Meat is a source of protein. It also contains B vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc. But there are more and more studies that point out that stopping consuming it, especially the red one, can have positive effects on long-term health. However, other experts point out that a meat-free diet is not synonymous with being healthy, since it would imply excluding an important source of proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients . So what exactly happens to our body when we stop consuming it
; Does it have more positive than negative effects

The World Health Organization (WHO) starts from the idea that eating meat has benefitsto health. Of course, he warns that many of the national health recommendations advise people to limit the consumption of processed meat and red meat, since this is linked to an increased risk of death from heart disease, diabetes and other pathologies.
Meanwhile, experts and nutritionists agree that moderate consumption does not have to pose risks, especially if lean cuts are chosen. In this direction, within the framework of a project to generate evidence-based dietary guidelines ( NutriRECS ), and After considering the results of 4 reviews of this report, we concluded that low-certainty and very-low-certainty evidence suggests that reducing the consumption of red meat and processed meat by 3 servings would have a very slight reduction incardiovascular risk and cancer mortality.
Likewise, a study published in Revue Scientifique et Technique highlights that moderate consumption of meat can help avoid the deficiency of some essential nutrients, since it contains large amounts of protein and moderate doses of iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin D and vitamin B12 .
However, this same research concludes that giving up meat can reduce the development of a wide variety of chronic diseases and, in turn, could have beneficial effects on global food security. The latter considering that there is a growing concern about the sustainability of farm animal production.
Thus, stopping eating meat is a personal decision and is not always synonymous with well-being. When in doubt, it is best to talk to a nutrition professional. What we can anticipate is what changes our body will undergo if we decide to eliminate its nutritional contribution from our diet.



Cardiologist Nishant Kalra is clear: during the first two weeks you are more than likely to feel hungry , regardless of whether you are consuming full meals (with their carbohydrates, proteins and fats).
“If you are used to eating meat and accompanying it with a side of vegetables and have suddenly switched to vegetables, you probablyyou’ll feel like you haven’t eaten your main course ,” says the doctor, who adds that vegan and vegetarian diets are also usually lower in fat and protein, which makes you less satiating .
Although the feeling of hunger is uncomfortable, it will pass in one or two weeks, at most, since your mind and body will get used to the new diet.The doctor recommends consuming, above all, vegetables with a high index of fat (good) and proteins, such as avocados, nuts, quinoa, lentils and tofuBETTER DIGESTION

The microorganisms that live in your body are called the microbiome. These organisms contribute to proper digestion, a healthy immune system, and healthy intestinal tissue. Dietary fiber from vegetables, fruits, and whole grains contributes to the growth of “good” bacteria. This means that a vegetarian diet can improve the health of your digestive tract, regulate bowel movements, and prevent constipation .


Simply reducing or eliminating meat from your diet can help you lose weight, if that is what you are looking for. “Studies show that people who follow a vegetarian diet eat less fatty foods and are slimmer than people who eat meat,” says Kalra.
And a Loma Linda University study showed that vegetarians, despite having the same calorie intake as non-vegetarians, tended to have a lower body mass index than those who ate meat .
The researchers believe these findings are largely due to the difference in nutrients consumed by vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores. In general, people who eat meat consume less vegetable protein, beta-carotene, fiber and magnesium, and more fatty acids known to contribute to heart disease. On the other hand, vegetarians tend to consume more fiber, potassium and vitamin C.


People who stop eating meatsuggest that the condition of your skin improves, although there is no evidence to support this fact.However, by increasing your consumption of plant-based foods instead of meats, you get more antioxidants, which are essential for skin health, according to a study published in 2017 .


A recent study published in JAMA Internal Medicine shows that excessive consumption of red and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and death.
According to evidence, eating these foods frequently increases the chances of cardiovascular disease by up to 7%.In addition, it is linked to a 3% increased risk of all causes of death.

Taste buds respond to zinc consumption and zinc is concentrated in oysters and red meat. Therefore, when leaving meat aside, it is convenient to look for new food sources to absorb this mineral.Some options are navy beans, nuts, whole grains, and dairy foods.

How much meat should I eat

In the absence of evidence-based healthy and sustainable eating guidelines in our country for the Spanish population, the Academy of Nutrition recommends:
Increase the consumption of plant-based foods, that is, fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grain cereals and their derivatives such as bread. Also eat more nuts and oilseeds.
Limit to no more than 3 times a month, the intake of red meats (veal, lamb, pork, horse) and processed meats (salted, cured, fermented or smoked).
Eat at least 5 portions between fruits and vegetables a day.
Consume at least 3 or 4 servings of legumes a week.
Cereals, always whole grains from whole grain.
Nothing ultra processed. They have a high caloric content, are rich in added sugars, salt and saturated fats. We are talking about fast food, pre-cooked foods, sweets, industrial pastries, fried and salty appetizer snacks, commercial sauces and refreshing drinks with sugar or sweeteners.
Perform any type of physical activity to combat sedentary lifestyle.
Bet on local and seasonal purchases.

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