HogRoosterEating meat, and if so how much and what kind, is a personal choice. There are several issues concerning the choice to eat meat. Raising cattle is a good way to turn grasses that we humans cannot eat into high quality protein, but nowadays lots of perfectly edible corn and soy are used as feed. Raising cattle also consumes vast amounts of energy, and leaves behind lots of animal waste and pollution. Animal welfare and the use of antibiotics are other issues concerning the meat industry.

Meat can be a good source of protein and other nutrients, but our diets are usually not lacking proteins. Even if you’re a strict vegan, you’ll almost certainly get more than enough protein as long as you get enough calories. A little meat can improve the nutritional quality of diets that need improving. But when you eat more than a little bit of meat you will be getting to much saturated fats and animal-based proteins, which among others will raise your cholesterol.

The saturated fat of chickens (white meat) is mostly found in the skin, which is best left on your plate if you’re concerned about your saturated fat intake. Red and processed meats are considered the most unhealthy and have been linked to heart disease and cancer, but the difference between red and white meat is no longer that significant, commercial chickens nowadays have ten times more fat than they had a century ago. When you purchase meat, look for quality, organic, free range or grass fed meat and enjoy it as a treat.

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