Senior Diet: To Meat or Not to Meat

The consumption of meat has been a dietary staple for many seniors. It has only been in the past couple of decades; substantial evidence has been gathered suggesting people of all ages reduce or eliminate the consumption of red meat.

For all of us, including seniors, avoiding red meat could mean a longer, healthier life. Here are 10 reasons for seniors, and everyone else, to consider avoiding meat.

Lose Weight – High levels of fat found in red meat can cause people to gain weight or prevent the loss of weight in those seeking to lose pounds. 

Reduce Cancer Risk – The red color in meat can damage the lining of the gastrointestinal tract making it susceptible to cancer while highly processed red meats such as hot dogs and bacon contain compounds which could encourage malignant growth.

Lower Diabetes Risk – Type 2 diabetes is often caused by obesity which can result from high consumption of fatty red meat.

Reduce Acid Levels – High acidity in the body can make it more susceptible to disease. Like cola and coffee, red meat decreases the body’s PH levels which if left unbalanced can raise overall acidity levels.

Avoid Constipation – Red meat is digested by the body slower than other foods and can cause stomach pain, bloat, and constipation.              

Boost Energy Levels – The body uses much more energy to digest red meat than many other foods, resulting in depleting energy stores.

Increase Life Expectancy – Harvard researchers discovered a connection between red meat and lower life expectancy because of increased heart disease and cancer.

Avoid Bacterial Infections – Red meat requires special attention to its preparation to prevent bacterial infections from occurring due to improper cooking or processing.

Reduce Cardiovascular Disease Risk –High in saturated fats, red meat can cause plaque buildup and hardening of the arteries.

Reduce Likelihood of Alzheimer’s Disease – Inflammation, which can result from the iron found in red meat, has been linked to the development of Alzheimer’s Disease.

With all of these reasons, you can see why many people are reducing or eliminating meat from their diet. If quitting meat altogether doesn’t fit your lifestyle, you may consider simply reducing your consumption by not eating meat on certain days of the week. Even entire cities have taken steps to reduce meat consumption. Columbia, South recently made a city proclamation to officially declare Mondays “Meatless Monday”.