Animal muscle including beef naturally contains significant amounts of saturated fats, trans-fats and cholesterol, all of which increase our risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke. Saturated fat may also play an important role in the development of autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. Beef has been considered richer in fat and cholesterol than other meat, but switching to eating chicken and fish does not lower cholesterol. All meat contains sex hormones, which may contribute to menstrual cycle irregularities and infertility, and arachidonic acid, a biologically active metabolite which plays an important role in inflammatory processes and may have an impact on mood regulation. Spermine, another biologically active metabolite, may promote weight gain.
Why are Americans still consuming such large volumes of beef and other meat products? One reason may be that many Americans are unaware of the effects of beef on human health, to no small extent because that is the way the beef industry wants it.
Topic summary contributed by Miranda.