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

  • Which Seaweed is Most Protective Against Breast Cancer?
    Which Seaweed is Most Protective Against Breast Cancer?
    Nori seaweed snacks may favorably alter estrogen metabolism by modulating women's gut flora, resulting in decreased breast cancer risk.
  • Preventing Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress With Watercress
    Preventing Exercise-Induced Oxidative Stress With Watercress
    Those eating a more plant-based diet may naturally have an enhanced antioxidant defense system to counter the DNA damage caused by free radicals produced by high-intensity exercise.
  • Fighting the Blues With Greens?
    Fighting the Blues With Greens?
    Natural monoamine oxidase enzyme inhibitors in fruits and vegetables may help explain the improvement in mood associated with switching to a plant-based diet.
  • More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases
    More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases
    Dr. Greger has scoured the world's scholarly literature on clinical nutrition and developed this brand-new live presentation on the latest in cutting-edge research on how a healthy diet can affect...
  • Past the Age of Miracles: Facing a Post-Antibiotic Age
    Past the Age of Miracles: Facing a Post-Antibiotic Age
    The Director-General of the World Health Organization warns that we may be facing an end to modern medicine as we know it thanks in part to the mass feeding of antibiotics to farm animals to...
  • Eggs and Cholesterol: Patently False and Misleading Claims
    Eggs and Cholesterol: Patently False and Misleading Claims
    Egg industry claims about egg safety found to be patently false, misleading, and deceptive by the U.S. Court of Appeals.
  • Male Fertility and Diet
    Male Fertility and Diet
    Dioxins, endocrine disrupting pollutants, heavy metals, saturated fat, and steroids in the meat supply may be affecting sperm counts, semen quality, and the ability of men to conceive.
  • Trans Fat In Meat And Dairy
    Trans Fat In Meat And Dairy
    About half of America's trans fat intake now comes from animal products.
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