Hive Health Media

Why Meat Should Be Your Primary Food Source

People who have tried out a low carb diet have often been nervous about the idea that they will consume far too much fat in their diets. The scare about saturated fat from meats and the connection to high cholesterol is immense and couldn’t be further from the truth.

The fact is that people who eat meats and control carbohydrates primarily don’t even eat large amounts of fats at all. The reason is that there is a natural restriction to the caloric intake on a daily basis and thus the percentage of fat in the diet is lowered. However it is the history of man who interests me the most regarding meat as a primary food source.

The fact is the homosapien has always been a meat eater, we started out as hunter-gatherers and how much of that has changed? Well from a metabolic standpoint not a lot, in fact our body processes animal protein better than other forms and our muscles benefit a lot more. The law is heredity and we have not changed our metabolisms entirely to be herbivores.

So why would meat be so beneficial to us? It allows us to reduce the carbohydrate consumption that we know causes fat gain. It fuels our muscles to make us have better muscle tone and generate even more energy. It is also a little known fact that proteins will actually break down into sugar but will not effect blood glucose readings, therefore it is especially useful for diabetics. Excess carbohydrate consumption has been linked to metabolic disorders of all types including high blood pressure, diabetes, morbid obesity, high cholesterol, and so many others.

Don’t mistake my appreciation for meat with a recommendation that you should give up your vegetables and fruits altogether. However like your hunter-gatherer ancestors (also referred to as the paleolithic or paleo diet) you should remember that the primary human diet was meant to be mostly meat and to a lesser point fruit, vegetables, grains, and nuts.

Next time you decide to help yourself to a steak or a large chicken breast, feel good in knowing that you are actually fueling your body’s muscles, providing yet another energy source, and following the true natural diet.

For more information on low carb diets visit my website: byebyecarbs.com

Editor’s note:

As somewhat of a counterpoint to the opinion expressed by Dr. Ellis, here are some  recent research reviews surrounding diets referred to as ‘meat’ diets.

A recent meta-analysis published in the journal, Circulation [1], provides support that red meat consumption is NOT associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease or diabetes mellitus.  However, consumption of processed meat IS associated with an increased risk of both diabetes and heart disease.

One potential concern with a diet high in meats is that it has been associated in some studies with an increased risk of colorectal cancer [2].  Though the association includes both red meat as well as processed meat, there is still some conflicting evidence as to this association.

A healthier pattern consisting of greater intakes of fruits and vegetables, and lower intakes of red and processed meat, appeared protective against colorectal adenoma and cancer incidence. Findings also suggest that a less healthy pattern characterized by higher intakes of red and processed meat, as well as potatoes and refined carbohydrates, may increase risk.

In contrast to the previous review author conclusions, an alternate study published in the journal, Meat Sciences [3] reached the following conclusion from their literature review:

In conclusion, moderate consumption of lean red meat as part of a balanced diet is unlikely to increase risk for CVD (cardiovascular disease) or colon cancer, but may positively influence nutrient intakes and fatty acid profiles, thereby impacting positively on long-term health.

References:

  1. Red and processed meat consumption and risk of incident coronary heart disease, stroke, and diabetes mellitus: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
  2. Dietary patterns and colorectal adenoma and cancer risk: a review of the epidemiological evidence.
  3. Red meat consumption: an overview of the risks and benefits.
I am a Certified Nutrition Specialist and hold a PhD in Exercise Physiology. With over 40 years of scientific research I have found the best ways to lose weight, get amazing muscle tone, and to reverse aging.

9 Comments

  1. Will

    December 20, 2010 at 9:29 am

    I want you to take a moment and think about the logic behind a high protein, low carbohydrate diet from a natural perspective.

    When we started out as human beings we did not have access to the agricultural methods we have now in order to mass produce grains, fruits, vegetables, and so forth. We simply had sharp and blunt instruments to kill random animals with and eat them. The fact is, our bodies were originally made with that in mind for how we metabolize foods. Now over the millenia I would argue that we have evolved to be able to survive on higher amounts of grains. One could call this simply a pooling of genes through survival of the fittest. Those who survived without dieing of immediate metabolic disorders associated with high glucose levels in the blood on a regular basis were able to pass those genes on to children and so on.

    However, I think the fact remains that diabetes can wear down the kidneys which causes fluids to be retained, thus effecting the heart. If we are constantly releasing insulin due to high glycemic foods then we are eventually going to have diabetes and eventually heart problems and many others.

    Therefore my chain of logic has to prove that a high carb diet is also a risk factor for heart disease, much like plaque. I would argue that BALANCE is key, but I think Dr. Ellis has a lot of strong points. You can consume a LOT of protein before compromising kidney function due to the metabolism of amino acids and the more lean muscle that is built the less worry we have in that regard as the acids are accounted for. Meats should top your diet, grains should be the minimum and raw vegetable/fruits/nuts should fit snug in the middle and to a minimal extent we can have processed sweets.

    Just don’t forget, people can also die of weakened blood vessel walls leading to burst arteries. I would rather take my chance with a little plaque thanks.

  2. Richard

    December 19, 2010 at 11:20 am

    The caveman diet has not been debunked at all. Just as today, there were some people who did unintelligent things 30,000 years ago, including experimenting with grinding up stuff that wasn’t good for them — and probably making themselves ill in the process.

    The average diet was not heavily influenced by grains or legumes simply because of the massive pains one would have to go through to grow, harvest, process, and cook them.

    Further, even if you are right and they did eat a TON of grains. They _definitely_ didn’t have grocery stores where they could go buy six loaves of whole wheat bread. They had to do everything themselves. They didn’t sit in a cubicle all day gobbling down whole wheat toast caked in trans fat or 100 calorie Dorito Snack Packs with a Dr. Pepper chaser.

  3. Bhargava

    December 18, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I would like to speak on a different viewpoint altogether. Humans has always been in the search of knowledge. That’s how we observed various kinds of living styles being followed by people of different eras and different places. In this search of knowledge some Indian (India )races hav found out that meatfood is not at all necessary for their survival. And most of those belong to these races have been following the vegetarian diet since times unknown(unknown to me) till today. People of these races are been regarded with high value in the society and they are considered as advanced. Meat is also a food for us omnivores, but in our case I was taught that not using this ability to digest flesh food as being efficient. I’m a vegetarian and never tasted any meat food. All my omnivore friends are of the same opinion that these meats are tastier than vegetarian food. All of them see only taste as the prime point in choosing what to eat, but not the health aspects as you suggest. And my general observation among my family and friend networks, I had seen both vegetarian and non vegetarian people are equally prone to all kinds of health problems. Also, in relation to what I said earlier, most meat is being consumed to prepare tasty food but not healthy food. And also the concept of humanbeing continuously searching for knowledge and changing lifestyles also seems correlated to vegetarianism. Humans definitely didnot eat cooked meat as their firstfood. As taught by my early school textbooks it is logical to believe that early humans might have accidentally eaten toasted meat from a forestfire or would have burnt an animal out of curiosity or innovation. This good taste might have resulted in various innovations in cooking sciences. The same humans , as times passed by, have developed various tools to protect themselves from various threats. I think, some Indian race in India adopted vegetarianism might be because they would have thought, now they are safe from external threats because of their developed tools and they no longer need meat for them to be stronger to fight their threats.
    These are just my thoughts to arrive at a logical sequence on how my race has been vegetarians since unknown times. But there is also a lot of depth in spiritual subjects to explain why I am a vegetarian. All these points completely convince me to stay vegetarian further.
    The only conclusion is: meat is not necessary NOW for human survival and existence. And one more point: some species of animals are now extinct becoz of human hunting and rest are endangered because of human pollution. Being a vegetarian will definitely reduce a little carbon emission. That would help us to Make our human race sustainable along with other species of animals.

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  5. COMMISSION

    December 13, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    NOTICE:

    The “Paleolithic” or Paleo diet, now ridiculed as “The Caveman diet!” has been found to be DEBUNKED.

    The founding fundamental principle espoused by the progenitors of the Paleo or “Neanderthal diet” rested on the following premise, now disproved and known to be false:

    Pushers of the Neanderthal Paleolithic diet “believe that modern humans are still genetically wired to thrive on the foods eaten by our Paleolithic ancestors” and the Paleo diet is based upon the founding principle that states that humans did not eat agricultural Grains until starting at 10,000 years ago. [In other words, the basic founding principle upon which the so-called Paleolithic dieters rely, is that humans didn’t eat grains until beginning at 10,000 years ago, and the belief that they ate meat instead.] – Scientific evidence has now found this to be categorically false, and the “Caveman diet” is now viewed somewhat humourously and regarded as debunked.

    SCIENCE NEWS:
    “Evidence Of Plant Food Processing 30,000 Years Ago”

    “Grains of starch discovered on grinding stones suggest that ancient man may have dined on a type of bread at least 30,000 years ago”

    “The findings imply that processing starch grains, perhaps grinding them into flour, was a common practice throughout Europe during the Paleolithic era.” -GLOBAL NEWS

    [What does this mean?? – Note that the entire underlying principle of the so-called Paleo dieters is based on the previously assumed idea that humans did NOT eat grains, especially prior to 10,000 years ago. And Neanderthal dieters further insinuate that since such grains were ‘only’ invented 10-thousand years ago, that’s ‘not enough time’ to ‘evolve’ and since it’s only 10,000 years, you should eat meat.=FALSE) – What this scientific evidence has now shown, is that Paleolithic man did indeed eat refined grains. What this means, is that the entire basic founding principle upon which the PaleoDiet is based, is now false. The rug has been pulled out from what is anchored as the main principle upon which the entire Paleo CavemanDiet is based. Thus, many of the statements that were told to the public in order to convince them that Cavemen ate large amounts of meat and didn’t eat grain, but rather that is some kind of recent development which we are not somehow ‘adapted’ to, is FALSE. Evidence now shows that Paleolithic humans ate grains, for thousands and thousands of years, contrary to what the progenitors of the Paleo Diet say. The Paleolithic diet has thus been debunked and found to be discredited.]

    NEWS:

    “A study published on Monday in the scientific journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reports that grains found on 30,000-year-old Paleolithic-era grinding stones are proof that early humans did not rely as heavily on meat as a source of energy and nutrition as previously thought.”

    “That clearly refutes the long-held theory that meat was the only important source of nutrition for the hunter-gatherer.” -NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES

    Thus, the Paleo Diet, CrossFit, PaNu, Caveman meat-diet, any person attempting to espouse “The Paleolithic diet” and the article author Dr. Greg Ellis are debunked, by the National Academy of Science.

    “We have finally demonstrated that.. the [Paleolithic Caveman ancient human] diet was based on carbohydrates and plants.”-FINDINGS.

    Dr. Greg Ellis also falsely insinuates: “we started out as hunter-gatherers”=FALSE.

    Yet another fallacious myth which is a favorite of those pushing the false Paleo diet myth, is to assert that man went around eating pieces of meat millions of years ago. This one usually involves mention of the word ‘bone marrow’ so you can watch out for that. If you see that phrase, that person can be regarded as immediatlely pushing this part of the ancient meat myth. This has been found scientifically to be erroneous.

    Many of the false ‘ancient man ate bone marrow’ and meat paleo diet myths were based upon a now-debunked report where a reporter mistakenly insinuated that marks found on animal bones near an ancient hominid 3.4 million years ago related to “Lucy” (australopithecus afarensis) were erroneously purported to be from ‘lucy’ butchering meat from animal bones. This was exposed as false afterall, and now regarded as false.

    There were a flurry of Falsified articles all over the popular media such as “Ancient humans ate meat!” and Lucy was a butcher!” etc etc. These were all found eventually to be wrong. Followed by…

    HEADLINE NEWS: “Turns out ‘Lucy’ was no butcher after all”-DW

    NEWSCIENTIST: “Lucy wasn’t a tool-using butcher after all”

    AMERICAN SCIENTIST: “Ancient Hominid Butchers Get Trampled”

    Researchers found that Paleolithic diet man from Arizona, US had in fact misinterpreted the marks on the bones and they were from other means:

    CONCLUSION: “The interpretation that primitive creatures like Australopithecus.. were using stone tools 3.4 million years ago and eating meat from large animals is currently unsupported” Note:UNSUPPORTED.

    “One of the human race’s distant hominid ancestors did not use tools, and claims that it did were based on flawed science.”

    “What’s more, Australopithecus’s large molar teeth mark it as a plant-eater.” – NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENTISTS

    In other words, ancient human ancestors are now shown to be plant-eaters. Not only that, but for anyone attempting to assert any type of evolutionary predisposition based on merely 10,000 years, or even 100,000 or even 1 million years, and attempting to say that means humans were ‘designed’ to eat meat, the scientific evidence now shows that Hominids and the ancestors of the human race date back to approximately 40-MILLION YEARS, and ate a plant-based diet.

    It means that even if you were to just-for-fun entertain the now discredited meat-pushing lowcarb diet afficionado’s ruse falsely telling you that ancient man ate meat for ‘thousands’ of years, or even 100,000 years, or even 1 million, there is 40-million years, or OVER 40X the evolutionary design built into the human genome with ancient hominids thriving on an almost vegetarian plant-based diet. That’s 40-million to 1 for the dominance of plants and against meat. Suffice to say, the ‘Paleo’ “Caveman”, “NeanderThin” heavy meat based diets have all now been scientifically debunked. Not to mention, Neanderthals are extinct. And current Arctic Inuit, Eskimo, and Masai meat-based ‘primitive’ diet peoples are now on record as having some of the shortest life-expectancies in the modern world. Whereas those on a plant-based vegetarian or near-vegetarian diet have shown centenarian longevity such as the Blue Zones in Loma-Linda Seventh Day Adventists, living to 100, 105, even 110 years old, the Eskimos, Arctic Inuit, and peoples still following a meat-based diet have some of the shortest lifespans on earth. The meat-eaters of the Masai have a lifespan of about 40. One of the lowest on earth.

    The information in this hivehealthmedia article, and its author Dr. Greg Ellis purporting the erroneous paleo diet information are regarded as not only debunked, but disadvantageous to human health.

    View the report from the NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCE for the proper information.

  6. COMMISSION

    December 13, 2010 at 6:28 pm

    STUDY:

    “Low-carb, high-meat diets found associated with Human Death”

    Harvard School of Public Health

    Nutritional Scientists Researched 130-thousand people spanning more than 20 years, observing the effects of a high-meat, locarb diet and nearly 20-thousand Deaths:

    Conclusion: “A low-carbohydrate diet based on animal sources was associated with higher all-cause mortality in both men and women, whereas a vegetable-based low-carbohydrate diet was associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality”

    In other words:

    HIGH-MEAT LOWCARB DIET (such as pushed by the author in this article) was associated with HUMAN DEATH.

  7. Pingback: Why meat should be your primary food source | Paleo Diet | if you do the paleo diet you need supplementing

  8. [email protected] Workouts

    December 13, 2010 at 2:26 pm

    I always try to be supportive with my comments, and if I can’t I usually don’t say anything at all. In this case, I feel the need to express the fact that I don’t completely agree with your article. Just a few points to consider: 1. meat makes our bodies extremely acidic. A acidic body is a sick body. 2. We do not need animal protein to build muscle. Hemp protein, a vegan source, is more highly bioavailable then protein from animals. 3. Further, excess animal protein not used to build muscle will be converted in the body and stored as fat. 4. Vegetables should be the primary focus in your diet. Meat should be eaten as a side dish and always take a backseat to raw food. 5. Yes, processed meat should be avoided altogether.

    And as always, moderation in everything we do is key.

  9. Matt

    December 13, 2010 at 11:08 am

    My understanding that excess blood sugar is what actually makes fat bad, because it sticks to the fat molecules making them sticky and abrasive. This causes lesions and the like along the circulatory system which inflames them and can cause plaque deposits. Also heart disease, diabetes, and a lot of diseases in general are actually inflammatory based diseases, remove the source of inflammation and you usually cure the disease.

    Now from a Paleo diet perspective having said that, all meat is not created equal and technically just eating any meat is not Paleo. Processed meat or even grain fed meat also has detrimental effects. Processed meat has all sorts of chemicals which are not healthy for us because the body doesn’t know what to do with them, and grain fed animals have the same issues humans have with grains…it makes them sick also. Grain fed animals have higher concentrations of Omega 6 which are inflammatory:

    http://www.eatwild.com/healthbenefits.htm

    Of particular interest is this chart:

    http://www.eatwild.com/images/gr_essential_fat.gif

    But grains are not the only things animals are fed to fatten them up; lots of miscellaneous things are thrown in the mix, and let us not forget the use of hormones and antibiotics and restriction of exercise to round out the health concerns of the animals. And if we think about this for a moment, it is not healthy for humans to eat, not exercise, and inject hormones… so why would it be good for animals? Their health issues can transfer to us, and we are also seeing backlash such as antibiotic resistant bacteria on the rise.

    The short summary is: Eating meat is good, but I would not go as far to say “any” meat is good. It may be better then a high carb diet, but its far from healthy. You will be much better off if you can get as close to natural meats as possible (game meats or grass fed meats).

    One other thing to point to why we are omnivores, there have been a comparison of our digestive tracts to animals. Our digestive track is much more like a dogs (meat eater), then say a sheep’s (vegetarian), but the overall answer is we are omnivores. This is not to say we cannot exist on plants or meats alone, but I think the ideal diet is some of both with a heavier influence on meat. Here is one such comparison:

    http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/carn_herb_comparison4.html

    I think meat based diets are become more socially accepted, however I think we have so many years of high carb/low fat/low protein propaganda that it may take a while to become fully acceptable.

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