NutritionFacts.org

animal products

Animal products may contain saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol, hormones, organochlorine pesticides, excessive copper, arachidonic acid (especially in chicken and eggs–see here and here), and AGEs. Consumption of animal products may raise cholesterol levels and increase the risk of gallstones, obesity (possibly chicken in particular—see here and here), neurological diseases (again linked to poultry exposure), diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, apthous ulcers, cataracts, and even urinary tract infections, but probably not osteoporosis. This is also why obtaining vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified foods is a healthier choice.

Animal product consumption may also promote the growth of certain cancers, such as pancreatic cancer, prostate cancer, lymphoma, and multiple myeloma. (Videos here and here cover breast cancer growth promotion and here and here cover breast cancer survival).

The recent trend of premature puberty onset in children may be partially attributed to animal proteins, particularly those found in dairy. Consuming soy, however, appears to promote more normal development, one reason why plant sources of protein are preferable—even when part of a high protein low carb diet.

Pink slime” ground beef can be processed with ammonia and arsenic; it can also be found in both chicken and fish. Fish products are particularly contaminated with industrial pollutants and can contain pharmaceutical drug residues, PCBs, dioxins, and mercury. Food safety risks include: the toxic superbugs MRSA and Clostridium difficile, the Anisakis parasitic worm present in as many as two-thirds of retail fish fillets, and fecal food poisoning bacteria that can be found at an even greater prevalence in retail samples.

Switching to a more affordable plant-based diet may increase our antioxidant intake, help control weight, slow the growth of cancer, and even improve our mood (perhaps due to brain inflammation from arachidonic acid found in meat). The USDA’s mission is to promote agribusiness, and as such public recommendations to limit animal products are often communicated in code. Nutrition labels also tend to short-change plant foods.

Topic summary contributed by Peter Huntley
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Watch videos about animal products

  • Treating Asthma With Fruits and Vegetables
    Treating Asthma With Fruits and Vegetables
    Increasing fruit and vegetable consumption to seven servings a day appears to cut asthma exacerbation rates in half, whereas restricting consumption to Standard American Diet levels leads to a...
  • Taxpayer Subsidies for Unhealthy Foods
    Taxpayer Subsidies for Unhealthy Foods
    What if billions in tax dollars were invested in healthier options rather than given to corporations to subsidize the very foods that are making us sick?
  • California Children Are Contaminated
    California Children Are Contaminated
    The levels of arsenic, banned pesticides, and dioxins exceeded cancer benchmarks in each of the 364 children tested. Which foods were the primary sources of toxic pollutants for preschoolers and...
  • Caloric Restriction vs. Animal Protein Restriction
    Caloric Restriction vs. Animal Protein Restriction
    The lifespan extension associated with dietary restriction may be due less to a reduction in calories, and more to a reduction in animal protein (particularly the amino acid leucine, which may...
  • Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells
    Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells
    Unlike most other anti-cancer agents, the phytates naturally found in whole plant foods may trigger cancer cell differentiation, causing them to revert back to behaving more like normal cells.
  • Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer
    Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer
    Phytic acid (phytate), concentrated in food such as beans, whole grains, and nuts, may help explain lower cancer rates among plant-based populations.
  • Alkylphenol Endocrine Disruptors and Allergies
    Alkylphenol Endocrine Disruptors and Allergies
    The dramatic rise of allergic diseases such as eczema and seasonal allergies may be related to dietary exposure to endocrine-disruptor xenoestrogens such as alkylphenol industrial pollutants.
  • Is Meat Glue Safe?
    Is Meat Glue Safe?
    Used in about 8 million pounds of meat every year in the United States, the “meat glue” enzyme, transglutaminase, has potential food safety and allergy implications.
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