There has been a lot of debate in recent years over whether humans are naturally meat-eating creatures or whether we are better suited genetically to a vegetarian lifestyle. Strong arguments can be made for both sides.
We do know, however, that the earliest humans were opportunistic eaters whose food consumption habits gradually evolved from fruit to flesh. This change came about as a survival mechanism.
Our digestive systems are ill-suited to breaking down complex carbohydrate fibers such as tree bark and range grass into useable nutrients, but we are quite capable of devouring the meat of goats, deer and other animals that consume bark and grass as staples.
Lean meat is made up mainly of protein, and research suggests that protein tends to be more satisfying and helps us feel full longer that carbohydrates of fats. Apart from helping to avoid hunger, protein also provides our bodies with amino acids required for the building of muscle tissue and it is less likely to be converted by the body into to stored fat than plant-based fats and carbohydrates are.
Nutritionist and author Dr. Mike Roussell (“The 6 Pillars of Nutrition”) has written that “30 percent of your (daily) calories should come from protein.” He cites studies showing that weight loss is actually aided by increasing the consumption of protein, and he recommends “consuming lean protein throughout the day.”
High on his list of protein sources are eggs, lean breakfast meats, chicken breasts, extra-lean ground turkey, extra-lean ground beef, turkey or chicken sausage and lean beef (top round, shoulder roast, skirt steak).
Cultivating a meat-eating habit is easy when you are prepared. Buy lean protein such as chicken breasts in bulk and cook up a week’s worth on Sunday evening. Then, try to have a bit with each meal.
But don’t fool yourself. Chicken breasts that have been breaded and fried do not constitute an optimally healthy protein source, compared to simple grilled chicken breast.
Similarly, avoid meats cooked in heavy sauces or marinated in seasoned oils. Keep the spices to a minimum, too, in order to enjoy the true flavor of your “prey.”
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