100 Scientific Reasons to NOT Eat Meat

Meat is Bad

Is meat healthy?

Well, you should ask yourself one question: what does the science say?

Science…not marketing or hype.

For example, do you believe that a pomegranate has more and/or superior antioxidants than, say, an apple? If you said yes, then you are a victim of hype.

And this hype was from twisting the truth of a scientific study…

As mentioned in Wikipedia:

Despite limited research data, manufacturers and marketers of pomegranate juice have liberally used evolving research results for product promotion, especially for putative antioxidant health benefits. In February 2010, the FDA issued a Warning Letter to one such manufacturer, POM Wonderful, for using published literature to make illegal claims of unproven antioxidant and anti-disease benefits.

Source: “Pom Wonderful Warning Letter”. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Retrieved 2011-03-24.
Source: “Understanding Front-of-Package Violations: Why Warning Letters Are Sent to Industry”. Retrieved 2011-03-24.

Don’t buy into the hype. Unfortunately, a lot of magazines and blogs will hype a headline and people will regurgitate it without even reading the article. If you want the science behind something you have to look at the studies, plain and simple. Not the advertising.

Also, please note, I am including all animal products and byproducts (e.g. beef, chicken, fish, dairy, eggs, and cheese) when I say meat. Although the studies’ usage of the term varies.

Update: If you want even more reasons to not eat meat and counterarguments to pro-meat studies, then check out the book, Is Meat Good or Bad for You?: Learn What Modern Science Has to Say about Animal Products.

Is Meat Good or Bad?So let us look at the science and find out the…

100 Scientific Reasons to Not Eat Meat*

1.) Neu5Gc is found only in animal meat. Neu5Gc appears to have a strong link to cancer and heart disease.

Notes: Neu5Gc is not produced by the human body or our great ape ancestors (probably due to a common mutation). But Neu5Gc is almost always found in human tumors. The inflammation it causes seems to feed tumors and harden arteries.
Source: Diversity in specificity, abundance, and composition of anti-Neu5Gc antibodies in normal humans: potential implications for disease. Glycobiology. 2008 Oct;18(10):818-30.

2.) Top 15 foods for advanced glycation end products (AGEs) are all meat sourced with roasted BBQ chicken skin and fried bacon being the top.

Notes: AGEs are gerontotoxins (aka aging toxins). AGEs cause proteins to cross together causing stiffness, oxidation stress, and inflammation in muscles, brain tissue, eyes, heart, bone, red blood cells, and kidneys. Thought to contribute to muscle loss as we age.
Source: Advanced glycation end products in foods and a practical guide to their reduction in the diet. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010 Jun;110(6):911-16.e12.
Source: Does accumulation of advanced glycation end products contribute to the aging phenotype? J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2010 Sep;65(9):963-75. Epub 2010 May 17.

3.) Arachidonic acid (naturally found in animal foods) is linked to brain inflammation, depression, anxiety, and stress.

Notes: Arachidonic acid is used by our bodies to create inflammation. Our bodies produce all the arachidonic acid we need unlike other animals (e.g. cats) who produce little to none because their bodies expect to get theirs from their diet (meat). Excess arachidonic acid means excess inflammation.
Source: Preliminary evidence that vegetarian diet improves mood. American Public Health Association annual conference, November 7-11, 2009. Philadelphia, PA.

4.) Chicken and eggs are the top sources of arachidonic acid.

Notes: Humans already produce the natural levels needed for our bodily functions.
Source: National Cancer Institute. 2010. Sources of Selected Fatty Acids among the US Population, 2005–06.

5.) A single meal of high-fat animal products has been shown to spike inflammation within hours that can stiffen one’s arteries.

Notes: Possible explanations could be the saturated fat or endotoxemia (see points 7, 8, and 9 below). Wild animal meat also causes inflammation. See point 10 below.
Source: Effect of a single high-fat meal on endothelial function in healthy subjects. Am J Cardiol. 1997 Feb 1; 79(3):350-4.

6.) High-fat animal products consumed will cause inflammation within the lungs.

Notes: Same study as above.
Source: Effect of a single high-fat meal on endothelial function in healthy subjects. Am J Cardiol. 1997 Feb 1; 79(3):350-4.

7.) Significant levels of bacterial toxins are found in animal products that cause endotoxemia (bacterial toxins in the bloodstream) within hours of eating.

Notes: 40 different types of common foods were tested.
Source: The capacity of foodstuffs to induce innate immune activation of human monocytes in vitro is dependent on food content of stimulants of Toll-like receptors 2 and 4. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan; 105(1):15-23.

8.) Bacteria endotoxins from animal products have been shown to survive high heat cooking for long periods, acid (like our stomachs), and digestive enzymes.

Source: The capacity of foodstuffs to induce innate immune activation of human monocytes in vitro is dependent on food content of stimulants of Toll-like receptors 2 and 4. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan; 105(1):15-23.

9.) Endotoxins have a strong affinity for the fat transport system in our digestive tract.

Notes: Since our body is using our fat transport system to let in all the saturated fat (which our body loves to absorb) from the animal products the endotoxins can slip right in.
Source: The capacity of foodstuffs to induce innate immune activation of human monocytes in vitro is dependent on food content of stimulants of Toll-like receptors 2 and 4. Br J Nutr. 2011 Jan; 105(1):15-23.

10.) Even wild, grass consuming animals cause inflammation in our bodies.

Notes: Inflammation was less than domestic animals. It is believe that the lower fat percentage for wild animals explains this.
Source: Differences in postprandial inflammatory responses to a ‘modern’ v. traditional meat meal: a preliminary study. Br J Nutr. 2010 Sep;104(5):724-8.

Next: 11-20 Scientific Reasons to NOT Eat Meat