The following is a guest post by Duran Rivera, a freelance writer and artist who’s had multiple articles published at the well known NaturalNews.com and other various websites. You can read more of Duran’s work at DuranRivera.com
By the day, more people are becoming aware of the dangers of a traditional diet and have taken responsibility for their diets. They do so only to be told by well-intentioned peers and “people in the know” that abstaining from meat while being an athlete is not wise. The story has been told over and over again, “Humans are meat eaters- that’s what we do!” Well, we’re going to set these facts straight and put these myths to rest once and for all.
MYTH #1: YOU CAN’T GET ENOUGH PROTEIN WITHOUT MEAT
This myth tops them all. Many believe that 1-gram of protein is needed per pound! Well, 5-8% of fruits calories are protein, vegetables and darker greens contain 20-50%, and sprouted seeds/nuts contain 10-25%. So, Lettuce gets 34%, while Broccoli and Spinach gets 45% and 49% respectfully. Beans range from 23-54%. Most people on a standard meat diet are actually protein deficient. Hemp seeds, macca powder, quinoa, flax, spirulina, greens and sprouts – all super foods – are high in protein.
MYTH #2: YOU CAN’T GAIN MUSCLE ON A VEGAN DIET
Wrong again. Actually, eating meats can slow down your metabolism because it takes lots of energy to digest. Vegetarians actually grow muscle mass at a faster rate with a diet of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Vegetarian body building means being creative with meals to ensure you have plenty of vitamins and minerals.
MYTH #3: HUMANS ARE DESIGNED TO EAT MEAT
False once again. We are more designed like herbivores than carnivores or omnivores. Our teeth, saliva, stomach acid, intestines are similar to plant eaters. Fossil records show that our ancestors were exclusively vegetarian. Primates are 95-99% vegetarian. Their main non-plant food is termites. B12 is missing from a vegetarian diet not because we need meat. Any food that gets dirty develops B12 from bacteria. Lack of B12 comes from our cleaner modern diet. We get our B12 from meat because it’s dirty. And our need for B12 is tiny, 3 micograms (not micrograms) a day- akin to four grains of rice in our lifetime. Our jaws are made to grind; carnivores are not. Our jaws have molars like herbivores; carnivores do not.
A QUICK COMPARISON:
Cats who are carnivores, compared to herbivores and humans: Cat: sharp, pointed front teeth to tear flesh. Herbivores/Humans: no sharp, pointed front teeth. Cat: no flat back molar teeth to grind food. Herbivores/Humans: has flat, back molar teeth to grind food. Cat: small salivary glands in the mouth (not needed to pre-digest grains and fruits). Herbivores/Humans: well-developed salivary glands, needed to pre-digest grains and fruits. Cat: acid saliva; no enzyme ptyalin to pre-digest grains. Herbivores/Humans: alkaline saliva; much ptyalin to pre-digest grains. Cat: strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest tough animal muscle, bone, etc. Herbivore/Human: stomach acid 20 times weaker than that of meat-eaters. Cat: intestinal tract only 3 times body length, so rapidly decaying meat can pass out of body quickly. Herbivores/Humans: intestinal tract several times body length. (4)
The following graphs are courtesy of MichaelBlueJay.com:
The following graphs come courtesy of EarthSave Canada:
MYTH #4: EATING MEAT IS GOOD FOR YOU
The medical evidence is irrefutable and builds up by the day. Medical studies show that eating meat ends up contributing to heart disease, cancer, erectile dysfunction, diabetes, and other degenerative diseases. Dean Ornish, M.D. was the first person to prove that heart disease can be reversed, and he did so by feeding his patients a vegetarian diet. So if meat is so natural to people why does it kill us? Studies after studies have shown, that we are not designed to eat meat. We get sick when we do. (5)
In summary, what this all shows is that a vegetarian diet if done properly can provide the person with all kinds of health benefits. Despite the growing organic food market, vegetarian, vegan, and raw food diets are not given the proper credit they’re due in our “modern” society. In diets, whether you decide to eat meat or not, should be based more on conscious eating habits than compulsive or dogmatic views. What you are doing with your life and what you are eating are intertwined. There’s nothing more dangerous and offsetting to a person’s livelihood than myths and rumors. Correct well-rounded information should be a part of our final decision.