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

  • 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.
  • Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio
    Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio
    Reducing the ratio of animal to plant protein in men’s diets may slow the progression of prostate cancer.
  • Treating Multiple Sclerosis With the Swank MS Diet
    Treating Multiple Sclerosis With the Swank MS Diet
    A plant-based diet may not only be the safest treatment for multiple sclerosis, it may also be the most effective.
  • Methionine Restriction as a Life Extension Strategy
    Methionine Restriction as a Life Extension Strategy
    Plant-based diets may prove to be a useful nutrition strategy in both cancer growth control as well as lifespan extension because these diets are naturally lower in methionine.
  • Starving Cancer with Methionine Restriction
    Starving Cancer with Methionine Restriction
    Methionine restriction—best achieved through a plant-based diet—may prove to have a major impact on patients with cancer because unlike normal tissues, many human tumors require the amino acid...
  • Eating Outside Our Kingdom
    Eating Outside Our Kingdom
    A higher rate of cancer deaths among those that handle and process meat is attributed to infection with viruses and chronic exposure to animal proteins.
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