Meat Consumption and Digestion


People’s bodies react differently and what may work for one person may not work for someone else. I would just like to share what has worked for me along with some interesting facts.

Digestive Disorders and IBS are becoming more and more common in western society. I myself, suffer from Celiac Disease. The question I am addressing here is, Can meat consumption cause digestion problems?

YES!

Amylase is the enyzyme that helps to break down starches. Lipase is the enzyme that breaks down fats. Protease is the enzyme that breaks down proteins. So as you can see everything is broken down differently.

Meats, which are a fat and a protein also need hydrochloric acid, which is stomach acid to break them down. The other alkaloid acid is what breaks down everything else. So alkaline vs. acidic. Most people don’t have very high hydrochloric acid levels, actually were not suppose to. God didn’t really build us that way. When we look at our digestive tracts, we are herbivores by nature. We have long digestive tracts, just like that of other plant eating species. Cats for instance, which are natural carnivores, produce 10 times more hydrochloric acid than we do. They have short and smooth digestive tracts which help them quickly eliminate fiberless meats just like other carnivores in nature. It is easy for them to eliminate high amounts of cholesterol, where for us it isn’t so easy. Wonder why so many people have high cholesterol? Carnivores also have sharp teeth for ripping flesh, something else humans don’t possess.

Now I am a vegan, but I am not telling people they should give up meat. Although I believe it would help with your digestion issues. Let me tell you my little story. When I first found out I had celiac disease, I cut out both gluten and dairy. I wasn’t feeling too great, so after doing some research decided I would give up grains and potatoes and such. I read that some people are sensitive to grains so I thought hey lets cut them out and see what happens. Well nothing really changed. Things were still better than initally, because gluten is like the plague to me and dairy ain’t no better. But cutting out the grains I didn’t find made a whole lot of a difference, I was still achy and my intestines really hurt. I thought I was gettiing glutened by everything even though I was following a strict diet and eating whole foods. What could be the problem I thought. I read on some forums where people were saying to others who weren’t getting better that they just needed time to heal. That they had a disease and it is what it is. It could take years to feel better. Um, no, I am not settling for that answer. There is no way God wants me to live like this for years ahead because that is how long it will take to heal. There must be another way. One night while laying in my bed I asked God to just let me know what to do and I will do it. I can’t live like this and I don’t understand why this is happening to me.

Well, he heard me, and I believe he was calling me to veganism for years.

One day out of the blue a friend mentioned it to me that her girlfriend wanted to go vegan. I love eggs was all I thought, and that I couldn’t give them up. I have never cared for meat too much even though when I cut half my diet out I was eating a lot of meat. What else was I suppose to eat? It was a lot of eggs, meat, vegetables and small amounts of fruit. I went home that day and it just hit me, that is the answer!

4 years prior, I had watched the documentary Earthlings and was absolutely devastated. I went vegan for 2 weeks but then fell off track. The year before my diagnoses I did a one week cleanse of just fruits and vegetables and felt amazing! But then returned to a more regular diet that included meat and eggs and everything else(GLUTEN BLAH). It was hard to go on these diets because people would always point out how skinny I was getting and accuse me of being on drugs or at least implying it. It sucked.

So anyways, back to the present. I was like yes! I am going to add rice and potatoes back into my diet and cut out all animal products. I had also watched Cowspiracy a few weeks earlier as well as Forks Over Knives a few months prior to that. Every time I would get so upset about the treatment of animals, and also recognized how unhealthy eating them were and the effects it was having on the environment. Did you know one hamburger wastes the same amount of water you would use if you showered for 2 months straight and never stopped? Yikes!

2 Days in, all my symptoms were gone. It was absolutely crazy! I would eat as much fruits as I wanted all morning, like 5 bananas in a smoothie and feel so friggen good! Have some berries later and then maybe some peanut butter on gluten free rice cakes. For dinner I could have potato and rice with some vegetables, then I could eat another huge carb dinner like that again a bit later. Plus more nuts or avocado or something if I wanted. I was eating more than usual, not gaining any weight(you know, everyone’s scared of carbs) had way more energy and no tummy trouble! NOW I was beginning to truly heal. All because I went vegan. Something told me I should have gone vegan sooner, but happy that I eventually figured it out. My mom did the same thing after me because she also has Celiac. She feels great too and does not miss anything!

I have had people say, well where do you get calcium without dairy? Um, spinach? hehe. All nut milks contain the same amounts of calcium as dairy milk without the hormones, antibiotics and cruelty. Osteoporosis rates are the highest amongst the countries with the most meat consumption. Many studies have now shown that dairy actually leeches calcium from the body, so this makes perfect sense.

And protein? We don’t need nearly as much protein as the meat industry and government(who all work together by the way) would have us believe. Did you know there is protein in fruits? Yup, there is literally protein in everything. There are smaller amounts in fruit and vegetables but you also have your nuts, rice, beans, and seeds. Lots of good healthy protein and bodybuilders you have been deceived. You do not need mass amounts of protein to grow your muscles. Actually, carbs help build your muscles. The most important factor for growing muscle is intensive exercise. Yes you need protein to repair the muscle, but not the crazy amounts they would have you believe. Too much protein is a problem, not a lack of protein. It is completely unheard of unless you ate absolutely nothing.

Meat consumption has been linked to so many modern day disease. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, clogged arteries, bacterial infections, parasites, high cholesterol and obesity. Factory farming practices are disgusting and it is common now to hear about salmonella outbreaks and toxins and chemicals are stored in animal fats. They have 16 times the amount of pesticides that plant foods do and don’t forget animals get injected with hormones that wreak havoc in the human body. I could go on and on and on. But I will probably just write a book :p

So anyways that is my rant about how bad meat is for your digestion. So if you suffer from digestive issues, then maybe its best to at least cut back on your meat consumption. Maybe if a vegan diet sounds too extreme to you(believe me its not, it’s great) then at least cut back. Do not consume animal products with every meal and better yet not even everyday. Food combining is very important for digestion as well. The standard American diet combines starches, proteins and fats. This is just terrible for your body, but who taught us that anyways? If you want to eat meat eat it without starches like potatoes or rice, and instead with a big salad or a side of cooked vegetables. Eat rice with vegetables and avocado. Fats are fine with starches. Fruit is best eaten in the morning by itself because it digests extremely quick. It leaves your stomach in just 20 minutes. Meat can take 6 hours to leave the stomach. Fruit collides with meat = fermentation. I love fruit and eat massive amounts all morning and never have to worry about things like this. When I was a meat eater, I had to watch my fruit intake. Now i’m predominantly a fruit eater! Who knows, maybe one day you can join me in saving the planet, saving the animals, and saving yourself 🙂

Sara Kay