What’s The Beef With Eating Meat?

by Brandon Topp

The whole "meatless movement" of going vegan, eating vegetarian, or following a plant-based diet is bigger than ever before, but it begs the question: Is meat really that bad for you? And why?

Turns out there are some major health reasons why decreasing (and completely elminating) your meat consumption may be better for your health, alongside environmental and ethical reasons. Before you chomp into your next burger, educate yourself on the beef with eating too much meat.

On Z Living's newest unscripted series The Big Fat Truth, host JD Roth challenges all participants to follow a whole food, plant-based diet for 90 days — resulting in some truly dramatic health turnarounds. The show also addresses the real reasons why people struggle with weight, and gives them tools and encouragement to transform their lives. 

Tune in to The Big Fat Truth Sundays at 8pm to find out! Learn more about the show here, and find out when you can tune in.

So What's The Beef With Beef?


To help explain what happens with excessive meat consumption, we sat down with Chrissy Roth—a nutrition consultant on The Big Fat Truth, a follower and fervent believer in plant-based diets, and show host JD Roth's wife.

Also on Z Living: What Is A Whole Food, Plant-Based Diet? Check Out Our Guide

Meat Consumption Is Linked To An Increased Risk of Cancer.


Chrissy Roth told us, “Studies, and there are lots of them, have shown that eating meat significantly increases your cancer risk. This includes chicken, not just red meat... Large studies in Europe have shown that vegetarians have a 40% less chance of getting cancer than meat eaters.” She went on to say that the increased risk is particularly true when it comes to breast, prostate, and colon cancers—which are the most common. 

Also on Z Living: This Man Lost 107 Pounds In 90 Days—More Than A Pound A Day! 

Too Much Meat Can Pack On The Pounds


According to Forks Over Knives, “The chronic acid intake from high-protein diets may actually cause cellular dysfunction and eventual weight gain.” Additionally, several studies show that meats have higher amounts of energy and fat, which show, “positive associations between meat consumption and risk for obesity and central obesity.” Roth agrees, saying, “Meat is just bad for your waistline.” 

Meat Is Bad For Your Heart Health & Arterial Function.


Roth explains, “The cells that line our arteries are adversely affected by meat consumption. Blood doesn’t flow as freely, clots form, and it can cause heart attacks, strokes, and anything other events impacted by flow.” General consensus says that saturated fat causes these issues, but also, according to WebMD, “Bacteria in the intestines convert carnitine, a protein building block that’s especially plentiful in beef, lamb, and venison, into compounds that speed up hardening and thickening of artery walls.” 

Meat Has Been Implicated In Causing Autoimmune Diseases. 


According to health network Newstart Lifestyle Club, “Consumption of red meat increases the risk of autoimmune disease by 130%.” This obviously leads red meat-consumers to a wide range of possible side effects, including life altering autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis. Chrissy Roth told is in her interview, “If people stop eating meat in the infancy of their MS diagnosis, the course of the illness has been shown in studies to not progress.” 

Also on Z Living: Our New Show Isn't Just Changing Bodies, It's Changing Lives

Meat Can Put A Damper On Things In The Bedroom. 


Yikes! Bringing it back to the previous note commenting on how meat is bad for arterial function, well that weakened blood flow caused by meat can cause erectile dysfunction. Roth told us, “Most cases of erectile dysfunction are cleared up within weeks of ceasing meat intake.” She also points out a more serious side effect, which is that if blood flow to the brain is affected, then dementia risks go up. 

Plus, There's Ethical & Environmental Reasons To Avoid Meat


There are ethical and environmental reasons why people adopt whole food, plant-based diets and vegan diets, which are hotly contended around the country and the world. For those who prefer not to get wrapped up in such controversies, you can always safely say that you're doing it for the undeniable health benefits. 

Learn more about the benefits of a whole food, plant-based diet on The Big Fat Truth. Find out where you can watch the show.

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