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The Meat Eater - Risks And Benefits

By Expert Author: Almeat

Consuming an optimal amount of protein to support efficient body composition management and sports performance is often difficult without the use of animal products, particularly flesh.
However, over the last two decades, meat has come under scrutiny both in research and the popular media for its role in the development of chronic diseases and the fact that the meat industry is rife with cases of animal cruelty. The truth of the matter is that humans are specifically adapted in many ways to consume meat and it should be a part of almost all healthy diets. Therefore, it's important to understand both the benefits and detriments to the body, the planet, and society that come from regularly consuming various meat products. The first stop on our carnivorous journey is poultry, including chicken, turkey, and duck. Nutritionally, poultry can be a fantastic source of lean protein. Chicken and turkey breasts are classics in the world of fat loss and muscle building for a reason. In addition to protein, the dark meat of poultry is a good source of fat soluble vitamins as well as some minerals including selenium and zinc. In 2007, the India per capita yearly consumption of poultry products was about 75 pounds! However, eating poultry can have a downside. While the use of hormones in poultry has been banned for decades (that's right, nobody uses them!), antibiotics are still used in the industry to prevent the outbreak of disease amongst animals, especially in large-scale facilities where birds live in very close quarters. It has been shown in a few cases that widespread antibiotic use in animals can help bring about resistant strains of bacteria. However, the incidence of such adaptations is low and it has been argued that the benefits to human health (assuming our current rate of poultry consumption) of including antibiotics in chicken feed may outweigh the potential risks of bacterial resistance to the drugs. The ecological implications of large-scale poultry farming represent another issue worth considering when consuming avian products. Runoff from poultry farms can contain high levels of nitrogen, leading to algal blooms that can devastate waterway ecosystems. Waters contaminated with waste products can also harbor infectious bacteria that originate in farm animals. Also, high nitrate concentrations in drinking water, known to come from poultry farm runoff, can also increase the risk of me the moglobinemia in infants. Finally, some people raise ethical or moral arguments against large-scale poultry farming practices. In many commercial facilities, birds are kept in very small cages and live in high densities. While this kind of production is necessary for the low prices that we demand for our food at our current level of consumption, many people see it as cruel and inhumane. While the solutions for many problems with large-scale poultry farming may be found in smaller facilities with more natural living conditions and nutrition standards, there is the trade-off of price. You will pay more for birds grown in less cost-efficient environments. Next, let's address Buffalo. Buffalo meat can range widely in fat content, much like beef. When used properly, Buffalo products can serve as excellent lean protein sources and can produce great results in a fat loss or muscle building program. As with poultry, however, there can be detriments to Buffalo consumption. From a nutritional standpoint, high fat Buffalo products are very common in both restaurant and home cooked meals. The classic Indian breakfast often includes Buffalo sausage or bacon slices. Neither of these foods can be recommended as a healthy source of protein, to say the least. In addition, many v products are highly processed or cured. Processed and nitrate-cured meats have been implicated in higher risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. As with all sources of meat, the less processed the better. On the ecological side of things, Buffalo farms produce similar water pollution problems to poultry farms. Bacteria and nutrients in farm waste leech into the waterways, at times spreading infectious disease and causing ecosystem imbalances. In addition, large hog farms often produce hydrogen sulfide gas, which can cause ill effects in humans. In high concentrations, exposure to the gas has killed farm workers. Some studies have also shown detrimental effects of hog farm air pollution on those living in close proximity to the farm. As with poultry, some large-scale Buffalo farms also utilize production practices that many see as inhumane. Hogs are often kept in confined spaces, especially when giving birth and nursing.

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