There are those who claim that meat is the cause of many of the diseases we suffer today, such as obesity, cancer or diabetes.

Others say that we don’t need to eat meat because we are herbivores by nature…

But is there scientific evidence behind these claims?

We are going to demolish 8 absurd myths about meat consumption: myth or reality?

1. We can do without eating meat

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

It is true that many of the nutrients present in meat can be obtained by consuming other products of animal origin .

However, this does not mean that we should do without eating meat.

Good quality and unprocessed meat provides us with very beneficial nutrients for our body : good quality protein, creatine, vitamin B12, carnosine and fat-soluble vitamins.

It also contains thousands of other trace nutrients that even science hasn’t discovered yet.

The human being is designed to consume meat and, in fact, has evolved consuming it.

Its consumption complements the nutritional needs of our body and gives us optimal health.

Of course, natural and fresh meat , and especially grass-fed meat , are the most nutritious and healthy types of meat. Avoid processed meat.

2. The saturated fats and cholesterol that meat contains are harmful to health

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

Meat contains saturated fat and cholesterol .

But is this really harmful to health?

Currently, numerous scientific studies have confirmed that both substances are harmless to our body.

Cholesterol is an essential molecule in our body that is part of cell membranes and is used to make hormones.

Due to the importance of cholesterol, our body has its own mechanisms to ensure that we always have a sufficient amount.

For example:

The liver produces cholesterol and reduces its production when we eat a lot of cholesterol-rich foods, so the amount of total cholesterol hardly changes (1).

In fact, in 70% of people, there is no effect on total or LDL cholesterol , and in the other 30%, both LDL and HDL cholesterol are slightly increased.

What about saturated fat?

The consumption of saturated fats also raises the levels of HDL (the “good”) cholesterol (2).

But the real reason why saturated fat and cholesterol in meat are not harmful is because they transform small, dense (bad) LDL particles into large (benign) LDL particles .

According to several studies, people who have a higher number of large LDL particles have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease (3).

In conclusion, science has confirmed that saturated fat and cholesterol are not a risk factor for heart disease .

Furthermore, there has been research in which replacing saturated fats with vegetable oils labeled as “healthy” increased the risk of death (4)

3. Meat contributes to weight gain

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

Meat contains a high amount of fat and calories , so it makes sense to say that eating meat causes weight gain .

However, meat is also rich in bioavailable protein , a macronutrient that promotes weight loss .

The main characteristic of protein is its ability to reduce appetite and cause a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake (5).

Likewise, protein consumption speeds up metabolism by between 80 and 100 calories a day and reduces cravings .

Protein is also known to help build and increase muscle , which is metabolically active and contributes to burning a certain number of calories 24 hours a day.

Finally, it should be mentioned that low- carbohydrate diets recommend consuming a lot of meat, and it has been scientifically proven that this type of diet is the most effective when it comes to losing weight (6).

4. Meat rots in the colon

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

When eating meat, gastric acid and digestive enzymes are responsible for completely breaking down the meat .

In the small intestine, proteins are converted to amino acids and fats to fatty acids, before being absorbed into the digestive wall and into the bloodstream.

Therefore, the only thing that reaches the colon are residues resulting from the metabolization process.

In other words, the nutrients in meat are broken down and absorbed long before they reach the colon.

5. Human beings are herbivores by nature

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

This is one of the main arguments used by vegetarians or vegans, who claim that the human body is not designed to eat meat.

However, this statement is nonsense because, as I have already mentioned, our body is fully adapted to consume meat and we have evolved by consuming it .

Human beings are omnivorous by nature and proof of this is that our digestive system has its own characteristics that allow us to metabolize almost all the nutrients in meat .

Furthermore, if we compare the digestive system of a herbivore with the digestive system of an omnivore, the differences are obvious (7).

6. Meat increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

In 2010, a massive study was published that brought together information from 20 studies involving a total of more than one million people.


There is absolutely no relationship between the consumption of unprocessed red meat and diabetes and heart disease (8).

Likewise, another study conducted in Europe on almost 450,000 people concluded that unprocessed red meat is not a risk factor for diabetes or cardiovascular disease.

However, both studies agreed on something:

The consumption of processed meat considerably increases the risk of suffering from these diseases .


It is necessary to differentiate between natural unprocessed meat and processed meat , since they are completely different products and the consequences of their consumption are equally different.

7. Meat deteriorates the bone system

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

When we eat meat, we ingest protein, a nutrient that increases the acid levels in our body .

Consequently, the body uses the calcium present in the bones to neutralize this acid, which causes a weakening of the bones and can result in osteoporosis.

However, this only happens in the short term , as long-term protein consumption has been shown to have positive effects on bones : it increases bone density and prevents osteoporosis and fractures in older people (9).

8. Meat can promote the development of cancer

Myth or Reality? ‚Üí MYTH

Things get complicated when it comes to confirming or denying the relationship between the consumption of meat, mainly red meat, and the development of cancer.

Processed meat increases cancer risk , that much goes without saying, but what about unprocessed meat?

According to two review studies, consumption of unprocessed red meat has no cancer-related effects in women and very few in men.

However, the way meat is prepared and cooked can alter these effects (10).

For example:

Cooking meat at high temperatures favors the appearance of substances called heterocyclic amines (AH) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (HPA) related to the development of cancer in animals .


Try not to overcook the meat or burn it to prevent the formation of carcinogens .

Learn how to do it by reading our article How to make the most of the properties of red meat .

Note: excessive cooking and high temperatures contribute to the formation of carcinogenic substances in any type of food.


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