You would be hard pressed to go on social media without seeing a celebrity or influencer pushing an extreme diet trend. On one side of the spectrum, you have vegan promoters while all the way on the other you have others spreading a meat-centric gospel of the paleo or keto diets. So with so many options out there what do you choose? According to one vegan internet user the least ‘natural’ choice for humans – meat.
With an extremely graphic photo, they tried to argue that ‘catching prey’ and eating it was not as natural as a vegan lifestyle and got shut down by a commenter happy to give them a quick lesson in the evolution of our diets.
One response to the photo stood out in particular. Linden Lonsdale explained that meat had been a necessary evolution of our ancestors that provided them with the caloric content needed for advanced brain development, and the lesson didn’t stop there.
According to scientists today this commenter has a point. We wouldn’t be what we are today without meat to a degree, however, as evolutionary creatures our stomachs have changed alongside us. Meat from a health standpoint is rich in both protein and vitamin B-12 and is also a good source of iron, however, these days it is much easier to come by these supplements in other foods such as nuts, beans, and grain to name a few. According to Dr. William Kormos, editor in chief of Harvard Men’s Health Watch, “As for how much meat consumption is ‘safe,’ many studies show a small rise in the risk of disease at levels of 50–100 grams (1.8–3.5 ounces) of red meat consumed daily.”
People in the comments sided with Lonsdale and added some hilarious commentary of their own
If you talk to any nutritionist about which diet is better, not only is there not a one size fits all – you will hear the word balance. “Approximately six to eight million adults in the United States eat no meat, fish, or poultry,” according to a Harris Interactive poll commissioned by the Vegetarian Resource Group, a nonprofit organization that disseminates information about vegetarianism. There is a combination of reasons people are flocking towards this lifestyle from animal issues to environmental ones. But if you are planning on becoming a vegan/vegetarian for better health it isn’t guaranteed. According to the American Dietetic Association, “appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.” Research backs up that this lifestyle can be beneficial to your health but if it is not done with the proper nutritional planning not eating animals or animal products doesn’t necessarily mean you will be healthier.