Animal foods

There is a rising voice against animal foods. Animal rights activists and environmentalists are persuading people to stop eating animal meats. It is agreeable that excessive consumption of such foods could lead to health issues. But animal foods have their own benefits that solely plant foods might not provide. What are the pros and cons of non-vegetarian foods?

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Animal foods and the two groups

Some people enjoy having meat every day. Animal foods are tasty and nutritious. These include goat meat, sea foods, chicken, eggs, milk, honey, steak, turkey etc. Festive occasions and celebrations call for cooking and consuming these non-vegetarian foods.

Animal foods
Animal foods (Source: Bicycling)

But there is a growing body of people who are against rearing animals for killing and eating them. They want the people of the world to adopt diets based solely on plant sourced foods. The animal lovers and animal rights activists are asking for bans on sale of such foods made from animal sources. Environmentalists are also urging people to eat less meat due to their high carbon footprints. This degrades the environment and causes climate change and global warming.

But are all such foods unhealthy? What are their beneficial effects? What are their potential problems?

Pros of non-vegetarian diet

Out body requires protein for repair and growth and development. It is an essential macronutrient. And animal sourced foods have ample amounts of protein in them. Plant foods such as soybean, legumes, cereals have protein but the amount is lesser. Their bioavailability is also less compared to animal protein. Iron is also in abundance in them. With plant foods, iron deficiency is common. Also vitamin B12 is lacking in plant foods.

Animal foods
Benefits of non-vegetarian foods (Source: RVCJ media)

Additionally, some animal protein such as from fish is highly affordable. Sustainable fish farming has led to increased productivity and hence lower cost. These foods are highly versatile and one can cook a variety of dishes from them. One can create their own supply of these animal sources of foods. These include fishing, hunting or personal farming.

Cons of this diet

Many of these animal sourced foods have higher content of fats especially the saturated fats. This raises the blood bad cholesterol and cause blood vessels blocks and heart diseases. Blood pressure rise is seen and a person gets an early death. They even lead to insulin resistance and high blood sugar and type 2 diabetes. These perils increase with the quantity of consumption.

Moreover, animal proteins increase the production of uric acid. This is especially bad for people suffering from gout. Some animal protein requires a large sum of money to produce and can get difficult on the pocket. Water requirement for their production is also higher. They leave behind large carbon footprints and environmental deterioration.

Animal foods
Animal foods (Source: Pinterest)

Also, read Animal gelatin: origin, structure, uses, health benefits, substitutes!

Also, production of these foods is done under unethical conditions. There is cruelty on animals involved. Considering the above factors, these foods can be had in moderation. Excessive intake should be avoided at any cost. Opt for a flexitarian diet that is majorly plant based with occasional meat eating.