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

  • Is Liquid Smoke Flavoring Carcinogenic?
    Is Liquid Smoke Flavoring Carcinogenic?
    Different brands of liquid smoke flavorings have been tested for DNA-damaging potential, p53 activation, and levels of known carcinogens. Smoked foods such as ham, turkey, barbeque chicken, herring,...
  • Food Antioxidants, Stroke, and Heart Disease
    Food Antioxidants, Stroke, and Heart Disease
    The oxidation of high-fat and cholesterol-rich foods in our stomachs may help explain why eating antioxidant packed foods appears to reduce heart attack and stroke risk.
  • Norovirus Food Poisoning from Pesticides
    Norovirus Food Poisoning from Pesticides
    Organic produce may present less of a food safety risk, given the potential contamination of pesticides with fecal pathogens.
  • Dr. Burkitt’s F-Word Diet
    Dr. Burkitt’s F-Word Diet
    The famous surgeon Denis Burkitt suggests an explanation for why many of our most common and deadliest diseases were rare or even nonexistent in populations eating plant-based diets.
  • Bacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
    Bacon, Eggs, and Gestational Diabetes During Pregnancy
    Eating meat or eggs before pregnancy may increase the risk of gestational diabetes.
  • How Long to Detox From Fish Before Pregnancy?
    How Long to Detox From Fish Before Pregnancy?
    How many months does it take to clear 99% of the mercury and other industrial toxins from one’s body, and what role might our fat stores play in holding on to fat-soluble pollutants?
  • Cavities and Coronaries: Our Choice
    Cavities and Coronaries: Our Choice
    Coronary heart disease, our #1 cause of death, was found to be almost non-existent in a population eating a diet centered around whole plant foods.
  • Are Fatty Foods Addictive?
    Are Fatty Foods Addictive?
    Those eating calorie-dense diets may have a reduced capacity to enjoy all of life’s pleasures by deadening dopamine pathways in the brain.
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