2

votes

Can meat and animal fat have any downsides?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created September 10, 2010 at 12:49 PM

I am asking this more as a theoretical question than with any specifics in mind. It seems accepted by many here that other paleo foods can have potential down effects. As a brief example:

Nuts = to much omega 6 fats.

Fruit = fructose.

Vegetables = antinutrients.

Tubers = high starch.

Many of these foods have been eaten for longer than meat in our evolutionary history yet it is accepted thay they have potential downsides to their consumption. Is it not possible that consumption of meat and animal fat can also have potential downsides as well as benefits?

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:15 PM

Cobb salad is nirvana for me! :)

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:12 PM

Good point about the Veg*ans--I used to be one and my usual lunch was a soy dog with soy cheese!

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on September 13, 2010
at 05:56 AM

Eva: I agree with your friends completely! I have some issue with the food here (I'd like better quality red meat, for one), but I'll take it over the U.S. any day. I can easily get live chickens, bullfrogs, fish, eels, shrimp, crawfish, and more at the local market, which I can walk to in 5 minutes. The situation in the U.S. is so remote from this, that most people have not idea what they're missing. I'm originally from Minneapolis, and, until recently, there was ONE farmers market in the whole city where you could buy fresh, locally grown veggies.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 11, 2010
at 09:33 AM

I had my gallbladder removed many years ago and I have no trouble eating lots of fat. In fact I often eat coconut oil and butter by the spoonful. I asked Dr Kurt Harris http://www.paleonu.com/ and he told me that not having a gallbladder only prevents the storage of bile not the production of it. Meaning you may not have enough on hand to deal with a large ingestion of fat all at once.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 11, 2010
at 02:24 AM

Good point, grassfed might be optimal, but that doesn't mean cornfed is necesarily poison. It may well still be better than many other paleo foods like almonds.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 11, 2010
at 02:22 AM

My mainland china friend (currently living in US) says the food here in the US totally sucks compared to China. In China, most food if grown more naturally in backyard farms and is harvested or killed within 24 hours of selling. She constantly complains about US food and her husband, who was born and raised in US but visits China often, agrees. They just can't find the same kind of quality here.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 10, 2010
at 08:25 PM

oh yeah totally, i mean the greens and all veg in a salad are, for me, a vehicle for the dressing (which prolly in most of our primalcases is olive oil, etc). Veg only when dressed in fats it is i guess:) although, plain steemed broccoli is kinda good. dont eat it really ever, but it is tasty.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 10, 2010
at 05:40 PM

I've made "salads" of just those with no lettuce filler, best salad ever!

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on September 10, 2010
at 05:38 PM

I have noticed my favorite parts of the salad are the fats...like avocado, meat, nuts, egg, olives, etc.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 10, 2010
at 03:39 PM

I don't know about *directly* proportional. It would depend on the animal's ability to filter out what it needs and discard the rest. Good point about waste. There is remarkably little waste when eating just meat, I've noticed, though certainly not none.

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on September 10, 2010
at 03:05 PM

Yep - and the variety is getting better. My local, non-ethnic, grocery store sells frog legs and alligator regularly.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:59 PM

There are ethnic stores with variety(albeit frozen) of these things, the Korean Super H Mart for instance

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:55 PM

@Matthew: that's what I thought you would say (because I remember your responses on other topics, and always find them very insightful), and really understand the underlying tone in your current question.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:25 PM

I think variety is often overlooked, I'm probably the least paranoid person about food :)

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:17 PM

@pieter d: Personally I do not think they are harmful in foods at reasonable amounts, I eat them all. I am just curious about the belief that meat and animal fat can have no downsides at any quantaties. Some people get so defensive when research suggests any harm caused by meat consumption, I don't think they would react in the same defensive way to similar research suggesting that nuts are bad for you.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:16 PM

Personally I do not think they are harmful in foods at reasonable amounts, I eat them all. I am just curious about the belief that meat and animal fat can have no downsides at any quantaties. Some people get so defensive when research suggests any harm caused by meat consumption, I don't think they would react in the same defensive way to similar research suggesting that nuts are bad for you.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:03 PM

That would be a salad with added FAT. Is that same salad stupid tasty without the fat? Not saying it can't be good, but protein/fat are where the best taste is at. For me.

89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on September 10, 2010
at 01:59 PM

Really good question, and I like the way you carefully write "it seems accepted by many here that other paleo foods can have potention down effects." I think we probably all agree that too much O6, too much fructose, ... is harmful, if you eat them in their 'neolithic form'. But if you eat them in their paleo-form (nuts, fruit, ...), are they really harmful?

21fd060d0796fdb8a4a990441e08eae7

(24543)

on September 10, 2010
at 01:54 PM

I am interested in someone listing out the bad stuff that can concentrate in animal fat, and whether it is of concern or not. Although this mostly applies to conventionally raised animals, some of it also applies to most any animal living on earth in 2010. For example, humans are so naughty that the 1 zillion gallon ocean is polluted enough for many fish to exhibit mercury contamination.

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8 Answers

3
154bf5c84f7bd9f52b361b45d05dbc3a

(1215)

on September 10, 2010
at 01:31 PM

Yes, I'm sure everything has a potential downside. But I think you have to be careful you get completely paranoid about everything you eat. Keep educating yourself and keep learning about how food is made and processed and make continual improvements. But you can't be frightened about everything and every kind of food.

I think it's important to eat a variety of things so that the good and bad even each other out.

The fact is that at the moment I can't eat 100% organic / grass fed / raised peleo style all the time. I have to do the best I can living in the modern world.

0bc6cbb653cdc5e82400f6da920f11eb

(19245)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:25 PM

I think variety is often overlooked, I'm probably the least paranoid person about food :)

2
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on September 10, 2010
at 01:34 PM

Absolutely all of the bad stuff. The quality of the meat is directly proportionate to the animals diet and health.

In addition, I'm sure meat isn't 100% optimal or there would be no waste.

Our bodies, luckily are designed to filter the waste via a very efficient system

All that being said, I believe strongly that of all natural foods, meat is the best choice we have available

It's also the only source of food that can be lived on with the exclusion of all others.

Likely has something to do with why it's so tasty/appealing to most everyone, even the Veg*ans want meat flavored food

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 10, 2010
at 03:39 PM

I don't know about *directly* proportional. It would depend on the animal's ability to filter out what it needs and discard the rest. Good point about waste. There is remarkably little waste when eating just meat, I've noticed, though certainly not none.

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:12 PM

Good point about the Veg*ans--I used to be one and my usual lunch was a soy dog with soy cheese!

1
62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 11, 2010
at 02:35 AM

There are balance issues. Too much protein could cause problems for some, especially if there is not much fat eaten with it. At some point, you just don't need to eat any more protein, so if you are eating lots of lowfat protein, you might actually be better off eating less protein and instead eat some other things with other nutrients.

On the flip side, fat has a lot of calories. For many of us, the natural satiation mechanism will cause us to feel full and not over partake of fat, but for some of us, the satiation mechanism is broken via years of SAD and/or psychological issues, and thus for those people, it might be easier to eat too many calories when consuming fat. I have also noticed/heard that the smoking of a certain illegal substance that makes food (especially fat) taste really good will also easily cause one to overindulge, as if the body no longer notices when it is full, thus potentially causing one to feel very overly stuffed later on when it wears off. I have found it is wise to put a limit on the food available for intake in such a situation so as to prevent overindulgence.

Also, some people have trouble digesting too much fat. Once when I was in college, I was very ill for a while, and aftewards, it was many months before I could eat much fat of any kind without quickly becoming very ill again. It was probably carbs that made me sick in the first place, but the end result was fat digestion was severely damaged for a long time after that. Luckily, now many MANY years later, it's fully functional again. But for those with gallbladder problems, etc, there may be a limit to how much fat they can safely tolerate.

5de2fffda92c0bf2be7ede10cad55546

(1781)

on September 11, 2010
at 09:33 AM

I had my gallbladder removed many years ago and I have no trouble eating lots of fat. In fact I often eat coconut oil and butter by the spoonful. I asked Dr Kurt Harris http://www.paleonu.com/ and he told me that not having a gallbladder only prevents the storage of bile not the production of it. Meaning you may not have enough on hand to deal with a large ingestion of fat all at once.

1
Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d

(17969)

on September 10, 2010
at 09:31 PM

Again it is about quality. I'm not really ready to speculate about "toxins" in grain-fed animals but what I can say is that certain meats tend to have massive omega 6 content, which isn't healthy. And way too much protein (above 20% calories) tends to be unhealthy due to activation of the mTOR pathway. So that's why I like extremely fatty grassfed beef, seafood and game meat with added fat. but there is also a lot right like carnitine, phosolipids, phytanic acid, CLA, omega 3 fatty acids and tons of nutrients, and the fact that meat replaces grains and legumes which do have tons wrong with them. I agree that we don't really know all there is to know about meats, but we know much about our adaptation to them and barely anybody knows about some of the excellent aspects except for the people at evomed.

And there is plenty of evidence contradicting the notion that even the corniest, grainest beef causes any health issues. Studies usually conflate processed pork products with fresh beef or don't control for confounding factors. So I'm thinking that grassfed beef and game meat would even be a positive. I think that conventional pork and chicken are unhealthy due to the omega 6, but conventional beef, while not optimal, has very low omega 6 content and nothing ostensibly wrong with it other than it is missing some beneficial biochemicals.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 11, 2010
at 02:24 AM

Good point, grassfed might be optimal, but that doesn't mean cornfed is necesarily poison. It may well still be better than many other paleo foods like almonds.

0
A68f24168bc0de414a038037e287b581

on September 10, 2010
at 04:16 PM

As others, I emphasize the quality of the meat. I was recently wondering if eating liver from regular, factory-raised meat isn't more harmful than beneficial. Liver is likely to be packed with toxins, which are plenty with antibiotics-packed conventional meat, right? Too much offal can also be potentially harmful, no one would suggest eating liver (Even organic, grass-fed) everyday.

So I think in general there is very little harm in the meat as a rule. The problem is what the humans did to the environment and the animals that changes this rule. It's still the best we have, and just need to do our best to find the healthiest animals possible.

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18706)

on September 10, 2010
at 03:49 PM

I think it has to be a matter of comparison. Since one has to eat, one must consider each food as compared to its alternatives. So whether or not meat and animal fat are completely optimal, without putting any undue strain on the body (which seems unlikely), is a secondary question to me. My question is, what is the best food I can eat at this time to improve or maintain my health? At this juncture for me, it's usually meat and animal fat. Sometimes, it's nothing. I'm learning that taking longer breaks from eating anything at all is sometimes better than just eating because food is available.

So if I rephrased the question to ask if meat and animal fat have any downsides compared to eating some alternative, I would answer no, but that doesn't necessarily mean I'm too emotionally attached to the idea to be open about it.

0
02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:51 PM

I suspect there's probably still a lot we don't know about how foods effect us. To echo the others, variety is golden. One major beef (pun intended!) I have with the food scene in the U.S. is the relative lack of variety. Here in China there is a crazy variety of veggies and animals. How could I make it in the States now without my bullfrog, swamp eel, and mantis shrimp!

Eedf46c82d0356d1d46dda5f9782ef36

(4464)

on September 10, 2010
at 03:05 PM

Yep - and the variety is getting better. My local, non-ethnic, grocery store sells frog legs and alligator regularly.

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:59 PM

There are ethnic stores with variety(albeit frozen) of these things, the Korean Super H Mart for instance

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on September 11, 2010
at 02:22 AM

My mainland china friend (currently living in US) says the food here in the US totally sucks compared to China. In China, most food if grown more naturally in backyard farms and is harvested or killed within 24 hours of selling. She constantly complains about US food and her husband, who was born and raised in US but visits China often, agrees. They just can't find the same kind of quality here.

02736efa3fda31740e8890eed0cb663d

(1813)

on September 13, 2010
at 05:56 AM

Eva: I agree with your friends completely! I have some issue with the food here (I'd like better quality red meat, for one), but I'll take it over the U.S. any day. I can easily get live chickens, bullfrogs, fish, eels, shrimp, crawfish, and more at the local market, which I can walk to in 5 minutes. The situation in the U.S. is so remote from this, that most people have not idea what they're missing. I'm originally from Minneapolis, and, until recently, there was ONE farmers market in the whole city where you could buy fresh, locally grown veggies.

0
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 10, 2010
at 01:36 PM

i would say part of the special place that meat and animal fat get is because only protein and fat, macronutrient-wise, are essential, whereas the carbohydrate (which includes all the potential baddies you listed) is not. Im not demonizing any of them, just repeating the facts is all. I do love my meat and fat, though:) Although, a big salad with good olive oil is stupidtasty, too!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 10, 2010
at 05:40 PM

I've made "salads" of just those with no lettuce filler, best salad ever!

4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

(22913)

on September 10, 2010
at 02:03 PM

That would be a salad with added FAT. Is that same salad stupid tasty without the fat? Not saying it can't be good, but protein/fat are where the best taste is at. For me.

667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on September 10, 2010
at 08:25 PM

oh yeah totally, i mean the greens and all veg in a salad are, for me, a vehicle for the dressing (which prolly in most of our primalcases is olive oil, etc). Veg only when dressed in fats it is i guess:) although, plain steemed broccoli is kinda good. dont eat it really ever, but it is tasty.

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on September 10, 2010
at 05:38 PM

I have noticed my favorite parts of the salad are the fats...like avocado, meat, nuts, egg, olives, etc.

462a1b3d2bf9c8ad7340058eaf9ee881

(80)

on October 15, 2010
at 06:15 PM

Cobb salad is nirvana for me! :)

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