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Why It Is A Good Idea To Eliminate Meat From Your Child's Food Plate

Written by Dr. Burtseva Tamara Viktorivna on Wed, 16 November 2022

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The rise in vegan culture has been adopted by many individuals, organizations, and food companies. As veganism continues to increase in popularity, many parents are choosing to adopt this lifestyle and raise their child vegan as well. The first step towards getting this right is to banish all kinds of processed meats from your meal plans. Here are some facts regarding processed meat that will make you root for your decision.

Processed meat facts

Processed meats represent a diverse array of products that have undergone additional treatment from the fresh meat form to the point of consumption. On the other hand, meat that has been frozen or undergone mechanical processing such as cutting and slicing is still considered unprocessed. Either way, both types of meat are bad for your child's health.

Processed meat invites heart diseases and diabetes

Processed meat is high in saturated cholesterol which can clog your arteries giving rise to heart problems in later life. These also contain additives, such as nitrite and sodium, which may also contribute to increased blood pressure and vascular stiffness. Furthermore, they have been shown to impair glucose tolerance and reduce insulin secretion. These irregularities in glucose metabolism and insulin levels directly lead to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is associated with a twofold to threefold increased risk of heart failure and other cardiovascular disease outcomes.

Processed meat is linked with cancer

Many studies provide convincing evidence of an association only for colorectal cancer, although the evidence is strongly suggestive for oesophageal and lung cancers.

Processed meat may contain harmful bacteria

Both strains of Enterococcus faecalis and E. faecium have been implicated in the spoilage of pasteurized canned hams. E. faecium can also survive cooking. These bacteria can cause gastroenteritis and even severe form of food poisoning.

Chemical contaminants from high-temperature cooking contribute to chronic disease

When meat is cooked, compounds called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, heterocyclic amines, and advanced glycation end products are formed. These compounds are carcinogenic, pro-inflammatory, prooxidative, and contribute to chronic disease.

Carnitine may lead to heart attacks

Carnitine, found primarily in meat, may be converted in the body by the gut bacteria to produce trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). High levels of trimethylamine N-oxide are associated with inflammation, atherosclerosis, heart attack, stroke, and death.

Antibiotics and hormones in animal products

A vast majority (70% to 80%) of antibiotics are given to healthy livestock animals to avoid infections inherent in the types of environments in which they are kept. This is, therefore, the number one contributor to the increasingly virulent antibiotic-resistant infections worldwide. The same rings true of hormones injected into young calves to promote the stronger growth of muscles and tissues. These hormones later find their way into your child's plate and then into their body, causing hormonal imbalance.

So, if you are planning a plant-based lifestyle for your child, you are eliminating the risk of a variety of toxic products which may gain access to your child's body. By doing so you are not only paving way for your child's good health but also contributing significantly to Mother Earth.

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Dr. Burtseva Tamara Viktorivna

Dr. Burtseva Tamara Viktorivna is a pediatrician by profession based out of Ukraine. In 2004, Dr. Viktorivna graduated from Ukraine's Donetsk Medical University where she specialised in pediatric studies. She then gathered extensive experience on ground until 2011 at city polyclinic No. 1 in Donetsk, where she worked as a pediatrician handling a variety of cases.

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  1. Julieanna Hever, Plant-based Diets: A Physician's Guide, Perm J, 2016 Summer;20(3):15-082