Omnivores vs. Herbivores: How Meat Consumption Affects Our Health


America is meat –loving country and that is why vegetarians are still trying to find their place. Vegetarians are thought to be  health promoting people and experts in losing weight. But the question is –is their way of life really healthy? Meat consumption divides people in two groups and some moralize, which is not always true, about healthy way of life.

According to nutrition professionals from European Food Information Council the term “healthy foods “is rarely used because the amount of food we consume determines how healthy we live. Consuming meat does not represent the limit between healthy and unhealthy but the point where the balancing act changes.

Omnivores vs. Herbivores How Meat Consumption Affects Our Health

A Meatless Existence

Vegetarians are thought to be free spirits that love the nature: they care about the nature, the animals and about their body. But as they don’t consume meat, they definitely oppose to what this country loves-hot dogs, hamburgers, meatloaf are all symbols of America. Ron Swanson said:

“I call this turf ‘n turf. It’s a 16-ounce T-bone and a 24-ounce porterhouse, also, a whiskey, and a cigar. I am going to consume all of this at the same time because I am a free American.”

When did the American way become linked with being carnivorous? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims that more than one third of adults in USA suffer from excess weight and children are close to this number as well. The average American consumes 270 pounds of meat every year which is twice as much meat than it is recommended by U.S. Department of Agriculture. These amounts of proteins are too much for our bodies to process, particularly because great number of people is physically inactive.

Diet which includes only meat and animal products as eggs and cheese without fruits and vegetables has negative impact on people’s health

Researchers from the University of Southern California was found that people who consumed more animal proteins are more prone to getting cancer than those who consumed meat rarely. If you try to consume less cheese, meat and eggs and more organic vegetables, grains, nuts, you will experience positive results- this doesn’t mean that you should consume only macaroni with cheese without meet. You need to fulfill your everyday nutritional needs with healthy products.

“Being vegetarian does not guarantee health,” stated Nutritionist Jaime Mass, the founder of Jaime Mass Nutritionals for Women’s Health “It’s how you approach a vegetarian lifestyle that matters. A vegetarian who consumes legumes, fruits, vegetables, seeds, and nuts will have a different health profile than a vegetarian who consumes a diet high in refined carbohydrates like muffins, pasta, cookies, and cakes.”

Be careful what you consume. Vegetarianism is not always connected with good health. A great study was published the previous year in the journal PLoS ONE, which was made by an Austrian team of researchers on omnivores to herbivores “vegetarians are in a poorer state of health compared to the other dietary groups,” was written by the author.

The research was quite limited in comparing the two groups. Even the researchers confessed that they had only about 1000 participants which is a small number to represent the whole world. Vegetarians from USA differ from those in other countries. It actually depends of your opinion about healthy diet. Cinnamon buns and potato chips are not from animal origin but are far from being healthy.

“Any time you cut out a food group, there is a risk you could be missing out on certain nutrients”-claimed Mass. Vegans need to enter iron, calcium, vitamin B12, and zinc while Vegetarians need to try to consume more proteins. In order to sustain an active lifestyle, supplements with Vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid need to be taken.

Bottom line: As long as the groups do not bother each other about their diets and consume different nutrients-healthy fats, proteins and carbs they will have a healthy life. You can also include carnivorous flexitarian diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains to improve your health.