Negative Effects on Your Body From Eating Too Much Meat

Every person’s dietary needs are different, but if you’re noticing these effects, it might be time to cut back on animal products.

You could feel sleepy

Protein is known for giving you lasting energy, so you might be surprised when a meat-heavy diet actually leaves you dragging. While protein sticks with you because it takes a while to digest, it won’t give you the most immediate boost.

That prize goes to carbohydrates: They break down into the body’s most readily available energy source, glucose, says registered dietitian nutritionist Caroline Passerrello, MS, RDN, LDN, spokesperson for the American Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

Because your brain can only use glucose for energy, its energy supply can lag when your diet features slow-to-digest protein. The fuel is “taking a little longer to get to your brain, so you’re a little less focused,” says Passerrello. The same is true for muscles, which also run on glucose, she points out. The result: fatigue and brain fog.

Your hair and skin might not look their best

If you’re overdoing your meat portions, there’s a good chance you’re skimping on other food groups. Vitamin C is rarely found in animal products, so if you’re eating meat in place of produce, you could become deficient. Vitamin C plays a role in forming collagen, a protein that gives structure to skin, hair, nails, bones, and more.

If you’re deficient, you might notice changes in your body, says registered dietitian nutritionist Jenna Braddock, MSH, RD, CSSD, LDN, founder of MakeHealthyEasy.com. “Your skin could be rough and bumpy. You might see some interesting body hair growth,” she says.

Passerrello adds that her clients have raved about how much better their skin looks after cutting back on animal products to make room for a more plant-based diet. Braddock recommends eating dark, leafy greens every day—a cup of kale alone packs in more than a day’s worth of vitamin C.

You could get sick more often

Your skin isn’t the only place you’ll see a vitamin C deficiency. If you feel like you can’t kick a cold, you might want to tweak your eating habits. “If you’re on a keto diet, you’re probably not eating much fruit, which is one of the best sources of vitamin C,” says Braddock. Luckily, you can get the nutrients you need from vegetables, too, like broccoli and peppers.

You could get constipated

Meat has next to no fiber, which you’d normally get from fruits, veggies, and whole grains. Constipation and painful bowel movements are some of the first signs you’re lacking in fiber, says Braddock. Get your system regular again by adding in healthy carbs like whole grains or—better yet—fruits and veggies.

“Going back to fruits and vegetables is one of the best ways to get fiber because you’re also getting really wonderful nutrients along with it,” says Braddock.

Your heart could be in danger

Another benefit of fiber is that it helps keep your body from absorbing cholesterol, which can protect your heart. If your meat choices are red and processed meats—especially if it’s at the expense of produce, whole grains, and other fiber sources—their toll on your ticker is even worse.

Those types of meats are high in saturated fats, which research suggests raises “bad” LDL cholesterol and in turn raises the risk of heart disease. Braddock points out that new research questions whether all saturated fats are unhealthy, but the evidence on processed meat like salami, hot dogs, and bacon is pretty grim—these choices are clearly hard on the heart.

The American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats 5 to 6 percent of total calories, or 13 calories in a 2,000-calorie diet.

Your body will have to battle inflammation

The saturated fats in meat can boost inflammation in the body, research shows. Plus, meat is severely lacking in inflammation-fighting antioxidants compared to produce.

“The reason there’s a recommendation for people to ‘eat a colorful diet’ is each of those colors you find in fruits and vegetables as pigments is a different group of antioxidants that do different things and benefit the body in different ways,” says Braddock.

To make sure you’re getting enough, she recommends adding one extra fruit or vegetable every day. Set a goal of having at least two cups at dinner and lunch, one cup at breakfast, and extras as snacks, she says.

You’re more likely to develop kidney stones

Excessive protein can take a toll on your kidneys. Specifically, animal-based proteins are full of compounds called purines, which break down into uric acid; too much uric acid increases the risk of kidney stones, says Passerrello. Most people shouldn’t have too much trouble breaking down the proteins, she says, but watch your intake if you have a family history of kidney trouble.

Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp
Pinterest
Reddit
Delicious
LinkedIn
Facebook
Twitter
WhatsApp

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

READ NEXT

7 Proven Benefits of Green Tea

Green tea has been used as a medicine for thousands of years, originating in China but widely used throughout Asia, this beverage has a multitude of uses from lowering blood

8 Things That Can Damage Your Liver

Most people associate alcohol abuse with damage to the liver, but other factors can also play a role. These are the health conditions, drugs, and lifestyle habits that can cause

7 Worst Things You Could Do to Your Sight

Skipping Eye Exams Ideally, you should get your eyes checked by a specialist once a year. This fact alone can help doctors spot any kind of problems early on. Doing

6 Healthy Ways to Prevent Kidney Stones

Kidney stones are hard mineral deposits that form in your kidneys. They cause pain when they pass through your urinary tract. Up to 12 percent of Americans are affected by

7 Natural Remedies for Sore Throats

We’re all familiar with that scratchy, itchy, painful-to-swallow feeling we call a sore throat. Some episodes of pharyngitis come with colds or the flu, while others stand alone to create

7 Appendicitis Symptoms You Shouldn’t Miss

Belly-button pain Appendicitis pain often occurs in the lower-right side of the abdomen. The first sign, however, is typically discomfort near the belly button, which then moves to the lower

4 Interstitial Cystitis Signs You Can Experience 

Also known as terms such as painful bladder syndrome and hypersensitive bladder, interstitial cystitis is a chronic inflammation that causes bladder pain and discomfort without an identifiable source. Ask a

RELATED POSTS

Welcome

Install
×
Scroll to Top