A doctor I saw recently was disapproving of the “restrictive Paleo” diet that I have adopted – you know, the one that I am allergic to EVERYTHING and basically eat Paleo style minus the butter (this is a dairy! COME ON PALEO PEEPS!) eggs (ducks eggs can be used instead), fruit (I can have avocado, coconut, lemon, lime and berries though) and nuts. So yeah, this is the “restrictive Paleo” diet I am on.
Anyway, my doctor said that I should be avoiding animal products – that means no meat or eggs… I was like, WHAT??!!? I am protein deficient so shouldn’t these types of protein be good for me? And besides, since taking on this diet, I have been feeling super awesome (refer to my ‘Improvement’ post). And then it dawned on me (again)… I have WAY too much information, too many doctors, and now they are giving me conflicting advice… what the hell am I meant to do now? So I consulted my oracle – Google.
I typed in “meat and Crohn’s” and all these links about meat being inflammatory came up. I then remembered that a friend’s father was diagnosed with bowel cancer a couple of years ago and had to become vegetarian as a result. But I thought that was because meat can be difficult to digest? You know, when you eat a big steak or ribs and sometimes get the meat sweats afterwards (or is this just me)? So I start doing some more research and find out that it’s not the physical difficulty in breaking down the meat, but that red meat is high in fat and that is not good for your digestive system.
FINDING #1: ANIMAL PRODUCTS AIN’T GOOD FOR YOUR GUTS
According to Dr. Greger from NutritionFacts.org, a single meal of animal products leads to a flood of endotoxins (bad stuff from bacteria) which causes inflammation (our immune systems’ response to bad stuff). He has a set of awesome videos to help you understand ailments better, plus his voice overs are super entertaining!
Have a look for yourself at:
Ok, but like any good history teacher, I need more than just one source to prove this theory…
FINDING #2: RED MEAT IS LINKED TO CANCER
Oh shit! The Cancer Council even says that diets high in red meat are “associated” with bowel cancer. Not good if your bowel/digestive system is already compromised with a GI disease! To be fair, they used the word “associated” which means they don’t want to make any conclusive statements. But they do indicate that out of the 21 meals you eat a week (3×7…maths check!), you should only have 100g of red meat 3 to 4 times… 3 TO 4 TIMES? OUT OF 21??!?!?!?!?
And they also say stay away from processed meats. No bacon. Damnnnnnn
Check it out: http://www.cancercouncil.com.au/21639/cancer-information/cancer-risk-and-prevention/healthy-weight-diet-and-exercise/meat-and-cancer/
Ok, but as a researcher, despite these sites that are sound authorities/experts on health, they MAY be bias… what else can I find?
FINDING #3: MEAT AND DAIRY TRIGGER INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE
A Harvard study published in a medical journal has found that animal protein increases the quantity of microbes in the gut that can cause inflammatory bowel disease within 2 days of consumption… COME ON! WTF?!?!
Ugh… there are a few journals at ‘The American Journal of Gastroenterology’ and you can read more from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24336217 or the cliffsnotes version of it from http://www.care2.com/greenliving/meat-and-dairy-consumption-rapidly-alter-gut-bacteria-cause-inflammation.html
I’m slowly slipping into DENIAL land again… I AM NOT READY FOR THIS! I have had conversations with my husband that if one of us became vegetarian it would be grounds for divorce! Seriously, how can you NOT enjoy a meal with meat? No offence to all the vegetarians out there… But this is another level, this is VEGANISM! No meat, fish, honey, eggs… my life is flashing before my eyes…
I know I’ve said before to give ANYTHING a go to help yourself and your health if you can, but I think becoming a vegan is my absolute threshold of what I can do. I’m going to have to give this a LOT more thought and allow this to be LITERALLY digested. Let me know your thoughts – have you become a vegan for medical reasons? Or have you limited animal products in your diet? Has it helped?