The Benefits of Meat: The Centre of Our Primal Diet
What are the benefits of eating meat? While the world might be telling you to eat less meat for the sake of your health, eating meat is arguably one of the best things you can do for your health. Animal foods are some of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. The fact that steak is so delicious is actually just a bonus you get on top of all the other benefits you get from eating meat.
This article is my little way of celebrating the gift to mankind we call meat. Eating meat on a regular basis is very important for your health, but why? Other than the fact that meat is a source of protein, why should you eat it?
Before I tell you what some of the benefits of eating meat are, let me tell you a little story.
A few years ago, when my husband and I first moved in together, I decided to switch to a mostly plant-based diet in order to save money. That way, Jonathan could eat more meat without me having to worry about what his large appetite was costing us. The plan was to cut my consumption of meat and switch to a more flexitarian diet. I was only going to eat meat when eating with family or friends.
This didn’t go well. After just three days of following this way of eating, I started to feel more anxious and even depressed. I ignored it for a few days, but after a week, I threw my plan of going mostly plant-based out the window and finally ate some meat. I felt like a new person within a day. And that’s when I decided I’d never part ways with meat again.
For the sake of my mental health, I now eat meat at least twice a day and I consume eggs often. In fact, my diet is the opposite of a plant-based diet. I now follow an animal-based diet.
There’s something sexy about the idea of a primal diet that is rich in the most nutrient-dense foods I can find. With an animal-based, primal way of eating, you consume natural foods like meat, organ meat, eggs, dairy (if you can tolerate it), and even honey, and eliminate plants that are high in plant toxins and antinutrients like grains, soy, nuts, legumes, seeds, some vegetables, and most processed foods.
Primal eating is about eating the way our ancestors did, and I believe that our ancestors would have stuck to the most nutrient-dense foods when possible, which are animal foods. I definitely don’t think that kale would have been the first choice.
What Are The Benefits of Eating Meat?
For years, people have been told to eat fewer animal foods like eggs and meat, especially red meat, because it’s higher in saturated fat. However, research has shown that saturated fat isn’t as evil as once thought, and helps with vital processes in the body like hormone production.
I believe that following an animal-based diet is actually the way to go and has the most benefits for human health.
Red meat is a health food! If you need more convincing, check out this article by Carnivore Aurelius.
Meat is very satiating, and it’s also the most nutrient-dense type of food you can add to your primal eating plan. Muscle meat has quite a few other benefits for your health, especially as part of an animal-based diet.
Some of the benefits worth mentioning are:
Meat is generally high in minerals, such as zinc, iron, selenium, and magnesium.
It’s high in protein, which builds muscle, helps you feel satiated, and helps repair tissue.
Beef is high in L-Carnitine, which helps you burn fatty acids and helps transport fat to your mitochondria to be burned for energy.
It contains glutathione, which is the most powerful antioxidant. Glutathione also helps lower inflammation and oxidative stress.
Red meat consumption can help relieve anxiety and depression, partly due to the vitamin B12 content. A deficiency in this vitamin can lower mood significantly and contribute to anxiety and depression. I believe that this was the reason why I started feeling down within a week of trying to eat less meat to save money.
Meat contains essential B vitamins, which are essential for energy, hormone balancing, and mood regulation.
If you eat the correct portions, very little residue gets to the colon. It, therefore, gives your large intestine a break if you only eat meat during a meal (like you might eat on the carnivore diet.)
Meat, unlike some other foods like lentils, beans, and those containing gluten does not contain antinutrients that interfere with the absorption of other nutrients.
We recommend that you consider going primal and switching to an animal-based diet, and if you don’t eat enough meat on a daily basis, perhaps consider adding more meat or even eggs to your diet. Cheese is a good option if you can digest some dairy.
The Benefits of Eating Meat Instead of Plant Proteins
While you can make sure you get your recommended 0,7g or 1g of protein per pound of body weight from plant foods and track your macros every day, I can’t help but wonder: How much protein are you actually absorbing? Good luck trying to convince me that plant sources of protein have as many health benefits as meat does.
One of the benefits of eating animal foods is that they are far easier to digest than plant foods in general.They don’t contain antinutrients that make it harder for your body to absorb what is in your food and they’re easier to digest. Beans and lentils are high in antinutrients and are hard to digest, so even though you might think you’re getting 18g of protein from that cup of lentils, you might not be absorbing nearly as much or getting the benefits of a high protein diet you’re after.
It’s far better to get your protein and other nutrients from foods like organ meat and muscle meat that are easier to break down, digest, and absorb nutrients from.
I don’t recommend that people go on a plant-based diet. I suppose if your ancestors did follow a mostly plant-based diet, it would not have been such a bad thing, but I believe that humans should eat meat if they want to be as healthy as possible. I’m not talking about processed meat, but high-quality meat like grass-fed beef.
You may disagree, and that is perfectly okay, but based on my own experience with trying a plant-based diet and doing research on which foods give you the most benefits when it comes to your health, I say: steak is medicine and leave the plant-based eating to the herbivores. If you want to get the most benefits from the food you’re eating, eat meat.
*This is an updated version of this article. It was originally posted on 6 June 2019