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From tips on how to lose weight effectively to ways to combat boredom eating, this collection of informative articles covers a wide range of health topics that matter to real people, like you.

5 Things that Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Meat is engrained throughout Americanized diets, so what might happen we stopped eating meat? What about negative effects of not eating meat? BistroMD is plating and serving up the meaty details!

5 Things that Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

According to NPR, U.S. total meat consumption was at 52.2 billion pounds in 2012, which is 42.4 billion pounds more than 1909! With it being so engrained throughout Americanized diets, what might happen we stopped eating meat? What about negative effects of not eating meat? bistroMD is plating and serving up the meaty details!

5 Things that Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

Amidst the push for a more plant-based diet, there are certainly pros and cons of eating meat. And while completely giving up meat is a personal choice, those who do...

1. Could Lose Weight... or Gain
Cutting out high-fat, calorically-dense meats in the diet can help facilitate weight loss. However, it is important to realize if embracing a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle in hopes to lose weight, there still are calorically-dense foods that may lead to weight gain. Yes, although a bag of chips may be vegan-friendly, continuously indulging on such products may not be the most appropriate method to lose weight. But like any sort of weight loss pattern, it is important to remain mindful of high-calorie foods that are essentially absent of valuable nutrients. Ultimately, though, if incorporating fresh fruits and veggies, whole grains, healthy fats, and plant-based proteins, weight loss may be naturally facilitated. However, it is important to fill the diet with plant-based protein sources, as protein plays a key role in weight loss, along with supporting and stimulating muscle mass.

2. Become More Regular
Including more plants in the diet increases fiber, a component found in plants that cannot be absorbed or digested within the body. Instead of being used for energy, fiber remains mostly intact and travels down the gastrointestinal tract, promoting bowel regularity and lowering the risk of constipation. The general U.S. population are only consuming an average of 15 grams of fiber daily, while the daily value for fiber is 25 grams per day, so increasing plants in the diet is commendable.

3. May Reduce Cancer Risk
Particularly if regularly consuming processed and red meats on a regular basis, you may reduce your risk of cancer when you stop eating meat. The World Health Organization (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) proclaimed red meat is probably carcinogenic, while processed meat consumption has sufficient, convincing evidence that it is carcinogenic to humans. In fact, 34,000 cancer deaths per year associated to high processed meat diets! That being said, there is no denying limiting processed meats, such as sausage, bacon, etc., can be beneficial to health.

4. May also Reduce Chronic Disease Risk in General
In contrast to a heavily based meat diet, plant-based diets combat against inflammation related to their fiber, antioxidant, and other phytonutrient contents. Studies have shown that people who adopt plant-based diets can dramatically lower their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body. Nonetheless, the valuable nutrients plants provide can reduce the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic diseases.

5. Will Need to Supplement
While those who follow a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle can still obtain the nutrients they need, one of the negative effects of not eating meat relates to a potential risk of nutritional deficiencies. Giving up animal products may negotiate valuable nutrients, as milk and dairy products supply calcium, beef is rich is iron, and all meats are significant protein sources... Ultimately, these seven vitamins and minerals should be considered if deciding to embrace a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle. Consulting with a Registered Dietitian can also help direct you towards a balanced eating pattern to mitigate nutrient deficiency risks.

While following a vegetarian and vegan diet is based on personal preferences, beliefs and views, there certainly is much benefit to include more plant-based foods in the diet. Ultimately, though, the focus of any nutritious diet is the inclusion on whole foods, rather than highly processed products laden in sugar, salt, fat, and other unwanted additives. Discover more things that happen when you stop eating meat here, including positive influences on physical health and on the environment.

Sydney Lappe's Photo
Written By Sydney Lappe, MS, RDN. Published on May 15, 2018. Updated on April 18, 2019.


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