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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 February 21, 2019

    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

    Top 9 Foods for Incredible Brian Health And Brain Power

    Your brain is the most intricate and powerful organ in your entire body. It’s essentially a super-computer with brain power like a Ferrari.

    If you have a Ferrari, would you put cheap gasoline in it? Of course not. You want to put in high-octane performance fuel to get the most out of your investment.

    When it comes to the brain, many people are looking for the top foods that will supercharge the brainpower to help focus better, think more clearly and have better brain health.

    In this article, we’ll look at the top 9 brain foods that will help create supercharge your brain with energy and health:

    1. Salmon

    Salmon has long been held as a healthy brain food, but what makes this fish so valuable for your brain health?

    It’s important to understand that your brain is primarily made up of fat. Roughly 60% of your brain is fat. One of the most important fats that the brain uses as a building block for healthy brain cells is omega-3’s.

    Omega-3’s are essential for building a healthy brain but one of the most important omega-3’s for your brain is DHA. DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) forms nearly two-thirds of the omega-3’s found in your brain.[1]

    Omega-3’s and DHA in particular help form the protective coating around our neurons. The better quality this coating is, the more efficient and effective our brain cells can work, allowing our brain power to work at full capacity.

    Studies have shown that being deficient in DHA can affect normal brain development in children, which is why so many infant formulas and children’s supplements are beginning to include DHA.

    Being deficient in DHA as an adult can cause focus and attention problems, mood swings, irritability, fatigue and poor sleep.

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    2. Blueberries

    Blueberries top the list as one of the most beneficial fruits to maximize your brain health and performance.

    Blueberries have some of the highest content of antioxidants, particularly anthocyanins, than any other fruit, which helps protect the brain from stress and promote healthy brain aging.

    Blueberries antioxidant content also help reduce inflammation, which allows the brain to maintain healthy energy levels.

    Blueberries have begun to receive attention for their connection to brain performance.[2] Studies have demonstrated that eating blueberries on a regular basis can not only improve brain health but also brain performance as well including working memory.[3]

    Blueberries not only taste great but are low in calories, high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K and Manganese.

    3. Turmeric

    Turmeric is a very impressive spice that has well-researched and proven to have tremendous benefits for your brain. Turmeric’s main compound that benefits the brain is called curcumin, which is responsible for turmerics bright yellow appearance.

    Curcumin has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-cancer properties.[4]

    Curcumin increases the production and availability of two important neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine, two important neurotransmitters involved with happiness, motivation, pleasure, and reward.

    Curcumin has been well documented to have powerful anti-depressive effects. In one study, it was found to be as effective for depression as popular medications such as SSRI’s like Prozac.[5]

    Curcumin has also been shown to:

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    • Increase blood flow to the brain.[6]
    • Increase BDNF production, a powerful stimulator of neuroplasticity.[7]
    • Increase DHA availability and synthesis in the brain.[8]
    • Increase antioxidant levels in the brain to prevent brain aging and inflammation.[9]

    4. Coffee

    Coffee is the wonderful elixir of energy that many people cherish every single morning. The biggest reason people drink coffee is to get a dose of caffeine.

    Caffeine is a natural neurological stimulant that not only gives you energy but also prevents adenosine, a neurotransmitter involved with feeling tired, from binding in the brain.

    Many people are surprised to find that coffee actually contains a large quantity of antioxidants called polyphenols, which are important for reducing inflammation in the brain and keep your brain energized. The antioxidants in coffee also provide a neuroprotective effect, protecting the brain from stress and damage. [R]

    Coffee can also:

    • Improve alertness and concentration.[10]
    • Help with neurodegenerative disorders like Parkinson’s disease.[11]
    • Reduce your risk of depression.[12]
    • Improve your memory.
    • Provide short-term boost in athletic performance.[13]

    5. Broccoli

    What was your least favorite food as a kid growing up?

    Most likely, broccoli was your answer.

    Broccoli may not have been your top choice, but it might be the top choice for your brain.

    Broccoli contains a compound called sulforaphane. Sulforaphane has been shown to promote the proliferation and survival of brain cells by reducing inflammation and boosting production of BDNF. It has also been shown to boost neurogenesis, the production of new brain cells.[14]

    Broccoli is also loaded with important nutrients Vitamin K and Folate. Vitamin K plays a vital role in protecting brain cells.[15] Folate plays a crucial role in detoxification and reducing inflammation in the brain.

    6. Bone broth

    Bone broth wasn’t just created to combine with soups, you can actually drink bone broth by itself.

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    Drinking bone broth has become one of the biggest trends in the health and wellness industry and for good reason. Bone broth isn’t actually a new thing. Bone broth has been used for centuries as a healing tonic to promote health and longevity.

    Much of the nutritional benefits and value of bone broth comes from its substantial vitamin and mineral content. Primarily calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium.

    Your gut is called your second brain for a reason. Research continually shows that there is a direct and indirect connection between your gut and your brain. Your gut also houses and stores many important brain compounds involved with optimal brain performance. Therefore the health of your gut is vitally important for your brain health and performance.

    Bone broth has become a go-to tool for helping heal the gut and provide the gut with the vital nutrient and resources it needs to heal and perform optimally.

    With the vast amounts of nutrients that bone broth contains, it makes the list as a go-to food for your brain health.

    Look for high quality, organic bone broth for the best results.

    7. Walnuts

    Walnuts are one of the top choices of nuts for brain health. Walnuts also look similar to a brain.

    Amongst the wide variety of nuts available, walnuts contain the highest amounts of the important omega-3 DHA. DHA, as seen above, is a critical building block for a healthy brain.

    Walnuts also contain high amounts of antioxidants, folate, magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus, which help to lower inflammation.

    Melatonin in walnuts is an important nutrient for regulating your sleep. Having low amounts of melatonin can make it challenging to get good quality sleep and getting poor quality sleep can dramatically impair brain health and performance.

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    8. Eggs

    For years, eggs were put on the nutritional naughty list; but now, eggs are finally getting the credit they deserve. Eggs can provide a tremendous boost to your brain health and longevity.

    Eggs, particularly the yolks, contain a compound called choline. Choline is essential for building the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays an important role in mood, memory, and intelligence.

    Egg yolks contain some of the highest quantities of choline. This is very important because low levels of choline can lead to low levels of acetylcholine, which in turn can cause increased inflammation, brain fog, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.

    9. Dark chocolate

    You’re about to love chocolate even more because chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, is great for your brain.

    Chocolate boosts levels of endorphins, your brains “feel good” chemicals. This is why you feel so good eating chocolate.[16]

    Chocolate also increases blood flow to the brain which can help improve memory, attention, focus, and reaction time.[17]

    Dark chocolate contains high levels of magnesium, which has been coined “natures valium” for its ability to calm and relax the brain.

    Lastly, dark chocolate has one of the highest antioxidant profiles out of any other food, including popular superfoods like acai berries, blueberries, or pomegranates.[18]

    Conclusion

    Your brain is a high performing organ and it uses quite a lot of energy, roughly 20% of the bodies energy demands.

    In order to maintain a healthy brain, you need the right fuel to ensure that your brain has all the nutrients it needs to perform as well as adapt to the stress of life.

    If you want to keep your brain performing well for a lifetime, then you want to make sure you are including as many of these brain health foods as possible.

    More Resources About Boosting Brain Power

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: DHA Effects in Brain Development and Function
    [2] Canadian Science Publishing: Enhanced task-related brain activation and resting perfusion in healthy older adults after chronic blueberry supplementation
    [3] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Cognitive effects following acute wild blueberry supplementation in 7- to 10-year-old children.
    [4] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin: the Indian solid gold.
    [5] Herbal Medicine: Biomolecular and Clinical Aspects. 2nd edition.: Turmeric, the Golden Spice
    [6] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effect of combined treatment with curcumin and candesartan on ischemic brain damage in mice.
    [7] Science Direct: Curcumin reverses the effects of chronic stress on behavior, the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of CREB
    [8] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Curcumin boosts DHA in the brain: Implications for the prevention of anxiety disorders.
    [9] PLOS: A Chemical Analog of Curcumin as an Improved Inhibitor of Amyloid Abeta Oligomerization
    [10] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of Caffeine on Cognitive Performance, Mood, and Alertness in Sleep-Deprived Humans
    [11] American Academy of Neurology: A Cup of Joe May Help Some Parkinson’s Disease Symptoms
    [12] American Academy of Neurology: AAN 65th Annual Meeting Abstract
    [13] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Effects of caffeine on the metabolic and catecholamine responses to exercise in 5 and 28 degrees C.
    [14] US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health: Hyperammonemia induces glial activation, neuroinflammation and alters neurotransmitter receptors in hippocampus, impairing spatial learning: reversal by sulforaphane
    [15] Oxford Academic: Vitamin K and the Nervous System: An Overview of its Actions
    [16] Diana L. Walcutt, Ph.D: Chocolate and Mood Disorders
    [17] Health Magazine: Chocolate can do good things for your heart, skin and brain
    [18] Chemistry Central Journal: Cacao seeds are a “Super Fruit”: A comparative analysis of various fruit powders and products

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