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Meet your Meat: How Meat Can Impact your Health

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Wellness related image Photo: Getty Images

Earlier this week I discussed how our over-consumption of meat can effect the environment in my article, “Meet your Meat: How Meat Impacts your Environment.”

Now it’s time to discuss the impact that an over-consumption of meat can have on your body. Again, I want to stress that it is natural to eat meat and (as an ex-vegetarian myself) I’m not promoting vegetarianism. Although there’s nothing wrong with being a healthy vegetarian, there’s also nothing wrong with eating meat, or anything else, in moderation. Meat, cake, alcohol, fruit and veggies -- too much of one thing is never good.

Today however, Americans are eating more meat than ever before. On average, adult males are consuming twice as much protein as they need. Americans in general are eating more meat than ever, with the United States producing 60 percent more meat per person than Europe in 2009!

Looking at obesity statistics really, it seems like Americans are eating more ... period. However, it isn’t just our waistlines that are suffering from our diet.

In addition to obesity, an over-consumption of meat can also cause chronic diseases and a build up of toxins in your body!

Cancer: Colon and pancreatic cancer specifically have been directly linked to a high consumption of red and processed meat. Numerous studies conclude that a diet rich in plant-based nutrients can greatly reduce cancer risk.

In fact, a 2009 study by the National Cancer Institute found that individuals who consumed among the highest amounts of red meat were 20 percent more likely to die of cancer then those who ate red meat less often.

Heart disease: The same National Cancer Institute study found that the habitual meat-eaters were 27 percent more likely to die of heart disease than those who ate little meat. Studies also show that the saturated fats found in red meat are linked to high cholesterol that damages the arteries and causes higher instances of heart disease.

Diabetes: Research shows that a high consumption of processed meat and red meat can increase type II diabetes risk.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.