The Reason Meat and Animal Products Can Negatively Impact Your Weight Loss and Diet Plan

In my previous articles I explained how we basically get our nutrition from 3 main “food” sources: plant (fruits and vegetables), animal (beef, cheese, chicken, eggs, etc.) and laboratory synthesized (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, hydrogenated oils, etc). I then went on to explain how the fruit and vegetables of today are grossly lacking in the nutrition that they once possessed years ago.

Today, I want to talk about out meat based foods and explain that the problem with these is not with what they are lacking, but what is being added. You need to understand the reasons that meat and animal products can negatively impact your weight loss and diet plan.

Let’s look at beef as an example. Personally, a good steak or a slice of prime rib is one of my favourite meals. But where does beef come from?

Well duh! It comes from cows.

And who raises cows?

Well the answer to that should be a “no brainer” as well. Farmers raise cows. And that is the way it should be.

I live in rural Quebec. My neighbours are all farmers and they all raise cows. I see these cows out in the fields every day in the spring, summer and fall happily grazing on grass. In the winter, they have a huge barn which they have access to which is full of fresh hay for them to eat. These are the cows that I eat.

But are these the cows that you purchase in your local grocery store?

Sadly they are not. My neighbours barely make enough money from their herds to cover the expenses of these animals. First the calf has to purchased, then it has veterinary expenses, then it needs nutritional supplements (farmers know that the soil is missing certain elements and thus compensate for that. In our region, our soil is completely lacking in selenium.), then there is the electricity the barn uses for lights and to keep the water from freezing, and lastly there are tons of fuel expenses for cutting and transporting the hay.

Most small rural farmers raise cattle as a side income only. “Farmers” can’t make much money raising cattle because they have to compete with “industry” who are the primary cattle raisers in North America. Some of the largest cattle “ranches” in the USA are found in Arizona. In fact, they aren’t even called ranches or farms. They are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). 97% of all beef in the U.S. comes from CAFOs.

“So what is wrong with Arizona?” you may ask.

What do naturally eat? Grass.

What type of environment is Arizona? It’s a desert. So… no grass.

Cows have 4 stomachs. They evolved in this manner as they are a grazing animals that are meant to eat grass at a leisurely pace and slowly digest it in their stomachs. But since raising cows in these feed lots is not about producing food, it’s about producing money, CAFOs don’t have the time to fatten their cows naturally.

So in these feed lots cows are primarily fed a mixture of grain and corn, and in some cases rendered protein and even concrete dust! Rendered protein is the ground up carcasses of dead pigs (this is a problem because cows are herbivores, not carnivores). Concrete dust was found to increase the weight of cows at auction (heavier cows sell for more money!).

In the CAFOs, living conditions are not quite the same as here on my neighbouring farms and the cows are stressed. Stressed animals have weakened immune systems. Cows with weak immune systems are at greater risk for illness. Living in such high density corrals means that if one cow gets sick, they likely all will. So to reduce the risk of losing a cow, most cattle are fed prophylactic antibiotics to keep them “healthy”.

Don’t think of CAFOs as farms, they are cattle factories just like a car factory. Do you think Ford wants to spend a full month getting a car through the assembly line? No they want that car to be built and out of there as quickly as possible. It’s the same with the beef. The more cattle they can pump through in a year, the more money they make.

To encourage growth in these cows they are also administered growth hormones and steroids. So here you have cows that are taking regular injections of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones, eating a diet that is completely unnatural to them, and packed into a super small living space. On top of that, the feed that they are fed is itself genetically modified and loaded with herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.

These are the cows that are sent to slaughter and end up in your grocery stores! This is the beef you are eating. Pigs, chickens, lambs, and even fish are all raised in pretty much the same manner and experience the same outcome.

Just think about it. If your food is full of antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals, what makes you immune to them?

Have you noticed how big kids are these days? Have you noticed how early young girls start to physically mature? The kids today look a lot different now than when I went to public school just 30 short years ago. Do think this might have something to do with all the steroids and growth hormones they are getting second hand in their milk and meat products?

In the case of vegetables, your body is being placed under stress due to a lack of nutrition. In the case of meat, your body is being placed under stress due to the added chemicals and hormones. In an upcoming article, I’ll discuss how it is these stressors on the body, and not the number of calories that are primarily responsible for weight gain and excess body and visceral fat.

Krill Bill: The Hidden Toll of Krill Oil Supplements

There is no better antidote to human hubris than a bathroom scale. For all that we’ve achieved, our species remains a minuscule part of Nature, and unlikely to be missed if we had anywhere else to go to. To put things in perspective, consider the krill – a tiny crustacean that does nothing but feed on plankton. Just one single subspecies of krill would be sufficient to displace the entire mass of humanity – twice.

Fortunately, our race has taken prompt remedial action by harvesting them for food. Their processed remains are now found in animal feed as a form of “protein bulk”, which is effectively a seafood equivalent of the “mystery” in “mystery meat”. As fisheries go they aren’t making huge profits from these sales, but the enterprising plough on nonetheless for a very good reason. It turns out that these little creatures secrete buckets of pure gold.

The benefits of krill oil are now emblazoned throughout health stores; salespeople on commission are tattooing them on their foreheads for good measure. There is at least one promising ingredient in them: a form of anti-oxidant called astaxanthin. Research on its potential health benefits is ongoing, but at least there’s no question of food safety. Most national regulatory bodies already classify it as a legal food colouring additive.

This colourful antioxidant is now poised to steal the fish-oil thunder, by virtue of its relative purity and superior benefits. Of course, it’s quite difficult to pinpoint exactly where the superiority lies, since fish oils contain a larger variety of anti-oxidants, all of which come with proven benefits. (It must be noted that uric acid, the most abundant form of anti-oxidant in the human body, is responsible for gout when it is too readily available.) Omega-3, an essential fatty acid, is also conspicuously absent in krill oils. This is because the oils are derived from deep-sea fish that have been feeding on omega-3 rich microalgae all its life, whereas individual krills have too small a body mass to store anything within its flesh.

The tattooed salespeople would probably remind you at this point that this also happens to be the reason krill oils are free from heavy metal poisons, since they can’t accumulate anything properly. However, any decent manufacturer would put their marine oil products through a rigorous distillation process. With fish oil, you have a purified condensate of fatty acid; with krill oil, you have a purified mixture of colour additives.

So if you don’t want to lose out on the potential benefits of krill oil, there’s one cost-effective solution you can take. Simply buy fish oils impregnated with astaxanthin, and you will have hedged your bets without accidentally upsetting the balance in our ecology, or the balance in your bank account. Do not under any circumstances neglect your omega-3 intake, since it’s now conclusively associated with a wide range of cardiovascular and degenerative disorders.

Besides, when we’re dealing with dietary supplements, the devil you know beats the devil you don’t. Who knows what those shrimp-like creatures are up to anyway? There are so many of them.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions About Natural Pet Supplements

When it comes to natural pet supplements, everyone has their own opinion. Some say they are very essential for dogs, some say they are not, some say they only give short term results, and some say they give long term results. So, naturally, a lot of dog owners are confused. So, here is an attempt to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about pet supplements.

What are pet natural supplements?
They are dietary supplements which can be helpful for your dog. Homeopathic veterinarians believe that natural herbs resemble many of the foods dogs would eat in the wild. There is a growing body of clinical support for this approach.

What do they contain?
Natural pet supplements, as the name clearly suggests, contain natural substances which have therapeutic effects and are essential for your dog’s health.

What do they do?
For dogs that respond, they have the potential to improve your dog’s immune system, strengthen its vital organs and improve their functioning, increase its disease resistance capacity, cleanse its body, neutralize the free radicals that damage its body, keep blood sugar and blood pressure under control, and prevent a number of health problems. In short – they help your dog live a long, healthy life.

Are they safe?
Yes, they are. High quality natural pet supplements usually contain substances that are approved by the FDA and so they are perfectly safe for your dog. The only thing you need to look for is that the product meets the guidelines set by the DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health Education Act).

But the market is filled with such supplements. How do I choose the right one?
It is a very good question. As you know, if you want the best results, you should choose the best product. When it comes to pet natural supplements, the quality of the product is directly proportional to the quality of its ingredients. So, you should look for a product that contains natural substances like Astragalus membranaceous (Huang Qi), Viscum album (mistletoe), Echinacea purpurea, Withania somnifera (Indian ginseng), Sylibum marianus (milk thistle), and Uncaria tormentosa (cat’s claw). A number of clinical studies have confirmed that these substances are highly potent and completely safe to use.

Should I make any changes to my dog’s diet?
It depends on what kind of diet your dog is on. As long as you are using a premium food that is AAFCO certified and the label says “nutritional adequacy was validated by animal feeding tests based on protocols from the American Association of Feed Control Officials.” Also, you should make sure your dog drinks plenty of clean water and urinates properly. Home made foods may not do as good a job of providing a dog with the nutrients needed, unless prepared under the guidance of a veterinary nutritionist.

How do I give these supplements to my dog?
Most of these natural pet supplements come in the form of capsules. Depending on your dog’s preference, you can either give these capsules directly or mix them with dog food. Since they do not have a repugnant odor or taste, they can be easily mixed with food and given to your dog.

Are these supplements meant for short-term use or long term use?
Without a doubt, they are meant for long-term use. Depending on your pet’s size, age, and health, you should give an appropriate dose of these pet natural supplements every day without fail. This will help your dog stay young, active, and healthy for a long time.

Are these supplements costly?
No, they are not. A month’s supply of these dietary supplements will only cost around $40. Considering their benefits, it can be worth the price for dogs that respond to their use.

Should I consult my vet before giving these natural pet supplements to my dog?
Yes, you should. Your vet is the person who knows your dog’s health condition better than anyone else. So, you should consult him before giving any dietary supplement to your dog. This way, he will be able to monitor the results over a period of time and advise accordingly.