What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Too Much Meat
Although meat is an important part of one’s diet, eating too much of it might be harmful to your health. This doesn’t mean that you should cut those delicious steaks from your lunch completely, but it is good to be informed about what an excessive intake of meat can do to your body.
Bright Side wants to look after your health and highlight 11 risks that you might encounter if you indulge yourself in too much protein. Check the bonus as well to see how large a steak should be.
1. You could develop kidney stones.
Animal-based proteins have a lot of compounds called purines. These break down into uric acid, and if you have too much of this acid, you could develop kidney stones. You can avoid this by limiting your consumption of meat, and also by drinking plenty of water.
2. You could become dehydrated.
Because of an excess of that uric acid we talked about above, you could feel thirstier than usual. Your kidneys need water to dilute any toxic waste, so make sure you have water with you at all times, anywhere you are.
3. You could get constipated.
Meat-based food has a lot of protein, but not a lot of fiber. You would normally get this fiber from fruit, vegetables, or whole grains, so make sure you incorporate all these food categories into your diet. Constipation and painful bowel movements can be some of the first signs that your fiber intake is too low. So grab that salad and indulge yourself.
4. You could get headaches.
Lack of hydration can also cause headaches. It causes the blood to be thicker, which means a reduced flow of oxygen gets to the brain. On the other hand, some meat-based products like salami or hotdogs contain nitrates, which can increase the blood flow to the brain.
5. You could have heart problems.
The more fiber you have in your diet, the more protected your heart is. If you eat mostly meat, then you don’t have a high level of fiber. Red meat, especially, can take a toll on your heart. It can triple your risks of heart-related problems, and it contains a lot of saturated fats. Saturated fats raise the level of bad cholesterol (LDL).
6. You could get sick more often.
The saturated fats present in red meat and processed meat don’t contain the antioxidants necessary for the body to beat any possible inflammation. You’ll mostly find those antioxidants in fruit and vegetables, that’s why is so important to have a “colorful” diet. The colors of certain fruits are pigments of certain groups of antioxidants.
7. You could have bad breath.
A diet consisting of very high protein and fat, but lacking carbs, can cause the body to produce ketones. Ketones are released through the breath and they smell like acetone. That’s why, if you ever followed the keto diet, you might have experienced breath problems. So make sure you incorporate some carbs in your diet as well.
8. You could have hair and skin issues.
Meat products rarely have any vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a crucial role in forming collagen, a protein that makes your skin, hair, nails, bones, and more, look much better. If you notice unpleasant changes with your hair and skin, then you might need to reconsider your diet and cut off eating meat.
9. You could have weak bones.
High amounts of protein can increase the urinary loss of calcium. And calcium is absolutely necessary for healthy bones. Your body does not produce calcium. It only gets it through the food you eat, or from supplements. If it doesn’t have enough, then your bones can get weak.
10. You could feel more tired.
Foods that contain meat are a lot harder to digest by our digestive system than any vegetable or fruit you eat. That is why it takes a lot more effort for your body to digest a steak, and that’s why you might feel a bit sluggish after you’ve eaten something heavy.
11. You could contribute to climate change.
Choosing a day to go meatless can have a benefit not only on your body, but on the environment as well. You could play an important part in reducing greenhouse gases, because less land and less cattle will be used as a result. Imagine if all of us chose to do so, we could all live more sustainably.
BONUS: The right portion of steak
Which of these symptoms have you experienced along the way? What changes have you encountered once you changed your diet?