The Dark Side Of Plant-Based Food – What Happens To The Body When You Stop Eating Meat?

Plant-Based Food

The whole truth about the effect of animal protein on the body

If you think that the passion for vegetarianism has long abated, and the question itself is no longer relevant, then you are mistaken: there are even more requests for meat that are harmful or useful in our time than 10 years ago. Science does not give an unambiguous answer to the question of whether meat should be abandoned altogether.

What happens to the body when you stop eating meat?

Vegetarianism is a nutrition system based on the complete or partial rejection of meat. The popularity of vegetarianism has been consistently high for the past year: in almost all restaurants, in addition to the main menu, there is a whole list of vegetarian and raw food dishes. If we discard the moral aspect and tribute to fashion, we consider the rejection of meat from a scientific point of view.

There is no unequivocal evidence that vegetarianism is useful or harmful.

However, speaking about the benefits of vegetarianism, the following is always noted:-

Plant foods have little energy value. On the one hand, it is good to lose weight on vegetables, but the difficulty of this method is that saturation is very fast.

If the meat is completely replaced with vegetables and fruits, then you can not only reduce subcutaneous fat, but also remove toxins and toxins from the body. There is nothing better to normalize metabolic processes in the body. However, a 5-day course of refusing meat is sometimes enough to detox. Unlike animal food, vegetable does not cause auto-toxicity, does not poison the human body with decay products during digestion.

As many studies show, adherents of vegetarianism suffer less from hypertension, diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases.

Plant products do not contribute to the development of atherosclerosis, as they do not have atherogenic properties.

What happens to the body when you stop eating meat?

Refusal of meat guarantees a reduction in the risk of obesity, coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

But the coin has a downside. Deficiencies of amino acids, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamins D and B12, polyunsaturated omega-3 fatty acids, and dietary fiber are considered universally recognized deficiencies in vegetarian nutrition. In addition, vegetable protein has a small amino acid composition and is absorbed worse by the body. A serious lack of protein over time can affect the functioning of the immune and reproductive systems.

In products of animal origin is the so-called heme iron, which is better absorbed than iron from plant products (15-35% versus 2-20%). At the same time, absorption is dependent on concomitant factors: for example, tannin contained in tea and coffee affects the absorption of iron, as well as its phytic acid found in legumes, nuts, seeds and grains. In addition, soy protein can create an insoluble compound with iron.

What happens to the body when you stop eating meat? 

You should be aware that milk and eggs are not a sufficient source of iron, therefore lacto-vegetarians are also susceptible to iron deficiency, as are vegetarians and vegans.

How to solve the problem: monitor the sufficient intake of ascorbic acid, which prevents the formation of insoluble iron compounds and improves absorption by 3-4 times.

Foods rich in ascorbic acid must be taken at the same time as foods containing iron.

Plant foods are rich in omega-6 fatty acids, but poor in omega-3s. Omega-3 fatty acids, which include Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), or their pro forma alpha linolenic acid (ALA), are important for the cardiovascular system, eyes and brain development. If a person eats fish, eggs or a large amount of algae, then the problem of deficiency of omega-3 fatty acids does not arise.

How to solve the problem: if the diet does not include seafood and eggs, then you should pay attention to the fact that the diet contains a sufficient number of sources of alpha-linolenic acid in the diet, such as flaxseed, walnuts, soy. It is possible to use soy milk enriched with appropriate additives or prepared breakfasts.

What proteins should be in a vegetarian diet?

The main difference between proteins of plant and animal origin is the content of amino acids.

Products of animal origin contain all the essential amino acids, and products of plant origin may lack one or more essential amino acids. In this case, you need to add dairy products, soy, and use food artificially enriched with the desired amino acid composition.

Zinc is found both in animal products (oysters, shellfish, liver, poultry and dairy products), and plant origin (legumes, nuts, soy products). However, phytic acid in legumes, nuts, seeds, and grains reduces the bioavailability of zinc. Special methods for preparing food products - soaking, the use of sprouted grains, beans and seeds, as well as bread baking powder - reduce the phytic acid content and increase the bioavailability of zinc.

The problem of calcium deficiency in vegetarians is caused by the use of foods rich in substances that reduce the absorption of calcium (oxalates and phytic acid), and plant proteins that contribute to increased excretion of calcium in the urine. This problem is more pronounced among vegans, since lacto-vegetarians can get enough calcium with milk and dairy products.

It is important to understand that it does not follow from the above that vegetarians necessarily suffer from calcium deficiency, but if this problem is identified, attention should be paid to these nutritional features.

Foods rich in calcium and low in oxalates and phytic acid: cabbage, mustard leaves, turnips, broccoli, dried figs. But with these products it is difficult to fill the body's need for calcium: for this you need to eat them in a huge amount. I recommend getting calcium extra in special supplements.

Given that dairy products and eggs alone do not have enough vitamin B12, it is natural that all vegetarians suffer from a deficiency. Accordingly, it is necessary to daily receive vitamin B12 from other sources: dosage forms, products artificially enriched with cobalamin.

Vegetarians consume more dietary fiber in plant foods than people who eat meat. A person with ordinary food consumes an average of 23 grams of dietary fiber, a vegetarian - 37 grams, a vegan - 47 grams. However, the recommended dose of dietary fiber is unknown.

Based on the foregoing, we can conclude that both a vegetarian diet and a diet containing meat have a number of advantages and disadvantages. If your goal is to lose weight, remove toxins, feel light, then a vegetarian diet will be the right decision for you. However, in this case, you must adhere to the above recommendations for a balanced diet or practice partial rejection of meat courses, for example, for periods of 5 days.

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