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To eat meat or not to eat meat that is the question!!!

As many of you may have seen, there have been certain documentaries laying out and presenting the benefits of becoming vegan or vegetarian and the harmful effects for the meat industry.

Firstly I want to clarify I am not a vegan or vegetarian nor have I fully committed to these lifestyles for any reasonable length of time, so my opinion is not going to be as informed as someone who has done either of these for most of their lives, but what I am going to do is be open minded and use current scientific research and health studies as references to fill the gaps where my personal experiences aren't up to scratch.

So where these programmes are concerned, I have watch most of them and I have watched the counter argument programmes and a few things can be said for both. They are all very well filmed and presented, both have their own agendas and both, I feel, try far to hard to shock people instead of presenting the facts as they are and allowing the intelligence of the person to make their own mind up instead of being scared into a way of thinking, or being lied to (I am still talking about both sides of the argument with this btw).

I am not going to mention the names of specific programmes either as they aren't able to put their side forward, but the most common question I get right now is "is eating meat reducing my state of health and would I recommend becoming vegan or vegetarian?"

Is eating meat reducing my state of health? - that all depends on the quality of the meat, the source of the meat and the volume of meat. So my personal belief is that people who follow fitness and bodybuilding routines etc are consuming far too much meat. I've heard some trainers recommending 3gms of protein per lb of bodyweight THIS IS CRAZY!! The most I advise is 1gm per lb of bodyweight and that's only if they're on a major calorie deficit, don't have digestive issues and it's only clean natural sources. Anywhere from 0.6-0.8gm per lbs of bodyweight you're good. I'm not talking of this low quality super frozen rubbish either, preferably organic or locally soucred and not pellet fed, or low standard meat neither am I fan of protein powders or supplements its just marketing rubbish - don't waste your money!!

All this being said I do believe that, long term, over consumption of meat will cause health issues down the line and I'm confident long term studies (10 year's+) will show this. I have been recommending my clients follow a well balanced diet, trying to incorporate as much variety as possible with 1-2 a week going vegetarian, to help low inflammation caused by large meat consumption and a higher proportion of vitamins and minerals and fibre.

The message is simple and clear - a little bit of everything in moderation. Neglecting certain foods can effect the bacteria in your gut so when you re-introduce those foods could cause you issues, like intolerances, leaky gut etc.

If you are going vegan or vegetarian not for health but to reduce animal suffering, that's also fine, you are far greater statistically to stick to it rather than someone doing it just for health. I applaud your moral standing, just please understand, not everyone can be as committed as you to something like that, or share the same opinion as you and that's also OK we are all different after all.

So to wrap this one up for health (ONLY), maintain a healthy balance of meat and veg, don't go over board on protein, there is no need, as you won't gain anything from it, try vegan and vegetarian meals and food, they are incredibly full of flavour and who knows cutting meat from your diet maybe just what you need, Information is key, so speak to professionals and educate yourself properly - not through Television alone!!!

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