As humanity continues to face increased challenges on health and environment, the debate among vegetarians and meat eaters is getting louder and louder. Each group has their own arguments and they back it up with loads of scientific data. So, who is right and who is wrong? Well, this is not so easy to answer, as the truth is that the human body is actually an omnivore. That means our bodies have the ability to digest both vegetarian products as well as animal meat. Here are some key insights that can help us answer whether humans are designed to eat meat or not.
Meat aided larger brains – It has been shown in various research studies that meat may have played an important role in our evolution as a human being. Meat is rich in high quality protein, iron and fats, which is said to have helped develop larger brains. Researchers say that if we had not started eating meat, we probably could never have evolved as present day humans.
Size and structure of intestines – Our digestive system is neither similar to herbivores nor carnivores. The closest resemblance of our digestive system can be seen in apes and monkeys. And if you look at their usual diet, the options are leaves, fruits, nuts, insects and occasional meat diet. So, it makes sense to assume that we also have a similar diet plan.
Health risks – You may like meat, but it is less safe than a vegetarian diet. Research studies have shown that vegetarians have reduced risk of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, childhood obesity, hypertension, and cancer. Meat is now processed and refrigerated, which may have a role to play in increased health risks. Some types of meat items such as red meat and processed meats are considered to have higher health risks. In comparison, white meat and fish are usually considered safe when consumed in moderation.
Availability of alternative options – In earlier times, it may not have been possible for a vegetarian to get nutrients like Vitamin B12 that is only available in meat, eggs and dairy. However, in modern times, such nutrients are easily available as supplements and in fortified products. So, risk of nutritional deficiency is no longer a factor for choosing a meat diet.
As is obvious from above facts, humans are omnivores. It will depend on the individual what kind of diet they want to have. The most ideal diet would be more of vegetarian products and occasional meals that have meat. However, this may vary from individual to individual, as we all have different body profiles. Some people may feel the need for more meat whereas others may just be fine with their vegetarian diet. So, it’s up to you whether you want to be a vegetarian, meat eater or omnivore. If you have a healthy body, it can process both veg items as well as meat.