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Kirk’s #GoVeggies 31-Day Challenge, Day 22: Does Meat Cause Cancer?

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Kirk Charles
Kirk Charleshttp://KirkCharles.com
Kirk Charles is a personal trainer who specializes in wellness. He is a 30-year vegan.

What is it about meat that makes it so toxic to the human body?  As humans we’re not biologically suited to eat animal flesh.  Our digestive enzymes, stomach acid, intestinal villi, gut bacteria and overall anatomy is designed more adequately to run off carbohydrate rich foods.  That said, we cook meat (which contains no carbohydrates) to make it more palatable and easier to digest.  Imagine being seated for dinner table with a freshly killed steer leg in the center of the table, oozing with blood, just waiting for you to bite into it—without any utensils.  That’s what natural meat-eating animals do, not human beings (of course, a few zealots will eat anything raw). 

But cooked meat, especially pan frying and grilling, present two difficulties for the human body.  Using those cooking methods cancer causing agents are formed that have no place in our bodies.  When animal fat juices on an open grill drip onto heated coals or fire, smoke is produced.  That smoke rises up and coats the grilled meat with carcinogenic agents called PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons).  PAHs can be found in coal tar, roofing tar and crude oil.  They can also be found in dyes, plastics, pesticides and even some medicines.  HCAs, (heterocyclic amines) are formed whenever meat is cooked at high temperatures.  The more it is crispy, charred, burned or has grill marks, the more HCAs are present.

There seems to be no acute effect when eating cooked meat.  Experts agree that all meat should be cooked enough to kill bacteria, but not too much that it is burned.  Exactly how much cooking is necessary is up to your tasted buds.  But, the chronic effect of meat consumption leading to cancer is always present.  There’s a saying, “Pay me now or pay me later.”  That axiom, as it pertains to meat consumption, can be avoided by a plant-based diet.

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