All over the world, several people are of the opinion that heavy meat consumption directly correlates with good living and show off their affluence by feeding fat on meat, especially red and processed meat. Meat is usually prepared and consumed in different forms including suyas, barbecues, fried and so on. Research has shown that the average American consumes about 30kg of pork and beef annually.
Admittedly, meat is a good dietary source of animal protein but in excess, it puts you at risk of one or more of the following diseases:
When red meat is subjected to high-temperature cooking, carcinogenic substances such as nitrosamines are released and this increases risk of cancers like colorectal, pancreatic and prostate cancers. Studies have shown that too much meat increases cancer risk by up to 20%. In the UK, red meat has been implicated in approximately 21% of bowel cancers.
Because of the high saturated fat content of red meat, excessive consumption of it has been associated with increased risk of hypertension and cerebrovascular accident (stroke). In addition, L-carnitine contained in red meat may lead to plaque formation (atherosclerosis) which is important in the pathophysiology of cardiovascular disorders. It was observed that people who consume more than eight servings of red meat in a month have 5 times higher risk of experiencing cardiovascular problems than those who consume less than four servings within the same period.
This is another deadly disease that excessive red meat consumption predisposes to. According to a study, it was discovered that when one serving of red meat per day was substituted with one serving of nuts, whole grains or low-fat diary, the risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus was lowered by 16-35%.
The high saturated fat and cholesterol content of red meat predisposes to obesity and its attendant problems. Population studies have shown that obesity is three times commoner among meat-eaters than vegetarians.
This is an example of Food Poisoning due to a microorganism, Salmonella which infects humans following ingestion of contaminated, undercooked meat or meat products. Affected individuals usually pass bloody watery stools (dysentary) and may even die of dehydration, anaemia or electrolyte derangements if not promptly managed.
Ebola Virus Disease
Ebola Virus Disease is a dreaded global pandemic that ruthlessly claimed thousands of lives in its latest outbreak, especially in the West African subcontinent. Bushmeat consumption has been widely implicated in the transmission of this lethal disease from animals to human beings. Meat from infected forest monkeys, chimpanzees, gorillas and fruit bats are believed to be the culprits in Ebola Virus Disease.
Initially, affected patients can present with flu-like symptoms like fever with chills and rigors, muscle pain (myalgia), stooling and abdominal pain. In advanced stages, patients become highly infective and may start vomiting blood and bleeding from body orifices. Unfortunately, a definitive cure has yet to be discovered for this lethal disease.
This refers to tapeworm infection following ingestion of raw or undercooked beef or pork. Sometimes, these worms can block the intestine or get out of the intestine and invade vital body organs such as the brain, eye and heart.
In the brain, pork tapeworm (Taenia solium) can cause neurocysticercosis which can lead to repeated seizures, blindness and chronic headaches.
Brucellosis is a medical condition that is caused by a bacterium, Brucella. It is usually contracted after ingestion of contaminated raw food, especially raw meat and unpasteurized milk of infected cattle, goats and dogs. Initially, affected individuals may experience flu-like symptoms such as intermittent fever with chills and rigors, anorexia (loss of appetite) and abdominal pain. However, without adequate treatment, lethal complications may result due to inflammation of the brain tissue (encephalitis), heart (endocarditis) and meninges ( meningitis).
In conclusion, you will be doing your health a lot of good by consuming less of those fatty red meats as you substitute them with nuts, whole grains, fish, fruits and vegetables. Also, white meat (poultry) is considered safer for your health.