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There is a reason why human teeth are shaped like they are because 2.5 million years ago we grew out of our leaf-eating obsession, took our first taste of fillet steak and began to eat MEAT. Im not a scientist, but it seems to me that we have evolved the way we have because we became carnivores (or rather omnivores, which I guess is the correct term). Would we look the way we do today if our ancestors had stuck to chewing on berries and plants? I doubt it. Wed look like that scrawny, pale bloke who never did PE and came to school with a packed lunch of quinoa salad, carrot juice and a cereal bar.<br><br><br><br>
But this isnt the real reason why I will never be a vegetarian. There is a rather unfair view that all veggies are sandal-wearing, mung bean shovelling, tree-hugging beardy-weirdies (and thats just the women). Personally, and despite my earlier comments, I dont subscribe to this view. We make our own decisions in life - I just think they are missing out. Not just on great food and a chance to use their teeth properly I mean I think veggies are missing out on the many health benefits we get from eating various types of animal flesh.<br><br><br><br>
Wake up and smell the sizzling pig fat<br><br>
The best smell in the world, bar none, is the smell of bacon cooking. But pigs dont just provide us with a great hangover cure. You probably wouldnt of thunk it, but pork lean pork especially is jam-packed with health benefits. It is naturally low in fat and much of the fat it has is monounsaturated, which can help to lower cholesterol.<br><br><br><br>
Pork is also a good source of protein, which helps to repair and grow our muscles, and vitamin B12, which keeps our nervous system healthy, fights anaemia and boosts vitality levels. It also provides us with a handy source of the antioxidants selenium and zinc.<br><br><br><br>
But pork is, of course, just the tip of the abattoir. Beef is also a succulent source of protein, zinc and vitamin B12. It is also one of the primo sources of iron. To obtain the same amount of iron found in a three ounce serving of beef, you would have to eat at least three cups of raw spinach. I know what Id rather have. And that three ounce slab of Daisys backside also blesses you with 39% of your daily allowance of zinc. Try squeezing that out of a butternut squash.<br><br><br><br>
Research has also suggested that the elderly would benefit from eating red meat, as the iron could prevent the onset of Alzheimers disease, which is something well come back to later.<br><br>
Chicken, meanwhile, is yet another excellent source of protein, B vitamins, vitamin D and iron. Its also skinless anyway low in fat. Turkey is also vitamin and mineral rich and, in his book Superfoods: 14 foods that will change your life, Dr Steven Pratt says we should eat 100g of turkey three or four times a week because it is the leanest meat source of protein available on the planet. FACT.<br><br><br><br>
Lamb contains omega-3s, duck gives us selenium, offal oozes iron and fish and shellfish (inarguably one of the healthiest food groups) is low in fat and rich in protein, calcium, phosphorous, omega-3, iodine, copper, selenium and vitamins A and D. I could go on, but frankly Im making myself hungry.<br><br><br><br>
Where's your iron gone?<br><br>
Many of the veggies you know probably have a stack of vitamin supplements stashed somewhere. Its their guilty secret, like a drawer full of porn. Supplements are popular with veggies because sticking to a meat-free diet makes it harder for you to feed your body with essential nutrients like, for example, iron and protein. Yes, of course you can get these vital nutrients from fruit and veg, but meat remains the richest source. And this isnt just me saying this. The Vegetarian and Vegan Foundation (guess which side they are on?) would like you to believe that the idea that meat is the best source of, for example, iron is a myth. The Food Standards Agency (FSA), however, states that red meat is the richest source of iron. Who do you trust more?<br><br><br><br>
The FSA goes on to say that the iron in animal sources is absorbed easily by the body. There is also iron in pulses, dried fruit, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds [yum!]. The iron in these foods is not so easily absorbed by the body.<br><br><br><br>
The list of research that says eating meat is better than not is extensive but heres just a taster. A study, carried out by Professor Lindsay Allen of California University, found that parents who imposed a strict vegetarian diet on their children were doing them irreparable mental and physical harm. The research concluded that removing animal foods from a childs diet is not only unethical but produces smaller, lethargic, and less capable children. Her work found that small amounts of meat in the daily diet doubled physical capability and enhanced mental acuity. Its that scrawny kid all over again.<br><br><br><br>
Meanwhile, research at the University of Massachusetts medical school warned vegetarian men about the effect of low protein diets on their sex lives. The researchers said that people who do not eat enough protein are at risk of low testosterone levels which can cause a decline in sexual function as well as muscle loss, reduced red blood cells and damage to bones.<br><br><br><br>
Quality is key<br><br>
A favourite riposte by vegetarians to an argument like mine is to point towards the quite horrendous conditions in which much of our livestock is raised for slaughter. Which is why its important to add that, when I say meat, Im not talking about the largely poor quality varieties available on our supermarket shelves. After a few bad experiences with fatty, tasteless meat bought from my local supermarket, I avoid these like the plague.<br><br><br><br>
Of course such poor quality produce isnt that good for you. Im talking about proper meat. Naturally farmed, ethically reared, plump, flavoursome, high quality meat, the type that makes me glad I am on top of the food chain. Anyone who argues that this sort of top-class produce will shorten your lifespan is clearly bonkers.<br><br><br><br>
As for any argument that veggies live, on average, six to 10 years longer I believe this figure is misleading. Life expectancy is lowest across the globe in developing countries, where a lot of people will eat whatever they can get hold of. Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice, which is why the majority of the worlds vegetarians (with the obvious exception of India) reside in the richer nations, where life expectancy is much higher. Not many people at your local Fresh & Wild have to kill their only goat to survive. And what about Japan highest life expectancy in the world, with a diet pretty much based on fish and meat. And remember that research that linked red meat to the prevention of Alzheimers disease in the elderly?<br><br><br><br>
And anyway, even if I do go earlier, Id rather depart this world knowing that Id tasted foie gras<br><br><br><br>
Im not saying being a vegetarian is bad for you, I just dont believe its as good as eating meat. You get good and bad veggie diets and good and bad meat-eating diets. The healthiest diet, after all, is a balanced one, and any argument that says meat cant play a part in a balanced diet is just ridiculous. Which is why youll never catch me in a pair of sandals.
 
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