Why Do Humans Continue to Eat Meat When It Is Not Good for Us

Why Do Humans Continue to Eat Meat When It Is Not Good for Us By Emeran A. Mayer, MD Personal and environmental health are closely interconnected. Increasing evidence suggests that diets inextricably links human health and environmental sustainability as recently described in great detail in the Eat-Lancet Commission report.1 The authors of the report state that “unhealthy diets are the largest global burden of disease and pose a greater risk to morbidity and mortality than does unsafe sex, alcohol, drug and tobacco combined.” The report goes on to propose a dramatic shift from the current lose-lose diets to worldwide acceptance of “win-win” diets which are both healthy and environmentally sustainable. What are these unhealthy lose-lose diets? The term is generally used to refer to the modern Western diet, a dietary pattern with high consumption of red meat (including beef, lamb and pork), ultra-processed foods and sugar, as well as low consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes and fish, which are typically consumed by people who are overweight or obese, and who have growing rates of chronic metabolic diseases. So even if people claim to feel better, have less “brain fog”, lower rates of obesity and metabolic disease on diets predominantly based on animal products, such as the ketogenic diet, the environmental impact of such diets are shocking. To use a quote from a conversation I recently had with Dr. Walter Willett, Professor of Epidemiology and Nutrition and chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the first author of the Eat Lancet Commission report:”… what kind of world population could our earth support if everyone adopted …. the animal based keto diet. And the response I got was about 200 million people, which means that about 7.2 billion people need to find another planet. If we can only support 200 million people with this almost completely animal source kind of diet, it's just not realistic for the world.” So why is it that so many Americans cling so desperately to their Western diet and their meat-eating habits despite a growing body of research that eating a lot of meat is not only bad for our bodies, but for the environment? One answer to this question has to do with the image that society, with the help of the advertisement industry, has attached to eating a meat based, protein rich diet as masculine, while eating a…

A Personal Experience from 2 Months of Time-Restricted Eating

A Personal Experience from 2 Months of Time-Restricted Eating By E. Dylan Mayer with Emeran Mayer, MD The Science You may have heard the terms intermittent fasting and time-restricted eating being used interchangeably; however, there is an important difference between the two. By definition, intermittent fasting is an energy restriction on 2-3 days per week, or alternate days, while time-restricted eating is compressing the daily period of food intake to 10 hours or less on most days of the week, without restricting calorie intake.1 Two studies , I came across from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, CA reported several amazing effects of time-restricted feeding on metabolism, systemic inflammation and on the gut microbiome. In these animal studies, the time restriction was from 9-15 hours per day while the animals had unrestricted access to food the remainder of the 24 hours. In one study,2, 3 led by Amandine Chaix, the researchers showed that the effects of time restricted feeding were proportional to the fasting duration with few benefits being observed with less than 12 hours of fasting. However, the positive effects of the time restricted feeding paradigm included a protective effect against excessive body weight gain when the mice were put on a “Western” diet high in fat and sugar and remarkably this effect was seen without a change in 24-hour caloric intake. In other words, the mice could enjoy their high fat high sugar diet, as long as they consumed their unhealthy diet in a window of less than 12 hours a day. The investigators also found a reduction in whole body fat accumulation and associated inflammation, an improvement in glucose tolerance and a reduction in insulin resistance in the time restricted diet group. In a second study, led by Amir Zarrinpar, the group showed that the normal diurnal fluctuations in the gut microbiome were abolished when animals were put on a “Western” diet, high in fat and sugar, and that the rhythmic 24 hour oscillations were restored when these mice were put on a time restricted feeding schedule. Consistent with this healthy system behavior, these microbial oscillations were accompanied by a greater diversity of the gut microbes, and by changes in the relative abundance of microbes known to be involved in obesity. What is most remarkable about these experiments is the fact that they didn’t really involve any fasting, e.g. reduction in calorie intake, but…

Ancient Grain Pasta

Ancient Grain Pasta Prep: Cook: Total: Servings: INGREDIENTS 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped 1 leek, sliced 1 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon ginger, chopped 1 cup broccoli 2 cups green beans Salt, seasoning and basil to taste 1 package Bona Fortuna Ancient Grains Pasta DIRECTIONS Step 1 WHY THIS IS GOOD FOR YOU [restrict level="!subscriber-level"] Newsletter subscribers, log in to view additional content. Not a subscriber? Sign up here. [/restrict] [restrict level="subscriber-level"] Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum. [/restrict]

Seeded Avocado Toast

Seeded Avocado Toast Prep: Cook: Total: Servings: INGREDIENTS 1 thick slice sourdough bread ½ avocado, mashed 1 tablespoon chia seeds 1 tablespoon hemp seeds 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds Cilantro, garnish DIRECTIONS Step 1 WHY THIS IS GOOD FOR YOU [restrict level="!subscriber-level"] Newsletter subscribers, log in to view additional content. Not a subscriber? Sign up here. [/restrict] [restrict level="subscriber-level"] Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum. [/restrict]

Superfood Breakfast

Superfood Breakfast Prep: Cook: Total: Servings: INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons unsweetened steel cut oats 1 tablespoon chia seeds 1 tablespoon toasted unsalted sunflower seeds 1 tablespoon hemp seeds 1 tablespoon toasted unsalted pumpkin seeds 1 tablespoon flax seeds ½ cup blueberries ¼ cup unfiltered fresh apple juice 1 cup almond milk DIRECTIONS Step 1 WHY THIS IS GOOD FOR YOU [restrict level="!subscriber-level"] Newsletter subscribers, log in to view additional content. Not a subscriber? Sign up here. [/restrict] [restrict level="subscriber-level"] Lorem Ipsum is simply dummy text of the printing and typesetting industry. Lorem Ipsum has been the industry's standard dummy text ever since the 1500s, when an unknown printer took a galley of type and scrambled it to make a type specimen book. It has survived not only five centuries, but also the leap into electronic typesetting, remaining essentially unchanged. It was popularised in the 1960s with the release of Letraset sheets containing Lorem Ipsum passages, and more recently with desktop publishing software like Aldus PageMaker including versions of Lorem Ipsum. [/restrict]