Breaking the Food Seduction, chapter 5
Saturday, December 08, 2018
Chapter 5 The Sizzle: The meat seduction
Meat is one of the first things I was able to give up. When I was 18 years old, I was standing at an intersection waiting to cross the street and a truck carrying cows passed me. I had eye to eye contact with one of the cows on her way to the slaughter house. That was enough for me – not knowing anything, I did not eat beef for 2 years after that.
I tried going vegetarian, but my lack of not knowing how to eat properly convinced me that I had to have meat in order to be satisfied. I have since learned better – now it’s “I need to add more beans.”
Now onto my notes:
Is Meat Addicting?
When infants are offered solid foods, rice and fruit are the first choice. Then meat is added later. They then become habituated to having meat. Many prefer to have meat with their meals and do not want to give it up (see my story above – I was convinced I had to eat meat).
Why the attraction to meat? It is a fatty food and we seem to like fatty foods because it is thought that the more calorie dense a food was, the better chance one had for survival. Depending on the meat, fat calories can make up 20 – 70% of the meat’s content.
Our love of fatty foods can be evolutionary or from habit, it is what we are used to eating. Hence we love French fries, deep fried foods, etc. However, it is suggested that meat may have some drug-like qualities, just as sugar and chocolate.
They think that as the meat touches your tongue, opiates are released in the brain, making you feel good about your choice of fatty food. They also found out that meat releases insulin, which is involved in the release of dopamine, the feel-good chemical that powers the brain’s pleasure center.
Is It good to break the meat habit?
Giving up meat can help:
*prevent and even reverse heart disease – less cholesterol and fat means less plaque buildup in arteries
*weight loss – less calorie dense food can mean more weight loss
*prevent Alzheimer’s disease – a protein building block called ‘homocysteine’ that comes from breakdown of animal protein increases risk of developing the disease. Best to get protein from plant sources and to have folic acid and Vitamin b-6 and b-12 because these help break homocysteine down.
*prevent cancer – reduces risk by about 40%. Heterocyclic amines forms when meat is cooked and this is cancer causing. Found especially in well- done beef, grilled chicken and even fish.
*prevent osteoporosis – animal proteins are high is sulfur-containing amino acids and these tend to leach calcium from the bones, which is then often passed out through the urine.
*environmental, a cleaner food supply
Meat Strikes Back: The Atkins Diet
Here it goes into the argument that carbs make you fat and if you eliminate carbs, your body will burn fat for energy. Sure, you can lose weight on the Atkins diet, but you can also can other issues such as the ones listed above in the results of giving up meat.
On a personal note: I did try that diet a while back and lost a lot of weight, but my husband developed kidney stone after kidney stone. So, I gave it up and went plant based. Unfortunately, cutting out those carbs caused us to go overboard of overly processed junk food when we got off the diet. The book does not talk about that effect, but that is what happened to us.
The Meat Pushers
The USDA influences the way we eat and tells us what a healthy diet ought to be. However, that health is for the farmer’s wallet not the health of the consumers. When meat prices fall the government buys it and adds it to the school lunch and other programs.