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

  • How to Avoid Phosphate Additives
    How to Avoid Phosphate Additives
    The vast majority of chicken and poultry products are injected with phosphorus preservatives, which are often not listed in the ingredients. Reducing one’s intake of meat, junk food, fast food, and...
  • Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola
    Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola
    The consumption of phosphorus preservatives in junk food and injected into meat may damage blood vessels, accelerate the aging process, and contribute to osteoporosis.
  • Counteracting the Effects of Dioxins Through Diet
    Counteracting the Effects of Dioxins Through Diet
    Phytonutrients in certain plant foods may block the toxic effects of industrial pollutants like dioxins through the Ah receptor system.
  • Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management
    Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management
    Americans eating meat-free diets average higher intakes of nearly every nutrient, while maintaining a lower body weight, perhaps due in part to their higher resting metabolic rates.
  • Eggs and Choline: Something Fishy
    Eggs and Choline: Something Fishy
    Too much choline, a compound concentrated in eggs and other animal products, can make bodily secretions smell like rotting fish and may increase the risk of heart disease due to conversion in the gut...
  • BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol?
    BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol?
    The beef industry designed a study to show that a diet containing beef was able to lower cholesterol if one cuts out enough poultry, pork, fish, and cheese to halve one’s total saturated fat
  • Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage
    Testing Your Diet with Pee & Purple Cabbage
    Plant-based diets tend to be alkaline-forming. This may help protect muscle mass and reduce the risk of gout and kidney stones. The pH of one's urine can be estimated with natural pigments using...
  • Alkaline Diets, Animal Protein, & Calcium Loss
    Alkaline Diets, Animal Protein, & Calcium Loss
    The decades-old dogma that the acid-forming quality of animal protein leads to bone loss has been called into question.
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