Now that we have gone over how animal products affect the environment we can now begin discussing how they affect out our body. In this section I will mostly be referring to studies that have tracked eating behaviors and the outcomes of those dieting habits. Diet is hard to follow because there are so many factors going into why someone may have developed a disease, so it becomes difficult to pinpoint one specific variable. However, the studies being conducted now are coming back with some conclusive evidence which could prompt more research into the issue. Because this is a fairly new issue there should be more research done on the topic but the current amount is sufficient enough for my purposes. However, if action is to be taken, more research needs to be in place. Also, for the sake of the length of this essay, I will only be discussing the major issues involved with meat intake.
Cardiovascular Disease and in a Meat and Non-Meat Diet
Cardiovascular disease seems to be the biggest worry when discussing high protein, red-meat diets and this is for good reason. In a study done by the Public Health Nutrition Journal, it was reported that the total meat intake per day by Americans is 260g (52.9g is red meat) in males and 168.5g (28.0g red meat) in women (Wyness 39). American men consume enough red meat to meet their RDA recommended amount of protein. This leads to an excessive amount of meat, especially red meat. In a 2010 Nurse’s Health Study, they concluded that an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease was linked to a high red meat intake (Wyness 52). In the study it was specifically stated that the participants correlated with increased risk of coronary heart disease were taking in high amounts of red meat but did not include processed meats or high-fat dairy products (Wyness 52). Therefore the investigators can come to a better conclusion that it was not the excess fat being consumed that caused the cardiovascular disease but instead the meat itself. In another study, The National Health and Examination Survey III , researchers collected data explaining that the participants with the highest-intake of protein were “74 percent more like to die for any reason during the 18-year span of the study...” (Hilmantel). They go on to state that when animal protein was replaced with plant protein the results changed and there was no correlation. They suggested that this was due to the fact animal protein has a specific effect on the human body that is not present in plant protein (Hilmantel). Red meat however may be very different than white meat. Red meat increased the odds of having coronary heart disease by 52% when in white meat it was only increased by 18% (Wyness 52). Therefore, when craving meat one should skip the red meat and go for something less risky, such as chicken.
On the other hand, when researchers reported on diets which included no meat the risk of cardiovascular disease and coronary heart disease were much lower than meat...