, you then hear all the doom and gloom about how rearing meat to eat is destroying the environment and then every now and then we get some killer disease sweep through and farms have to shut down.

 

So I can understand why people think meat isn’t healthy.

 

The truth though, is that it is good for you (in my and other professionals opinion) and I want to spend a few posts exploring the benefits of eating animals.

 

Today I am going to address the important question of Quality:

1. First and foremost when discussing meat in regards to health and the environment you must address the issue of quality. I don’t agree that super cheap meat from the supermarket is good for you, in fact I avoid it as much as possible (only consuming it when I am a guest in someone’s home/stuck on an aeroplane). Mass-produced meat is normally full of chemicals and hormones, then bulked out with water which means it tastes rubbish. Most meat from restaurants or supermarkets is produced for a mass market so animal welfare is a very low priority. 

For example, battery chickens normally never see the light of day, are given chemically enhanced food, filled with growth hormones, are normally deformed due to lack of space/drugs/unnatural muscle mass and are unable to move. Cows are now fed corn or soy produce instead of grass because its cheap, they can fill a tiny space with loads of cows and feed them, instead of having to provide lots of field. This means they are unable to move freely and usually end up eating their own, and other animal’s, faeces. Also cows are not made to eat corn, in fact it becomes very toxic and poisonous to them, they get sick from eat it. Solution? Give routine antibiotics to all cows whether they need it or not. These drugs then end up in our meat.

Can you see the picture I am painting? Sorry it is not pleasant one, and although I am no animal activist and a big happy meat eater, I do think we should honour and value life. Plus, whether you care about that or not, sick, hormone-filled, toxic animals do not make tasty, nutritious meat.

 

Solution? 

 

Go with grass fed and/or organic meat. Many supermarkets now sell organic meat which means no antibiotics or hormones are given to the animal, plus they will have been fed normal food. There are also loads of great meat boxes you can get delivered to your door which sell the cheaper off-cuts of meat. Most people are put off by the expense, which I totally understand, so here are my top tips on eating budget-friendly happy meat:

  • Make real bone broth and stock. You get all the goodness of the meat, and a little bit of meat will only cost £1-2. Bargain.
  • Go for grass fed. Some beef will not be organic but will be grass fed – this is still good. Local farmers sometimes have shops that sell it and I use to buy Abel and Coles standard beef as you could read all about the farming methods they employ. 
  • Buy in bulk. When organic mince at the supermarket is on offer (its not the best quality out there but it is readily accessible and is more small-budget friendly) I buy as much as I can afford that week and freeze it.
  • Make it stretch. When you buy an organic chicken you may feel light headed at the sheer expense – yes I still get that – the answer is to make it stretch. One roast chicken can give you: 
    1. a roast dinner meal
    2. fresh stock for soup
    3. left over meat for stir fries/sandwiches/soups/curries
    4. fat that can be used for cooking/frying
    Plus much more! 

  • Don’t eat meat every day. Eggs are a brilliant protein alternative (again organic and free range is good), so are lentils and beans (if you’re not on GAPS or SCD). Get creative, cashews, pumpkin/sunflower seeds are great in stir fries. Any vegetable or fruit tastes good in curries and good quality organic cheese is great on most things!
  • Invest in your health. I believe that one of our biggest expenses should be on food as I am convinced that it will save me money (on health care, drugs, time off work etc) in the long run. I have one life and one body, and I want to ensure that I (and we) last as long as possible!

Next time I will address the nutritional benefits of eating meat and why our bodies need it.

What do you think about eating meat? Essential to our diet or a planet wrecker?

 

Sources 

Food Inc documentary – a real insight to the American food industry.


3 Comments

Eibhlin Mulvihill

I totally agree with you that eating meat is important for health, some people seem to live healthily on a vegan diet but I am not one of them. I have always been prone to anaemia since childhood and when I was a vegan my GP often had to give me courses of iron injections because I had no iron stores whatsoever. When vegan I ate loads of green vegetables, nuts and seeds but still became anaemic and utterly exhausted. Now I eat organic meat 4-5 times per week and feel much better. Yes an organic chicken is three times the price of a factory chicken and I struggle to afford it but I only eat chicken maybe once a fortnight and eat a lot of organ meats and cheaper cuts like beef brisket and shoulder of lamb. I don’t apologise to anyone for eating meat as long as the animals I eat are raised on grass and free of antibiotics, steroids etc. I don’t bully anyone into eating meat and I don’t believe others have the right to bully people who do eat meat. Eating organic meat is also a great way to bypass the supermarkets and deal directly with the organic farmer – this goes for organic eggs and raw dairy too.

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