5 Reasons Why Nearly Everyone Should Eat Gelatin | Chris Kresser
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5 Reasons Why Nearly Everyone (Even Vegetarians) Should Eat Gelatin

by Laura Beth Schoenfeld, RD

Last updated on

gelatin, benefits of gelatin
Incorporating more gelatin into your diet could be as simple as this yummy gelatin dessert. Antonio Mu±oz palomares/Hemera/Thinkstock

There are so many amazing benefits that can come from eating gelatin, including improvements in digestive, skin, and mental health. Plus, gelatin can be used to make a yummy, all-natural dessert that’s actually good for us.

So why aren’t we eating more of it?

Traditional diets are typically much higher in gelatin than our modern diets, because these cultures wisely practiced nose-to-tail eating and consumed parts of the animal that are high in gelatin, such as skin, tendons, and other gelatinous cuts of meat.

We’ve lost the practice of whole-animal eating, and vegetarians typically don’t eat many (or any!) animal products. This means that we’re eating a lot less gelatin than our ancestors, if any at all. The following five reasons will explain why nearly everyone – even vegetarians – should be eating gelatin on a regular basis!

Whether you eat meat or not, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting some gelatin in your diet. Here’s why!

1. Gelatin Balances out Your Meat Intake.

Muscle meats and eggs are high in methionine, an amino acid that raises homocysteine levels in the blood and increases our need for homocysteine-neutralizing nutrients like vitamins B6, B12, folate, and choline.

We don’t want high homocysteine in our blood because homocysteine is a significant risk factor for serious diseases like heart disease, stroke, mental illness, and fractures. (This might even explain why researchers sometimes find a correlation between high meat intake and various diseases.)

Those eating lots of animal protein need adequate glycine to balance out the methionine from meat, and you’ll get that from gelatin. For more information, check out Denise Minger’s awesome presentation, where she discusses this very issue.

2. Gelatin Heals Your Gut.

Gelatin can also improve gut integrity and digestive strength by enhancing gastric acid secretion and restoring a healthy mucosal lining in the stomach; low stomach acid and an impaired gut barrier are two common digestive problems in our modern society. Gelatin also absorbs water and helps keep fluid in the digestive tract, promoting good intestinal transit and healthy bowel movements.

Gelatin-rich soups and broths are also one of the key components of the GAPS diet, which has been designed to heal the gut and promote healthy digestion. And healthy intestinal cells prevent leaky gut, which is often at the root of many food intolerances, allergies, inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune diseases.

3. Gelatin Makes Your Skin Healthy and Beautiful.

Gelatin is a known promoter of skin health. Gelatin provides glycine and proline, two amino acids that are used in the production of collagen. Collagen is one of the primary structural elements of skin, so providing the building blocks for this important protein can ensure that your body is able to create enough of it.

A diet rich in gelatin may also protect against the aging effects of sunlight, preventing wrinkles in the future. So if you eat gelatin, you’ll feel less guilty about getting regular, unprotected sun exposure to boost your vitamin D, because your skin will be more resilient to damage! (Yay!)

4. Gelatin Protects Your Joints.

Body builders have been using gelatin for decades to help improve joint health and reduce inflammation. And research shows that athletes who took a hydrolyzed collagen supplement experienced less pain in their joints, which could help improve performance for athletes and competitive fitness buffs. If you exercise a lot, eating gelatin can help keep your joints healthy and pain-free.

Also, if you have inflammatory joint or bone diseases like arthritis or osteoporosis, getting adequate gelatin can potentially help you manage inflammation and pain in your joints, and build stronger bones.

5. Gelatin Helps You Sleep.

Glycine from gelatin has been found to help with sleep. One study found that 3 grams of glycine given to subjects before bedtime produced measurable improvements in sleep quality. Many of my clients swear by gelatin as an effective sleep aid without bothersome side effects, in contrast to medications and even natural sleep aids like melatonin, which can sometimes cause grogginess.

Glycine is also an inhibitory neurotransmitter, which can decrease anxiety and promote mental calmness. This is because glycine antagonizes norepinephrine, a stress hormone which causes feelings of anxiety and panic. Gelatin can thus help keep you calm and sleeping through the night.

How to Eat More Gelatin

The traditional way to get gelatin is from skin, gelatinous meats, and bone broths. Those who eat a Paleo or ancestral diet can easily include these foods, but vegetarians and vegans will find these health benefits difficult to get from a largely plant-based diet. Gelatin is only found in animal foods that come from the body of the animal itself.

For vegetarians (and even omnivores!) I recommend getting a high-quality gelatin powder to add to food or to create yummy, healthy gelatinous desserts. Gelatin is somewhat more environmentally-friendly than lean meat because it uses parts of the animal that might not be used otherwise. And it’s much easier to digest than normal muscle meat, making it a good gateway food for vegetarians branching out into a more ancestral diet. (And in case you think vegetarians aren’t ever using any parts of the animal, think again.)

My favorite brand of gelatin is Great Lakes, which comes from grass-fed animals. It’s available in both hydrolyzed and whole form; each type has its own health benefits.

Hydrolyzed means the protein is broken into individual amino acids, making them easier to absorb. Use this type to improve skin and joint health or get better sleep. Hydrolyzed gelatin can be mixed into any type of liquid, including cold liquids, so it can be added to cold smoothies or juices easily. It also is great as a real food protein powder.

Whole protein gelatin is better for improving gut health. It helps carry fluid through the intestines, and can even coat the lining of the digestive tract as a soothing and protective layer. This is the type used to make gummies or jello snacks, and must be mixed into warm liquids.

Fish gelatin is available for those who prefer not to consume land animals.

One population who may need to be careful about consuming gelatin or gelatin powders are those with histamine intolerance; some people report a histamine reaction to these foods and thus gelatin may not be appropriate for those with severe intolerances.

Note: Chris Kresser has not reviewed this post and is not responsible or liable for any errors in content. This is general nutrition information only and should not be used in the place of medical advice for the prevention or treatment of any diagnosed condition.

450 Comments

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  1. Hi,
    As a vegan who has removed all animal products from my life and diet, I read this article hoping to find a vegan gelatin solution.
    Instead, I found a woman telling me that, for the sake of this and that, I should sacrifice the anti-violence and health-based principles that guide my life.
    Your title is misleading. You haven’t suggested a vegatarian solution: you’ve suggested that vegetarians give up.
    Thank you for the almost-helpful content.

    • This article is so backward that it made me laugh out loud! Something I rarely do. This writer hasn’t a clue about what foods contain what ingredients, at least not in this article. It is like kicking dirt in a child’s face. It should have been regarding moving from real gelatin to a substitute and provide facts that explain why. Instead, it appears to be satire. I felt like I was reading an article on The Onion.
      I am a physician and come from a family of doctors. We have all been lifelong vegans, myself over 67 years, and have never eaten anything from an animal. That goes for my sibling’s children, wives, etc. There isn’t any need. There are also plenty of vegan gelatin substitutes available. To Jaonne, Google vegan gelatin to find a listing. Some are prepackaged like Jello, but if you want to make something from scratch that calls for gelatin use agar agar. You can find it on Amazon or just about any health food or grocery store.
      Gelatin is the nastiest slaughterhouse garbage I have ever seen. It is like the sludge at the bottom of a trash can. Would you eat that? If products containing gelatin were required to include a photograph of what gelatin is made from, the package would still be sitting on the shelf. The fact is that most people are clueless as to what they are eating.
      So, for those of you that would like to know what gelatin is made from ‘really,’ have a look here: https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/86/09/72/860972676600b4d7a18e0f4c18db5ee5.jpg
      and here:
      http://slmp-550-29.slc.westdc.net/~empamal4/wp-content/uploads/2993932.jpg715

      Vegetarians, nor vegans would NOT eat gelatin. Not if they were real ones. There are plenty of fake fad vegans and vegetarians out there. They’d be the only group that would even consider it.
      However, no real animal lover or true vegetarian/vegan would ever eat anything that came from an animal. No real animal lover would contribute to the suffering of an animal for any reason, period. It is disgraceful and caused by ignorance of the facts. It doesn’t make someone stupid; it just means they are unaware. And that is fine, anyone can learn at any time of their lives. A former 70+year-old patient of mine became a vegan overnight after surviving a heart attack. They began coming to me soon after. I merely provided them with the cold hard facts of what they were facing ahead. That was all the information they needed. They used it to create a new better version of themselves, and now they are in excellent health, lost 52 pounds, cholesterol is perfect, no longer a type 2 diabetic, thyroid levels on par and they no longer take any medications. They no longer require them. They ended up moving across the pond to enjoy the second chance of life they were given.

      But, telling someone to branch out into an animal based diet? Why would anyone tell someone to do that? And secondly, why would anyone listen to this jargon. Animal agriculture/animal based foods are the cause of the problem. Cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, cancer, diabetes, pulmonary, renal failure and No one needs gelatin. The amino acids in gelatin called glycine and proline are found in plant-based foods in high levels. Nothing written here suggests any facts.
      See the facts, from the following medical update, and please stop telling people to consume animal ingredients. It is a liability for you. Something I don’t think was considered here.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

      • “I am a physician and come from a family of doctors. We have all been lifelong vegans, myself over 67 years, and have never eaten anything from an animal.”

        Ahhh, unbiased legacy science at its finest. I understand that this lifestyle has worked for you ‘man and boy’ but surely you don’t think for a second that all bodies are the same? Perhaps you do.

        “That goes for my sibling’s children, wives, etc.”

        Whether they like it or not I’m guessing?

        “Gelatin is the nastiest slaughterhouse garbage I have ever seen. It is like the sludge at the bottom of a trash can. Would you eat that?”

        Honestly, were you going for irony with your comment about The Onion? The sludge at the bottom of my trash can is mostly rotten vegetables (you eat that!?)…I mean…surely anything can be “the sludge at the bottom of a trash can”? Also, using a bi-product to meat production does not make that product ‘garbage’. The production of lab-grade acetonitrile is a bi-product of the acrylonitrile industry. Really…would you put garbage in your HPLC?

        “So, for those of you that would like to know what gelatin is made from ‘really,’ have a look here: link
        and here:
        link”

        No self-righteous comment would be complete, without some shock-image porn. Bravo. Also, while I was an undergrad I worked in an orange-juice factory which had scenes just as horrific. Do you drink orange juice?

        “Vegetarians, nor vegans would NOT eat gelatin. Not if they were real ones.”

        And the money shot. It’s comments like this that makes it so difficult to become a vegetarian / vegan. It is the enemy of incrementalism…you know…dipping your toe in before you jump. Having people tell you that you are not a REAL *label* because x, y or z…it baffles me how people cannot see how counter-productive this is to their cause. Humans get defensive, it’s a thing we do. I mean you’d know if you had worked anywhere that required people-skills, like a doct…oh…right.

        “However, no real animal lover or true vegetarian/vegan would ever eat anything that came from an animal. No real animal lover would contribute to the suffering of an animal for any reason, period.”

        Assuming that ‘animal love’ is their reason. I mean, I was a vegetarian (yes a REAL one) for 12 years. For environmental reasons, not an accumulation of personal guilt, and I stopped because I was bored with eating…I still am but at least I can just eat whatever is convenient.

        “A former 70+year-old patient of mine became a vegan overnight after surviving a heart attack. They began coming to me soon after. I merely provided them with the cold hard facts of what they were facing ahead.”

        Anecdotal evidence, nice. Tell me, are these the “cold hard facts” you speak of?

        “They used it to create a new better version of themselves, and now they are in excellent health, lost 52 pounds, cholesterol is perfect, no longer a type 2 diabetic, thyroid levels on par and they no longer take any medications.”

        Gained superpowers, married a supermodel, won six lotteries….

        “Animal agriculture/animal based foods are the cause of the problem. Cardiovascular disease, thyroid disease, cancer, diabetes, pulmonary, renal failure and No one needs gelatin.”

        So I assume you do not use store-bought cosmetics / hygiene products, drive a car or wash your clothes? No…no, of course not…what was I thinking?

        “Nothing written here suggests any facts.”

        Ah whoops, I should have read ahead. I didn’t realise you’d included a disclaimer.

        “See the facts, from the following medical update, and please stop telling people to consume animal ingredients. It is a liability for you. Something I don’t think was considered here.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3662288/

        The icing on the cake, a link to a journal with an impact factor of a whopping 0.33! No serious scientist would work based off of a single article from a journal like this. I’m not saying that it is by default wrong…just that linking this one article summarises your entire comment: Smacking of confirmation bias and thoroughly unresearched.

        Now for all of that, I’m not saying one way or the other that your main thesis isn’t correct, that perhaps this article may be a little uninformed…but your comment defines ‘irony’.

        • I am age 80 and been a heavy meat eater all my life, including gelatin. I take no medications whatsoever and never have except for a rare antibiotic. I can easily walk three miles in the same time (55 minutes at a normal pace) that I could forty years ago. I have never been operated on and have never been in the hospital. The most serious ailment I have ever had is the flu, which I have had perhaps five time in my life. I cut my acre of grass with a push lawnmower. (Knock on wood in all this.) I respect the sincere opinions of those who post here. I think all make a contribution, but I would highly recommend the website mercola.com. Dr. Mercola is an experienced expert in nutrition and on living a healthy lifestyle. His is the most visited site on the Internet for alternative medicine. Knowledge is empowerment. Good luck!

  2. I’m confused. How can vegetarians eat gelatin powder? I appreciate you can get vegetarian jelly but this article says that vegetarians can add gelatin powder to their food, but then says it is only available from meat and fish. Does the writer know that vegetarian means not eating dead animals?

    • The writer is recommending that vegetarians branch out and start consuming gelatin, even though it’s from animals. He is aware that vegetarians do not eat many animal products; hence, why he included the description of vegetarians who are interested in “branching out into more ancestral (animal-based) diets.”

      • The writer is an idiot. A vegetarian does not eat meat, end of conversation. She has offered has offered zero science to back up her opinions, and her links only lead to opinion pieces by people who agree with her. Pieces that are also lacking in any science. I’m not even a vegetarian, but this piece is annoying in the extreme, and just screams personal bias/being paid.

      • No vegetarian would be interested in that unless they were not vegetarian in the first place …
        how ignorant is this person ?!?!?

        • Considering a lot of vegetarians, or meat eaters, or any kind of eaters, didn’t always eat that way… It’s safe to assume any current eater of any style of diet may switch to any other.

          Would you have the same complaint if it were an article titled “Why even meat lovers should go vegetarian some days of the week?”

        • A vegetarian WOULD be interested in this or other new solutions if their health were failing. Heck, most Vegetarian/vegan diets are too HIGH In copper for some people, especially those born with over-methylation metabolisms (like myself) and accumulate copper more than average person. So, even if one were “vegetarian in the first place”, it doesn’t mean one can’t alter their diet so they have better cognitive function, less foggy brain, better memory, less anxiety that some get with all vegetarian diets. Afterall, this is not a religion unless you make it one. So, watch your symptoms & moods. Some people have to Limit OR Avoid high copper foods altogether.

          Diet and #Methylation
          https://www.samanthagilbert.com/methylation-diet-tips/

          Video: Dr. Mensah at Mensah Medical, Diet & Methylation & Brain Cognition (Holistic Functional Doc). Whole video is great. @57:07 he discusses too high copper diet & moods, nuts. He even recommends spouses testing their Methylation status before having a child. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_eUypOBrzA

          • Vitamin Store dept. Manager just told me yesterday that many strict vegans she meets often last about 10 years, then SHE starts seeing many in her store ask for help. They often have to turn to Fish collagen as an alternative. They make a vegan collagen formula, but is not as effective per feedback they say.

  3. Hey Laura,

    Great article and once again showing the amazing work and resourcefulness of ruminants to provide nearly everything. I’ve started a dairy company here in Ireland that based around sustainability for food and for ecology and I hope that in 3 years time we will be able to make full use of the animals that are providing us with milk by processing the whole carcass and really explaining to all the benefit of bone broths and the classic Irish stew. We cook a big stew every week in our house for the family using bones from a local butcher.
    If I can recommend that your readers get in contact with local grass based farmers and jump in on cow shares etc. Organic is great but there are some great farmers across America that are also farming without the use of chemicals so definitely worth checking out.

  4. Here is my two cents if anyone is interested. If you want to eat animal products that is fine. You are not an evil person. If you want to be vegan or vegetarian, that is also fine, but you are no holier than someone who eats meat.
    All that aside, and back to the topic, eating collagen containing foods such as gelatin can be beneficial for the body, however, it is also fine not to eat them at all. Being vegan or vegetarian actually still allows your body to get all the collagen it needs by creating it itself. Diets rich in various plants give the body the essential nutrients it needs to create collagen in and for the body.
    Here is a list of foods that help the body produce collagen.

    http://www.healthcentral.com/skin-care/c/742375/55533/increase-eating/

    If I were any of you, I would not consume gelatin as a supplement (except in extreme cases where it helps a disease or injury or is recommended by your health care professional, and even then for only a short period of time) but rather work towards consuming a balanced diet with adequate exercise and low to no alcohol or drug abuse, whether vegan, vegetarian, or not, It can be done and a healthy and happy life can be had by all regardless of the food category we choose to eat.

  5. Thanks Laura Schoenfeld for sharing interesting and informative article. I think gelatin extracted from haram sources such as pig fat or bones because it is common and inexpensive to make.

    • in the UK we have a brand called ‘ HARTLEYS’ and some of the flavours ( straweberry, raspberry and lemon-lime) are vegetarian 🙂 i would recommend the raspberry one because its tastier xD

  6. When i first became a vegetarian, a guy i knew from karaoke who happens to be a meat grilling champion when i told him, went absolutely mad. He said i was going to age, get weak and die early. He said he knew other vegetarians and thats what lay ahead for me. I told him, i would gladly chop a few years off my life, die all weak, looking like a prune because the happiness that i felt inside me was priceless. Im going to die anyway, at least i will die happy, all the pain and suffering, limping around cause my joints are shot and my gut is finished will be well worth it. If you dont have it in your due to lack of empathy or plain weak willed, why dont you just shut up and keep it to yourself.

    • LOL John the righteous position being assumed has forgotten that such a view is possible because civilisation as you know it, including all of modern technology, has arisen due to ONLY animal agriculture being able to support it.

      Without animals being used for human endeavour, even grain farming would never have advanced to sustain the populations and lead the advent of manufacturing and modern society, with supermarkets and time to think of other things besides where the next feed is coming from…. There is no escaping the FACT that your daily existence still depends on the exploitation of animals (whether or not is also both cruel or excessive).

      The pain of being able to just survive the day with a degenerating body is not about being “weak willed” – an unbelievably callous remark. It is delusionary thinking that all such pain will be wiped away by “priceless happiness” of ill considered beliefs. That the empathy for animals is not also extended to human animals shows not only shallowness but arrogance of the holier-than-Thou kind. My advice is to get out into the wilderness and put your own courage on the line; I am certain you will find that the only animal that would share your empathy is the pet you left behind keeping your bed warm.. my guess is that you won’t endure vegetarianism either.

    • you do know that humans have fangs right? and yes, its much smaller than animals, but thats because we use our fingers/hands (be pretty hard to do with paws) to tear away flesh before we put the in our mouth.

      just to let you know, i’m a vegetarian (well, vegetarian most of the time but tbh, i’m a pescatarian), but those are the type of broad statements that make other people think we’re “silly” and “misinformed”

    • that is a myth Tess. Humans are Omnivores whether you look at teeth or digestive tract or just study history.

      • Yeah, can you provide a source for that?

        Because I can. http://www.whale.to/a/comp.html
        “whether you look at teeth or digestive tract or just study history”

        An excerpt from the link, since you probably won’t open it:

        Teeth: Incisors
        CARNIVORE: Short and pointed
        OMNIVORE: Short and pointed
        HERBIVORE: Broad, flattened and spade shaped
        HUMAN: Broad, flattened and spade shaped

        Teeth: Canines
        CARNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
        OMNIVORE: Long, sharp and curved
        HERBIVORE: Dull and short or long (for defense), or none
        HUMAN: Short and blunted

        Teeth: Molars
        CARNIVORE: Sharp, jagged and blade shaped
        OMNIVORE: Sharp blades and/or flattened
        HERBIVORE: Flattened with cusps vs complex surface
        HUMAN: Flattened with nodular cusps

        Colon
        CARNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
        OMNIVORE: Simple, short and smooth
        HERBIVORE: Long, complex; may be sacculated
        HUMAN: Long, sacculated

        Saliva
        CARNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
        OMNIVORE: No digestive enzymes
        HERBIVORE: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes
        HUMAN: Carbohydrate digesting enzymes

        Chewing
        CARNIVORE: None; swallows food whole
        OMNIVORE: Swallows food whole and/or simple crushing
        HERBIVORE: Extensive chewing necessary
        HUMAN: Extensive chewing necessary

  7. I am feeling rather homicidal after reading your suggestion to quit being vegetarian and eat gelatin. I am vegan and there MUST be an alternative to this! I am so angry at people arrogantly telling us there is no other way to get well… What about the poor animals? You have no heart.

  8. As a meat eater (free range organic) I suffered from: Lower back/joint pain, constipation, digestion issues, extremely irregular periods, low iron, and extreme fatigue. It’s awful to recommend that anybody eat animals or animal products. It is awful for our health. Our bodies are meant to be plant based – ie our less acidic stomach acids, flat incisors, masticating jaws, long intestines, etc.

    I have been eating a plant-based diet for 10 years and am a whole new person. I am healthier than I have ever been. I highly recommend it to anybody.

    • Glad you found what works for YOU. But, 1 diet is not right for all. It’s possible you have Gene mutations that make it harder for you to process certain things in the body or collect more uric acid such as in meat or high purine or high oxalate foods. If you get your genes tested by 23andme.com, or by Dr. Amy Yasko and follow #MthfrSupport on Facebook, you could learn the bigger picture of your pathways. Just because foods work for you and your genes, does not mean all of our bodies are meant to eat like you. Also for low stomach acid, there are things that can increase it like taking HCL, which helps control invading bad parasites/bacteria in our body.

      Also some people are over-methylators (Like ME) and some people are under-methylators. If you are an over-methylators, i can’t eat too much meat and i avoid dairy, eggs etc.. because they are high in Methyl and Sulfur, which many people also have trouble metabolizing or accumulating too much in the body, which leads to excess ammonia in the body/brain.

      Also many people are accumulating GLYPHOSATE (main ingredient in Roundup herbicide) in our bodies, which is shutting down certain pathways & messing up our digestion & detox & causing massive food sensitivities. Also, some people with #Pyroluria and some Autoimmune NEED certain nutrients in meat and CANNOT have Grains, beans, nuts, certain seeds which have anti-nutrients like phytic acid etc. and make autoimmune worse. #Dr Walsh has shared a lot about Pyroluria & genetic Nutrient imbalances. Find him on FB. Glad you found what works for YOU.

      • Crosswind, How much is too much meat for you?

        And… if B12 makes you feel ‘wired’ in methyl and hydroxy form those that usually mean you overly methylate? I’m low in B12 – but yet it makes me wired. Makes no sense. What to do?

        • @Raquel, good question. I’m still trying to figure out my diet balance. It’s not easy with toxic overload & faulty detox pathways. Here’s a great video presentation by Dr. Mensah (well respected holistic doc) about methylation & diet. Whole video is great. @57:07 he discusses too high copper diet, copper toxicity & moods, nuts. He even recommends spouses testing their Methylation status before having a child nowadays. Watch for negative side effects on vegan diet, which is often high in copper. Some thrive on it, some don’t. listen to your body. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u_eUypOBrzA&t=3592s

          • I recently gave up meat and feel better. I have less anxiety and irritability. So, with me being an over-methylator, i guess the animal foods are too much for me. Too much adrenaline in the meat too and less BO too. I like Dr. Greger’s videos about plant based diet science on youtube and his website. https://nutritionfacts.org/

            For B12, I cannot tolerate methyl-B12 or hydroxyB12 either. I started taking ((Adeno-B12)), a different form and I can tolerate it better. > https://www.seekinghealth.com/adeno-b12-60-lozenges

    • I read an article earlier today that listed quite a few of the products that have gelatin in them. I was so upset to see that even gum has it. What are we to do?

      • Then just avoid products with “gelatin” if that bothers you and find supplements and teas with Silica and Nettles instead. The rest of us who feel benefits from homemade Meat or bone broth will stick with that. Solution solved.

    • Actually, if you study physiology and anatomy, you will find that humans are omnivorous in our design. We clearly have features unlike true vegetarian mammals (herbivores). Additionally, the pH of the stomach should be very low/acidic. This is to accommodate the breakdown of protein and minerals. Those with alkaline stomachs are unable to properly digest protein and the result is “acid reflux” which is the organic acids put off by rotting protein in the stomach. As a former vegan, I highly recommend you read The Vegetarian Myth by Lierre Keith (former 25-year vegetarian/vegan). Very well written and science-based. Wishing you the best!

  9. The problem with people stating that “science” proves that eating meat is unhealthy is always based on bias information. I really just follow what my gut tells me and i know when i eat meat and especially bone broth i feel better mentally and physically. I used to suffer from severe mental illness and got so desperate i finally discovered gaps diet after a lot of research. Things like candida overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome is the root of most diseases yet western doctors dont say shit about and billions of people continue to suffer thinking all of their issues are genetic or uncurable. And then u got vegans and vegetarians stating things that supposedly science backs but heres something that is a fact- you cant heal and seal the gut lining without eating animal products. Vegetables cant do that by itself. The gut is the root of most diseases. I dont need an encyclopedia of resources to back this up, human organs and intestinal lining is made up of the same structure and protein an animals. When u eat those proteins and fat from an animal it heals and seals your gut lining. Vegetables cannot do that its really common sense people. I understand why people are vegan its because industry is what makes it cruel. But saying eating meat is unhealthy is just very misguided. There are so many success stories from people who recovered from many diseases following lifestyle choices like gaps and paleo. Many different diseases from autism to ibs.

    • There are vegan sources of healing the gut lining: vegan collagen, drinking aloe vera gel, and many more. The thing is you have to have a diet high in raw fruits and vegetables, in order to keep your gut clean, functioning, and in balance. For overall health too, lots of raw produce is the essential component, among a few other smaller components.

      The medical industry is rigged towards keeping us sick aka industry, so they are not gonna tell us about candida and leaky gut. Doctors are brainwashed to believe what the industry tells them. Resulting in a confused public about their health. However it is correct that eating animal products on a daily basis, even lighter sources such as chicken and fish, are very deteriorating to one’s health. It just is. If you are consuming much less, like 1-2 times a week, and having an otherwise healthy diet, then health issues dont manifest much at all. I can see how some people need the “heaviness” of animal products as it is a different molecular structure and gives you a heavy feeling that you cant get from vegan protein and fat. However if you say that you feel better with a little bone broth, etc have you tried vegan alternatives to see how you feel? Many articles only put the animal version of what they are discussing because they just dint know of the vegan versions of them. I get my glycerin and collagen from vegan sources and have gotten really good results. Even if a person eats meat/ cheese/ dairy yogurt 1-2 times a week it is much healthier than eating it daily BUT you have to realize that with each consumption of animal products you are eating something that is substantially high in fat and cholesterol. Not to mention the hormones, antibiotics, and pesticides that are going directly from the animal’s system into yours. Not a good thing. We do have to account for the role of chemicals/ pesticides/ hormones/ antibiotics, their HUGE role in diseases. Getting organic meat/ cheese helps but its not fully rid of these things. Your meat collagen and meat glycerin and any other supplement that isnt vegan: is more than likely giving you a dose of these every time you take them, unfortunately. Info that the food industry and fda dont want the public to know bc their whole profit is based off of poor quality animal products. Why- bc it is addicting to the system and causes disease at the same time thus making it a perfect thing to fuck people’s lives and health without us ever knowing. Why- because the ones controlling the systems of the world are greedy misguided souls only wanting that money. Too bad for them now bc the public is getting too smart for all this and will un-do every falsity.

      Back to diet tho…. so aside from health issues that animal products bring, its just time to be vegan. If not perfectly, as much as possible. Animals deserve to be completely un-fucked-with in every way, as do humans and nature. It just comes down to: respect for all life. Including yourself and your body. Treat yourself like you matter. Put love into your body every time and you will heal everything. Vegan is so much easier than is made out to be. The food industry has influenced us to be opposite of vegan even tho it is our natural diet. For their benefit. Its time to take the reigns back.

      And yes i say vegan is our natural diet bc there have been studies done that when kids are exposed to a daily buffet of all kinds of food- fresh produce, junk food, meat, dairy, vegan proteins and fats, fast food… youd think theyd pick the junk food and meat. But they saw over time they picked only the healthy stuff- vegan and fresh produce.

      • Perhaps you need to look at the economical consequences of plant only diets…..how much of the forests, wetlands and other natural habitats do you think we will need to destroy to cultivate enough land to feed a population of 7 billion vegetarians/vegans?! Every time you sit down to eat that salad or vegan meal, please know that at least one hundred plants and animals died for the land needed to grow the ingredients of your salad. There is no way to eat on this planet without killing or harming animals in some way. If you are really intent on not harming or killing animals to eat: STOP EATING.

      • “Perhaps you need to look at the economical consequences of plant only diets…..how much of the forests, wetlands and other natural habitats do you think we will need to destroy to cultivate enough land to feed a population of 7 billion vegetarians/vegans?!” Your kidding right? It takes 5-7 times more land and more resources to produce beef and 2-3 times more land and resources to produce chicken, pork and turkey. Seriously, you need to actually read some basic information regarding any subject your want to speak about. Opinions are great things and everyone has a right to have one….but by definition they don’t belong in a science or fact based discussion. The only chance of feeding our over populated planet is by growing crops for people not feed for animals and convert pastures to crop farming. But hey they hide this type of information in books and scientific studies.

        • Recent research (2016 )showed that cheese was the most energy efficient product for human consumption.

        • Wow , those numbers are waaaayyy off, can I recommend some research into soil science and the methods of increasing soil organic matter, soil carbon and soil biodiversity. What you will find is that the ruminants eating grass provide the greatest hope of lowering atmospheric carbon, increasing soil biodiversity and returning life to billions of hectares of crop destroyed soil. The planet evolved these methods that work. What strips life and carbon from soils is monoculture so soy, maize wheat etc, if you are concerned with protecting food then at all costs avoid eating these and for those that eat meat look to animals only raised on grasslands. Ruminants are a lot more than the protein calculation that is normally run, providing a fully usable carcass. I’ve done my homework enough that I’ve raised money and started a dairy company in Ireland, I’m happy to talk soil carbon numbers with any large scale agriculturalist but they have to be in practice.

  10. Hello Vegetarians!
    Animal bone derivative gelatin has so many health benefits
    (vegetarians can get same via their diet too but lets not mention that)
    here are some reasons you should quit being vegetarian!

    LOL FACE PALM

    1) Vegetarian does not eat meat, balancing meat intake is not required.
    Our diets are high in the the nutrients meat eaters lack which cause homocysteine. It’s not about what we ‘are not’ eating but what we ‘are’ eating.

    2) A huge range of our diet heals our gut and keeps it at its healthiest

    3) vegetarianism makes your skin healthy and beautiful… as well as the rest of your body and lifespan…

    4) “…… However, in the larger study (53 participants), the patients followed a vegan diet for three and a half months and experienced significant improvement in tender and swollen joints, pain, duration of morning stiffness and grip strength than the people in a control group who consumed an ordinary diet.”
    http://www.arthritis.org/living-with-arthritis/arthritis-diet/anti-inflammatory/vegan-and-vegetarian-diets.php

    5) Do you know how many widely available sources of tryptophan and other sedation-related foods there are in vegetarianism? spirulina? soy? spinach? milk?

    Are you really a dietitian by profession or just a blogger looking for attention through an offensive article with no facts linked, sure to cause debate among offended vegetarians?

    Thanks for the incentive to waste my time writing this post =(

    • “[…] than the people in a control group who consumed an ordinary diet.”

      Ordinary diets today are fucked up. So basically, the research shows vegan diet is less fucked up than the fucked up ordinary diet.

      Paleo and the other diets Mk was referring to are not “ordinary diets”. And they also have those same benefits, and so much more.

    • My dear friend Julia!

      Being a Hindu Brahmin, you can imagine how my family must pride itself for being strictly vegetarian, and having a diet of a huge and fantastic variety of veggies, fruits, legumes and all vegetarian products

      I have to tell you the pros and cons of this –
      My dads family who are hindu’s never have faced issues such as cancer. The risk of cancer is always there in everyone today, with the kind of chemicals in most foods. However, the vegetarian contracts cancer much lesser than the meat eater . Meat eaters have a stronger history of getting cancer

      My grandmother, was around 70 years old, not really finished of sorts. And when she fell sick , the doctor who was a pure vegetarian , actually gave up saying vegetarian food would not give her enough energy to revive her self . We had to put her on a fish stew diet for days , because she refused to touch meat

      luckily fish diet was good for her and she got stronger

      A vegetarian diet is fantastic but people on a strictly veggie diet , are actually smaller and shorter and weaker ( exceptions are always there)

      A meat eater would always be bigger, broader, stronger, and thereby more attractive ( exceptions are always there )

      Vegetarians are more prone to diabetes, meat eaters are more prone to kidney disease because of the amount of meat going in all day – and the kidneys finally wearing out !

      If you moderate your food , with a lot lot more vegetables and say a couple of pieces of ( small pieces ) of meat , with a glass of gelatine soup , you actually have a diet that is unbeatable

      I am a moderate of sorts. Not too much meat, lots of veggies and nuts , moderation on fruits , and you have the most nutritious diet possible

      • Sanmad, thank you for your comment. Can you add further as to why Vegetarians are more prone to diabetes?

        I became a vegetarian in July of 2015. I was healthy and had no issues during my last blood check up a year or 2 before that. When the doctor tested my blood this last year in March, 8 mo post Vegg, not only was my HDL low they said my blood showed signs of pre-diabetes. I would not have made a connection between diabetes and vegetarianism had it not been the fact that my friend who is also Veg had to have his blood retested because he too had signs of pre-diabetes. He is an active man, biked through NYC to Queens to work everyday and only ate the healthiest orgnic foods. He still does currently but he wont eat any carbohydrates (rice, wheat, oats, etc) to prevent the diabetes from occuring. Once I heard my news I reduced my carb intake to small amounts and lost about 6 lbs. I went gluten free as it was causing me to bloat and lost another 6lbs which was not my intention (I don’t what to be too skinny) but its fine. At the very least I have my sugar/carb consumption down until I can implement a weight-lifting routine.

        Still, I figure that the reason why diabetes can happen for Veggs is because we are not weight training which would otherwise drive the sugar that’s in the blood into the muscle for growth, repair and recovery. Instead sugars are running rampant and overworking the liver. At least that’s what I roughly remember from my personal training/Anatomy & Physiology class from waaaay back when before I had kids. Do you have any data you can refer me to? I tried to verify my theory back when I heard the news but could not find anything definitive.

        Again, thank you for your imput! 🙂

    • I know that there are gelatin substitutes but do these contain the substances that are needed to be well?
      My Son has gone Vegan and I’m thinking about it as its helping my weight loss. I have really painful arthritis and have suffered from mental illness most of my life. My Son has Aspergers.
      Is it helpful to have a vegan diet when you have these illnesses?
      I hope I’m replying to the lady who talked about vegetarians.

      • I just read about this. No it’s not vegan “collagen” but it’s ingredients (like Silica and soy) that help your body make it’s own collagen. I have food sensitivities to many foods listed in this link and i AVOID Soy, so l take collagen. I heard that Silica by Biosil is very popular, but i have never used it. I knew a lady who had 5+ knee operations for osteoarthritis, yet still refused to eat meat broth etc.. and insisted on eating vegetarian. So didn’t seem to work for her, but i don’t know her genes.

    • “Paleo and the other diets Mk was referring to are not “ordinary diets”. And they also have those same benefits, and so much more.” No the science does not back up that a Paleo diet is either healthy or provides benefits that come close to a plant based diet. Eating increased amounts of animal protein and animal fat on a Paleo diet is both unsound and unhealthy. Read the scientific literature it is not subject to interpretation or rather misinterpretation. The only thing positive about a Paleo diet is the recognition that cheap carbohydrates, like white bread, are bad.

  11. Bone broth seems to be a very nutritious natural source of gelatin. However the processes used to turn natural gelatin into a powder is downright scary and I won’t be putting it in my body.

    The Manufacturing Process
    Inspection and cutting

    1 When the animal parts arrive at the food processing plant, they are inspected for quality. Rotted parts are discarded. Then, the bones, tissues, and skins are loaded into chopping machines that cut the parts into small pieces of about Sin (12.7cm) in diameter.

    Degreasing and roasting

    2 The animal parts are passed under high-pressure water sprays to wash away debris. They are then degreased by soaking them in hot water to reduce the fat content to about 2%. A conveyer belt moves the degreased bones and skins to an industrial dryer where they are roasted for approximately 30 minutes at about 200° F (100° C).

    Acid and akaline treatment

    3 The animal parts are soaked in vats of lime or some other type of acid or akali for approximately five days. This process removes most of the minerals and bacteria and facilitates the release of collagen. The acid wash is typically a 4% hydrochloric acid with a pH of less than 1.5. The alkaline wash is a potassium or sodium carbonate with a pH above 7.

    Boiling

    4 The pieces of bone, tissue, and skin are loaded into large aluminum extractors and boiled in distilled water. A tube running from the extractor allows workers to draw off the liquid that now contains gelatin. The liquid is sterilized by flash-heating it to about 375° F (140° C) for approximately four seconds.

    Evaporating and grinding

    5 From the extractor, the liquid is piped through filters to separate out bits of bone, tissue or skin that are still attached. From the filters, the liquid is piped into evaporators, machines that separate the liquid from the solid gelatin. The liquid is piped out and discarded. The gelatin is passed through machines that press it into sheets. Depending on its final application, the gelatin sheets are passed through a grinder that reduces them to a fine powder.

    Flavoring and coloring

    6 If the gelatin is to be used by the food industry, sweeteners, flavorings, and colorings may be added at this point. Pre-set amounts of these additives are thoroughly mixed into the powdered gelatin.

  12. There is such conflicting advice out now with all of this. I am in the middle of watching the Global Quest Truth About Cancer Series. Episode 4 – where a ‘renowned neurosurgeon’ and others, speak about Glutamine and it’s derivatives, at length, (Dr Mercola in a number of his articles discusses this subject quite comprehensively as well) about how much of a cancer fueling – even cancer causing substance (the explanations were quite involved and based on much research we are told), it is. This would have been ‘interesting’ to know in itself,, but glossed over by my husband and I were it not for the fact that after going on a total autoimmune protocol for 2mths (one that a couple of the leading Functional Medicine practitioners advocated – and many others – like yourself seem to be aligning themselves with – even endorsing the products), our health actually started declining – to the point where we are now being faced with some very real cancer issues ourselves. Now we’ve all come to understand that cancer takes literally years before it’s seen in the body (eg a 1cm tumor can take 6-8yrs to grow? or to that effect – I’m no dr), but since taking Great Lakes Collagen Hydrolysate (Green), and L-Glutamine capsules with two meals a day, as directed, we are now BOTH unwell with accelerated cancerous cell growth… I don’t wish to debate this or get into any arguments or slinging matches with anyone please, but for goodness sake, PLEASE everyone, see what the latest research is on this. Alot of damage is being done by well meaning people who haven’t seen the full implications. A substance that naturally occurs in the body, does not always mean it’s ‘safe’ or prudent to add extra into the system without fully understanding the potential repercussions… All that aside, I don’t want to sound critical of Chris nor all the other helpful, insightful blogs he writes. He, among a few other bloggers I respect, will eventually see the truth of this new research re the glutamine receptors in our bodies and how glutamine consumed, is now (apparently) found to be such a major CAUSE of cancer….

  13. As a biological sciences major with a good understanding of health and nutrition I would like to say that this article makes me want to plant my palm firmly into my face.

    You could just as aptly name this article “5 reasons never to listen to anything that a Paleo diet advocate says”.

    This article is full of unscientific quackery.

    • Can you follow up with some specifics? You can’t make a statement like that and not follow through.

    • Wow. Zero back up to your bold statement. You’re flat out wrong and doing no one any good here. Shame on you for trolling.

    • “Can you follow up with some specifics? You can’t make a statement like that and not follow through.” He doesn’t have to …what you need to do is actually read the scientific literature and you can start by reading the China Study…the most comprehensive nutritional study ever performed. The Paleo diet is based on a misinformed notion that we should eat the same way our distant ancestors did. The problem though is that they neither ate the same degree of animal protein that Paleo diets suggest and were not necessarily healthy from a nutritional standpoint. The scientific evidence suggests that cultures who foraged more than hunted lived longer and had less disease. But again it is in the scientific literature. The only time an intelligent discussion can be had about any topic is when people check their opinions, beliefs and notions at the door and in fact read the related scientific information beforehand.

      • “The Paleo diet is based on a misinformed notion that we should eat the same way our distant ancestors did.”

        Not really. First, there is no “paleo diet”. It’s just a set of basic principles informed by how humans ate for millennia. In actual practice people who identify as eating paleo are probably eating quite differently from traditional cultures, but with some parallels. It’s mainly about erasing some of the perversions of modern diets, e.g. processed carbs.

        Weston Price showed pretty clearly that traditional diets kept people healthy, and when primitive people adopted modern diets, they got sick. Most of the traditional cultures he studied ate a lot of animal foods. When these people switched to white flours, sugars, canned fruit, etc their dental and bodily health tanked.

  14. Thank you for this great post and informational comments. And for some who are riding on their high horses, if you don’t like this post, just go home. Some of us here have really huge health problems & this post is most helpful. And don’t try to tell everybody how great is your vegetarian diet etc. Every diet has its problems, ie carbon foot print etc. And stop commenting, as this is not a debate. The purpose of this post is other than your own agenda.
    Also, I think that Hyaluronic Acid is different to Gelatine but they have some similar effects, ie on joints and skin

    • So basically you are saying that anybody who disagrees with you is not allowed to comment. Do you have any idea how awful that sounds?

      • Hi Cheap Torque,

        I’m genuinely curious to hear you out. Can you clarify which aspects (if even just a few) are unsound?

        I realize this article has very poor sources (blogs from others of the same community), but you can’t deny standard nutrition is failing people, also.

        Let’s take this up a notch and discuss! I’d love to know what you know. We’re all just trying to feel better, right?

  15. Hi,
    This is a good article about gelatin and glycine. Thank you. Just one note to that. Please use only organic gelatin! It seems to be so that the residues of the most common herbicid glyphosate (derivative of glycine) that is used all over the world to kill weeds, is replacing glycine in our and animals’ protein syntesis. This is then potentially on of the reasons to many common diseases that are rocketing in our society.

    • Agreed! Great article on Ancestral foods – good stuff (even for us militant vegetarians). Thank you Laura

  16. I use FORM Hyrdolyzed Collagen Protein from Le-Vel. Uses Bovine. It is a subligual gel and I love it!

  17. What on earth are you smoking? A vegetarian, regardless of these professed ‘health benefits’ *cannot* eat gelatin. If they did, they would not be vegetarian. It really is quite simple.

    I also rather object to the rather oddly blithe tone taken where vegetarians are mentioned in the piece, too. Just… strange.

    • Vegetarians by definition don’t eat meat, but they do sometimes consume eggs and dairy products. Gelatin is not meat, but an animal by-product. Veganism is what you are thinking of..

      • Eggs and dairy are produced by animals without killing them. Gelatin requires that you kill the animal to make this “byproduct.”

      • Actually, like most the nutritional ignorance that plagues most people the terms vegetarian and veganism are more marketing terms than indicative of a sound dietary approach. On the other hand there is a wealth of scientific studies such as the China Study that brush away the myths and silly notions that people put forth in comments. And one is the notion that our bodies are unable to produce any number of necessary nutritional byproducts. For example, do you think our body needed gelatin to produce its own collagen? Perhaps some research time spent on that question would save people a lot of time, effort and money on unnecessary supplements. The only supplements that are possibly necessary on a plant based is a whole food based B12. Most supplements like gelatin place strain on the individuals liver and kidneys, because they must remove any number of nutrients that are taken in excess… and that includes protein. Science shows that adults need about half of the nonsensical 1 gram per pound of body weight. And studies show that populations that take high levels of calcium actually show higher rates of osteoporosis. Folks there has been some really great scientific finding related to diet and nutrition published in the last 5 years. Take the time to research and read them.

        • “Science shows that adults need about half of the nonsensical 1 gram per pound of body weight. ”

          Seems a little straw-manish. I’ve only heard one gram per pound as a rule of thumb for bodybuilders, and for most people trying to build muscle, somewhere between .5 and 1 gram. I don’t think it’s known as a general rule for sedentary people. The vast majority of people aren’t trying to eat 1 gram of protein per pound as that is actually quite a bit and you’d have to *really* try to reach that on a daily basis.

        • Curious.. if vegetarian is the ‘only’ way to go why would you need to ‘supplement’ anything? (B12, etc)

          Let’s end the debate by realizing that different ‘diets’ work for different individuals/cultures/lifestyles.

          • And who cares how our ancestors ‘supposedly’ ate.

            All that matters is what works for YOU now

            Theres is way too much time wasted on irrelevant Bullshit, and debates, while people with real issues have to go digging through it.

          • B12 is produced by bacteria that can be on anything (in the air, in soil, etc). Because we wash so often and cook most of our food, we don’t get much exposure to B12 anymore. Animals raised for meat are routinely given B12 supplements. THAT is the reason why meat has a relatively high amount of the vitamin. It is not because meat “naturally” has more B12, it is because the animals, like us, require supplementation to arrive at an ideal B12 level. Look it up

            The source below is from a vegan nutritionist, but he uses info from several other studies. You can do your own research and see what you find as well. Don’t trust sites that are linked to any food producers. https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/nov/b12.htm

    • And yet vegetarians and vegans will eat cane sugar, even though it contains bone char. So, according to you, they are not vegetarian and yet they say they are vegetarian. Why do they have to label themselves? Everyone picks and chooses what they eat. Time to stop the labelling.

      • Actually not all cane sugar is bleached and refined using bone char. And even if it was, I am sure most vegetarians would stop consuming it the moment that they became informed about the process. There’s no use acting high and mighty because you think you’ve caught out those oh so silly vegetarians accidentally consuming animal products. Personal choices are choices that impact the individual themselves, such as smoking, drinking, free climbing 1000ft rock faces without a harness, punching a concrete wall. It stops becoming a ‘personal’ choice when your decision impacts on the well-being of others. This is why it is fine for you to choose to punch a brick wall but it is not okay for you to choose to punch someone in the face. Time to get a better argument and/or stop abusing animals.

      • Not true. “Historically, bone char was often used in sugar refining as a decolorising and deashing agent. Bone char possesses a low decoloration capacity and must be used in large quantities. It has largely fallen out of use, particularly in the US and Europe, mainly for economic reasons but also due to the concerns of vegetarians and vegans, as well as various religious groups.”

        The main sugar brand in New Zealand is Chelsea Sugar, and their website states:

        “Do we use bone char or any animal products?
        There are no animal products used in the process of sugar production. We use activated carbon sourced from coal, which acts as a filter similar to the filters used in water purifiers.

        Are Chelsea Sugars and Syrups suitable for vegetarians and vegans?
        Nearly all of our sugar and syrups are suitable for vegetarians and vegans – the exception is our Honey Maple Flavoured Syrup which contains honey extract, making this not suitable for vegans. No animal products are used in the production of Chelsea Sugar.”

    • I’m with Jitterbug here. It’s an odd and casually dismissive tone that’s taken towards vegetarians that suggests the author does not understand what vegetarianism is.

      “Have you made a decision to try to cut dead animals out of your diet? How about eating some dead animals instead?”

  18. Have found from research “Vegetarian diet can prevent 70-90% of all heart diseases.” – The Journal of the American Medical Association
    “Vegetarians are characterized by longer life and significantly lower number of cancer cases in comparison with Americans who eat meat.” – The American National Institute of Health
    ..National institutes of health – A new study adds to the evidence that eating red meat on a regular basis may shorten your lifespan. “Our study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers in other studies,” says lead author Dr. An Pan.
    watch in youtube Vegetarianism in Religions (Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Baha’i Faith)

    • What’s your point? Eating the gelatin from an animal based source does not imply that you are eating the muscle tissue with levels of fat and impurities. I do not believe that any of those studies differentiated between the by products of mass produced meat products versus grass fed products.

      • His point seems to be that Chris’s articles are generally unscientific, and I agree. Let’s use your own argument and replace ‘eating meat’ with ‘smoking cigarettes’.

        None of the studies that have demonstrated that cigarette smoking is bad for your health have ever controlled for the way in which the tobacco was grown. Therefore you can just as easily claim that smoking tobacco is perfectly fine for your health, so long as it is grown using, for example, organic fertilizer.

        Not only would such a study never gain ethics approval, but it is also unnecessary. We can safely conclude that smoking tobacco is bad for your health without ever conducting such a study. The reason for this is that the epidemiological evidence which demonstrates cigarette smoking to be bad for your health is not the only type of evidence that supports the said conclusion. There are also a plethora of mechanistic studies (as there are to supplement the meat/health research) that demonstrate the mechanism by which tobacco smoking causes, for example, cancer. It would be ludicrous to claim that using organic fertilizer to grow tobacco could change the concentrations of benzo[a]pyrene produced upon tobacco combustion. And for the same reason it is also ludicrous to claim that grass fed beef could possibly cause any less cancer than grain fed beef when consumed in the same manner.

        New Zealand is a great example. The majority of New Zealand beef is from animals that are grass fed, yet we still have among the highest rate of colorectal cancer in the western world. If the epidemiological data produced in the WCRF report could be explained away by citing differences in cattle food sources, why on Earth wouldn’t New Zealand have a lower rate of these health outcomes compared to countries which eat grain fed beef at the same rate?

        To be quite honest I don’t think Paleo advocates are interested in using logic and good science. I think they behave more like a defense lawyer trying to defend his guilty client. Start with the position that meat consumption is innocent and argue that position until the cows come home regardless of the undeniable evidence put forward by the prosecution.

        You are only lying to yourselves…

        • “New Zealand is a great example. The majority of New Zealand beef is from animals that are grass fed, yet we still have among the highest rate of colorectal cancer in the western world.”

          I think there are multiple logical fallacies at work here, perhaps Hasty Generalization. In order for the association you are making between beef consumption and cancer to have any validity, you’d have to account for all the other variables, name what ELSE are people in NZ eating.

    • Those studies are done by people eating the typical American diet. If you look at any tribe isolated from the industrialized society you will find at least 50% of their diet comes from animal sources, and those people are extrememly healthy (i.e. Sami from Sweeden, Inuit from Alaska, Hiwi from Venezuela, and many more.) Even Dr, Weston A. Price didn’t find a single vegetarian trive on his journeys, and the one that was the closest was the “least hearty”. In case you didn’t know, he was hoping to find a vegetarian tribe. Vegetarianism is a modern day luxury. Those studies you are referring to are not done on people following a strict Paleo diet, closest to their ancestors.

      • Unfortunately, you general statement regarding non-industrialized tribes is both incorrect and misleading. There is more than ample evidence to suggest that most tribes were more gatherers than hunters. And without a mechanism to examine them for relative health status and major factors that contributed to their relative lifespans a statement that they were extremely healthy. Again, it is always dangerous to start with the desired answer and back into the questions and be selective in which scientific findings to site. Read the China Study and then make your case that a Paleo diet is anything more than the Atkins or South Beach diet under a different marketing label. The evidence suggests that a high animal protein and fat diet is neither healthy nor indicated by all ancestors.

        • What about all the evidence that suggests that a high carbohydrate, low animal fat diet is neither healthy nor indicated by ancestors?

          Lucky for paleo dieters, the China study doesn’t prove anything that would suggest they change their dietary habits. The data doesn’t stand up to scrutiny. In fact the researcher is accused of doing exactly what you’re accusing the other poster of – of starting with an opinion and twisting the data until he “validated” it.

          Why would any similarities to the Atkins or South Beach diet be bad for paleo? It would seem that coming to similar conclusions from completely different starting points would only bolster the credibility of all three.

    • What all of your examples conclude is that eating TOO MUCH MEAT is bad for your health with respect to certain disease. Which makes sense, eating too much of mostly anything will be bad as your body will have issues with over nutrition. What the study DOES NOT STATE is that completely removing meat from the diet is healthier than a balanced diet that includes meat. None of the above referenced studies included analysis from healthy volunteers that included meat in their diets, but ate it in moderation. It is sad that you think these studies support vegetarianism. What they show is that too much meat is not good for you.
      There is a lot of evidence that vegetarians have under nutrition issues such as weaker bones, thyroid problems and weaker heart muscles.

      • Actually, there is such a study and it was the largest nutritional study ever conducted. Its called the China Study and you should read it. There are increasingly some well produced documentaries that are presenting the actual scientific evidence surrounding diet and nutrition. And it is becoming rather sad that notions such as milk or dairy being nutritionally sound, let along the promotion of any supplements. What is long since been proven false is the “well balanced” diet that was put forth in the 1950’s to promote the meat industry, dairy industry and white bread industry. Here is a simple test….if milk, white bread and meat were such a good source of nutrition, then why would they need to be fortified and why would a multi-vitamin be recommended? Bottom line you only need to eat what your body needs on any given day and there are healthy and less healthy sources for these nutrients. And the science clearly shows which is which. Its really that simple.

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