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7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Eat Beef Anymore

7 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Eat Beef Anymore

A thick, juicy sirloin steak. Sizzling burgers on the grill. A finely sliced roast beef sandwich topped with barbecue sauce. However you choose to eat it, beef can be absolutely delicious.

Not only does beef taste great, but it is also a nutritional powerhouse. It’s packed with protein, B vitamins, iron, and other vitamins and minerals that are essential for optimal human health.

So, fire up the grill, right?

Not so fast. Here are 7 reasons why you might want to think twice about eating beef, no matter how good it tastes in the moment.

1. Beef has changed since you were a kid

Back in the 1950s, farmers discovered that feeding small amounts of antibiotics to their cattle helped the cows grow up to 3% larger. Heavier cows meant more beef and bigger profits.

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Not surprisingly, antibiotic usage in beef cattle exploded during the decades since this discovery. Not only that, but antibiotics traditionally used for humans have also begun to be applied to cows. While this has allowed the cows to grow larger, it has also nurtured bacteria within the cattle that is resistant to antibiotics used by humans.

Eating beef exposes you to drug-resistant bacteria while simultaneously increasing your immunity to antibiotics. In short, today’s beef can make you sick and make it more difficult to treat this sickness.

2. Eating beef weakens your immune system

If eating beef and other red meat is unhealthy for humans, then why can carnivores survive on a meat-only diet? New research has found that a sugar, called Neu5Gc, found within red meat, also naturally occurs within carnivorous animals but not within humans.

The result?

When you eat red meat, your body reacts to Neu5Gc as if it were a harmful bacteria. As your body begins to “fight” this foreign type of sugar, inflammation builds and your immune system weakens, leaving you more susceptible to other threatening bacteria, viruses, and disease.

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3. Eating beef also increases your risk of cancer

For years there has been speculation that eating red meat, such as beef, can lead to cancer, and recently this suspicion has been proven true. When beef is processed for enhanced flavour or increased shelf-life (think back to that roast beef sandwich), it becomes deadly.

In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) puts processed beef in the same cancer-risk category as smoking and exposure to asbestos!

What about unprocessed beef, like steak? Well, this type of beef is only considered, “probably carcinogenic.”

4. It can lead to Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a disease that prevents the pancreas from producing enough insulin to deal with sugar as it enters the bloodstream. Once you develop the disease, it is permanent in most cases, and can be deadly if not continually monitored and treated.

This disease is commonly associated with obesity, but has also been linked to consuming too much beef and other red meats.

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One group of meta-researchers studied nearly 150,000 individuals over the course of 20 years or more and found that increased red meat consumption ballooned the risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes by 48%!

5. Raising beef is really, really bad for the environment

If you’re not concerned about the negative health impact beef will have on your body, then consider how eating a burger hurts the environment. In general, meat requires a lot more physical resources to grow and harvest that other plant-based foods, but beef may be the biggest culprit.

Pound for pound, beef uses 10 times more resources than raising chicken or turkey. Focus in on the water required to produce beef and the numbers are even more staggering. Producing just one pound of beef requires over 1,800 gallons of water, whereas producing a loaf of bread requires only 240 gallons.

Water Usage
    Beef production requires much more water than producing many other types of crops

    The more beef you eat, the greater your ecological footprint, hence the rising popularity of “Meatless Mondays” amongst those looking to contribute to environmental sustainability.

    6. Buying beef will spike your grocery bill

    Cutting meat from your diet can save you $750 per year, and the savings will be even greater if you eat a lot of beef.

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    The price of beef is at a record high, having increased by 20% over the past year. While sky-rocketing beef prices are expected to slow this year, an increase of another 5-6% is still expected.

    As long as demand for beef remains strong, prices will continue to climb. So, if you’re a cost-conscious consumer, it may be time to think twice about your next beef purchase.

    7. Eating beef can make you fat

    If you eat a lot of meat, then you may want to pay close attention to your waistline. Recent research found that shifting towards a vegetarian or vegan diet is the most effective way to maintain a healthy weight. One study found that overweight individuals who cut meat from their diet lost an average of 16.5 pounds in just 6 months.

    But, does beef cause more weight-gain then other meats?

    Depending on the cut of beef you choose, YES. For example, steak contains 30% more calories and nearly double the fat content than an equivalent size of chicken breast.

    Featured photo credit: Mmm… Grilled steak for the win/jeffreyw via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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