Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, MD, FFARCSI

Can Having Too Much Meat Can Be Harmful To Your Health?

Consuming meat is not necessarily bad for you. However, it depends more on the quantity of the meat you are having, as well as the quality of the meat you are consuming as well. Many experts suggest that the ideal portion of meat that you should have should not be more than the size of the palm of your hand. This translates roughly to around three ounces.

The problem arises when you start consuming too much meat. For example, when you go out to restaurants, people tend not to notice the large portion size that they are consuming. In such scenarios, you will also tend to eat more than you normally would in one sitting.

Can Having Too Much Meat Can Be Harmful To Your Health?

What Happens When You Eat Too Much Meat?

So what happens when you eat too much meat? Here are some surprising ways in which too much meat consumption affects the body:

Too Much Meat Causes Dehydration: A research study conducted by the University of Connecticut has shown that a diet rich in protein has the possibility of making the kidneys produce much more concentrated urine, which can cause dehydration. Dehydration affects every facet of your like. Be it your energy levels, to your skin, and even increasing the craving for certain foods. Muscle cramps and feeling irritated are also signs of dehydration. Therefore, if you notice any such signs happening, then you should opt for cutting down on your daily meat consumption.

Too Much Meat Can Cause Vision Loss: Having a high consumption of meat on a regular basis increases your risk of age-related macular degeneration, which is known to cause blindness in elderly people. Why does this happen? How is it possible that consuming meat can increase your risk of vision loss? The reason behind this is that there is a link between the saturated fat present in meat. This saturated fat is considered to be harmful to blood vessels present in your eyes. There are certain chemicals, known as nitrosamines that are known to harm these blood vessels in the eyes.

Body Odor And Having Too Much Meat: A research study published in the Journal Chemical Senses has shown that people are having a diet that does not contain meat are likely to have a more 'attractive' or pleasant body odor. The study showed that frequent meat eaters are going to have a more intense body odor as compared to those who have cut out meat from their diet.

Having Too Much Meat Can Give You A Headache: Having too much can cause a headache because meat is dehydrating. Furthermore, the brain needs carbohydrates for producing energy and when we end up consuming too much meat and not enough carbohydrates, this causes a degradation in your mental functions and also leads to headaches.

Too Much Meat Can Cause Constipation: Eating too much meat instead of carbohydrates is going to cause constipation. This is because meat does not provide you with the necessary amount of fiber that your body needs. If you want to get relief from constipation, then you need to reduce your consumption of meat and increase your consumption of complex carbohydrates such as whole grains, starchy vegetables, etc. Also, increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables if you notice that your body odor has changed.

Too Much Meat Weakens Your Bones: Having very high levels of protein in your diet causes a loss of calcium along with urine. Urinary loss of calcium causes harm to the health of your bones as calcium is the primary mineral that is required for building strong bones. You can prevent this loss of calcium by either increasing your consumption of calcium or you can also cut down on your meat consumption. This is one of the primary factors that people having high-protein diets remain unaware of till their bones become weak and brittle.

Too Much Meat Can Cause Bad Breath: Your diet might be the reason you are regularly having bad breath. A diet that is comprised of too high amounts of protein and fat, with less of carbohydrates, causes the body to produce a compound known as ketones. According to research done at the Missouri State University, these ketones are then released through your breath, giving it a smell like acetone. Increasing the amount of carbohydrates in your diet may help counteract this problem.

Too Much Meat Can Disrupt The Gut Bacteria: There is a host of naturally occurring bacteria present in our gut. The gut bacteria have a huge impact on our health, making it important that we eat foods which make sure that the food bacteria in the gut outnumber the bad one. Gut bacteria require complex carbohydrates to thrive while grains and fiber from fruits and vegetables are particularly required for keeping the gut healthy. Therefore, when we regularly consume a diet high in protein and low in carbohydrates, it causes the bad gut bacteria to thrive instead of the good one. This can cause many health issues related to the unbalanced diversity in our gut bacteria.

Higher Risk Of Cancer: Many studies have shown that a diet that has too much of protein, increases your risk of getting cancer. This happens due to the high consumption of only meat-based proteins. Eating too much meat is linked to breast, colon, and prostate cancer. In fact, making the inverse of this also correct, studies have further shown that people who do not eat meat, have a much lower risk of cancer. Experts suggest that this is probably due to those facts that there are many added hormones, fats, and carcinogenic compounds found in many types of meat today.

Substitute Meat with Other Sources of Protein

It is not necessary that you get your protein intake from meat only. There are other healthier options as well that will not only provide you with the required amount of protein but also help lower these risks associated with meat and its high-protein diet effects. Some of the healthy sources of protein include:

  • Nuts
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Lean meats and pastured poultry (preferably grass-fed)

By avoiding meats that are high in fat, you will be able to have not only a healthier diet, but you will also be able to avoid all the above mentioned side effects.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar

Written, Edited or Reviewed By:

, MD,FFARCSI

Pain Assist Inc.

Last Modified On: May 31, 2018

This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer

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