What would it take for you to stop eating meat? Could you be swayed to drop it from your diet? Or are you so addicted to juicy steak and crispy bacon that literally nothing could stop you from eating it?
I quite enjoy my bacon and I love a good ham and cheese toastie.
But I learnt a few things about meat this week that have completely blown my mind. In fact, it has made me seriously re-think whether I should be including any meat in my diet (or shovelling it onto my kids’ plate).
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The catalyst for these radical changes? Television, of course – a new documentary has been released on Netflix, which claims to blow the lid off “the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick”.
The film, backed by Hollywood actor Joaquin Phoenix, raises a number of issues about the dodgy dealings behind the scenes – that’s another whole article. But here are a few highlights of the health concerns…
Processed meat is a Class 1 carcinogen. It is in the same group as cigarettes, asbestos and plutonium. The World Health Organisation classifies red meat as a Group 2 carcinogen. Here I am giving myself a pat on the back for cajoling my daughter into having a ham and cheese wrap for lunch, and it turns out it’s not even good for her. Worse still, it’s actually bad for her!
Processed meat causes diabetes. Sugar does not cause diabetes, apparently: rather, it’s caused by a build-up of fat in the blood, which causes insulin resistance, which prevents the sugar from getting into your cells.
One 50g serving of processed meat per day increased the risk of developing diabetes by an incredible 51%.
Obesity is killing us. “Basically, it is a death sentence,” says weight loss bariatric surgeon Dr. Garth Davis. “You’re at much higher risk of getting cancer. You’re almost certainly going to get diabetes. No one wants to fat shame, and we all do not want everyone to be uncomfortable with their bodies, but the movement to be comfortable with our bodies has made us comfortable with being sick, and that’s a huge problem.”
None of this is brand new information.
But for some reason, I feel like I’m reading it with fresh eyes. All I can say is that I’ll definitely be approaching my weekly Woolies shop a little differently…
How about you? Do any of these findings make you want to overhaul your diet, or are you quite content to eat what you want to eat, regardless of the health consequences?