Meat Causes Weight Gain. Why Does This Happen?

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You might be wondering what is causing you to gain weight. Maybe you were told to go on a low-carb, high-protein diet and eat more meat to lose the weight. This is a huge myth that has been passed on for far too long, Research shows that meat is one of the foods that causes weight gain. Meat also increases the risk for chronic diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

Meat Causes Weight Gain

The more meat you eat, the more likely you will gain weight. [Ref 1] This is because meat is high in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Meat doesn’t give you any fiber, so you won’t feel full and that means you are more likely to overeat. In contrast, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans are high in fiber and naturally low in calories, so you can eat more and still lose weight.

Many health-conscious people switched from red meat to poultry, mistakenly believing poultry is healthier. Unfortunately, chicken and turkey are not health foods, because, all meat promotes weight gain (especially poultry). Surprisingly, poultry is actually the worst type of meat in terms of promoting weight gain and obesity. Even a small amount of meat, for example, 20 g/day is enough to make a person start gaining weight. And 20 grams is not much. That’s about one chicken nugget a day or one chicken breast per week. [Ref.2]

Meat Promotes Diabetes

Meat causes weight gain and also increases your risk for diabetes. [Ref 3]. I can help you get a better understanding of how meat is linked to diabetes by looking at the research studies of people who eat little to no meat.

For example, Seventh-day Adventists mostly adhere to a vegetarian diet. They are known for treating the body like a temple and, consequently, living longer than the rest of us. [Ref 4]. Among Seventh-day Adventists, the risk of diabetes is one-half that of people who eat meat. [Ref 5].
Meat is associated with many other chronic diseases as well. For instance, meat increases a person’s risk for coronary heart disease and stroke. [Ref 6]. Animal protein causes a lot of inflammation in the body which is a major factor in these conditions.
Naturally, there are multiple factors determining whether or not a person develops a chronic disease or not. Animal products in general are major contributors, as well as processed junk food, inactivity, stress, and other lifestyle choices.

vegetables, plant-based nutrition

If you want to restore your health, start by changing what you eat. There’s an old saying, “you are what you eat.” To this end, I recommend whole food plant-based nutrition, because it not only helps you lose weight, but it allows you to transform your health and feel better.

If you are experiencing diabetes and want to take back control of your health, we offer a step-by-step online course, Optimal Health Reset. If you are ready to create eating and lifestyle habits to naturally stabilize your blood sugar, book the Free Discovery Call for us to see if the course is the ideal solution for you. It’s time to get the empowering information you need to become healthy and well.


Ref 1. A C Vergnaud, T Norat, D Romaguera, T Mouw, A M May, N Travier, J Luan, N Wareham, N Slimani, S Rinaldi, E Couto, and more. Meat consumption and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug;92(2):398-407.
Ref 2. A C Vergnaud, T Norat, D Romaguera, T Mouw, A M May, N Travier, J Luan, N Wareham, N Slimani, S Rinaldi, E Couto, and more. Meat consumption and prospective weight change in participants of the EPIC-PANACEA study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Aug;92(2):398-407.
Ref 3. D A Snowdon,R L Phillips. x Does a vegetarian diet reduce the occurrence of diabetes? Am J Public Health. 1985 May;75(5):507-12.
Ref 4. LA Times Website. Why Loma Linda residents live longer than the rest of us: They treat the body like a temple.
https://www.latimes.com/health/la-he-blue-zone-loma-linda-20150711-story.html. Accessed March 28, 2019.
Ref 5. D A Snowdon,R L Phillips. x Does a vegetarian diet reduce the occurrence of diabetes? Am J Public Health. 1985 May;75(5):507-12.
Ref 6. EJ Feskens, D Sluik, GJ van Woudenbergh. Meat consumption, diabetes, and its complications. Curr Diab Rep. 2013 Apr;13(2):298-306

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3 Comments

  1. Georgia Hall

    Great article, but what about those of us who do not have issues with diabetes/heart condition?

    Reply
    • Carla Hightower, MD

      Georgia, thank you for asking a great question. Although this article focuses on meat and weight gain, there are other symptoms and lifestyle diseases linked to our intake of meat and other animal products as well. For example meat increase the risk for cancer, stroke, digestive problems, chronic pain, and other inflammatory conditions, to name a few. I hope this helps.

      Reply
    • Carla Hightower, MD

      Hi Georgia, the research studies show there are other benefits as well. A whole food plant-based diet has been shown to support overall health and decrease the risk of a wide range of lifestyle conditions

      Reply

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