With the increase in veganism and vegetarianism in recent years, as well as the cost-of-living crisis, is having meat in your diet really that important?
Veganism involves avoiding animal products, as well as animal-derived products.
Vegans avoid eating and drinking the following:
- Dairy, such as milk and cheese
Veganism can be referred to as more of a lifestyle than just a diet on the grounds that it discourages the use of animal products such as leather or products tested on animals.
UK food prices have been rising, and still are, which has led many to look into veganism and cheaper food alternatives.
Benefits of Eating Meat
Although there are meat-free diets like veganism and vegetarianism, eating meat is beneficial to your diet and holds vital nutrients that are important for physical development.
Meat is rich in zinc as well as iron, and both of these are important for the body. Zinc creates antibodies that help to fight off infections, diseases and illnesses, and iron promotes oxygen flow to different parts of the body. Vegetarians and those who do not eat meat need to eat double the amount of iron-rich foods as those who consume meat products, which often is not achievable. As a solution, people turn to iron supplements, but these are not as natural as eating meat.
Meat is also high in calcium and vitamins such as Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Calcium is important for bone growth, strength, and weight maintenance.
Another physical benefit of incorporating meat into your diet is that it promotes brain function due to high protein. Protein also gives an energy boost, improves mood, and helps to concentrate.
Types of Meat
Red meat – such as beef, lamb, goat, and game.
White meal – such as chicken, turkey, and quail.
Processed meat – such as sausage and salami.
Processed meats often include a lot of chemicals and should be eaten in much smaller proportions due to the health benefits being much higher in red and white meat.
How to Have a Healthy Diet with Meat
Here are a few things you can do to have a healthy meat-incorporated diet:
- Ask for a lean cut of meat from the butcher.
- Remove the skin of the chicken before eating to reduce fat intake.
- Limit eating processed meat like sausages and salami as they are high in fat and salt.
- Pay attention to the nutrition labels before buying meat.
The Perception of Meat in Other Cultures
Meat consumption isn’t only a concern of the health-conscious; it also plays a significant role in a number of religions and cultures.
In Islam, meat is important. Qurbani refers to the sacrificing of an animal to be able to distribute the meat to people experiencing poverty and help people in need by doing so.
This religious practice is undertaken at least once a year at the end of the Islamic year and is a means of feeding nutritious meals to the poor and needy all around the world. It is often given in countries such as India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh but can be given to anyone in need.
Hindus consider cows to be sacred and should, therefore, not be killed for their meat.
Therefore, religious practices and values towards animals and meat are upheld in different ways.
Christianity and Catholicism
Christians and Catholics often consume fish on Fridays (especially Good Friday), as this is to commemorate when Jesus fed the 5000 with just two small fish and five small loaves of bread.