Warum sind Fleisch, Innereien und tierisches Fett so gesund?

Why are meat, offal and animal fat so healthy?

A guest post by Andrea Simoneit (author, carnivore coach and editor of the Fleischzeit Podcast, the first German podcast on carnivore nutrition)

If you follow the current social debate about meat, you might think that meat has nothing good to offer. But this is not the case. Meat, especially offal and animal fats contain more nutrients than any other food. And these nutrients can help us get back into our health, into our fitness, and into our center. In addition, the nutrients are usually more easily bioavailable in animal form, which means that the body can use them better than in plant form. People always think that fruits and vegetables are the healthiest. But they can't keep up with meat by far.

What nutrients are in animal products?

Let's start with the egg whites. If we want to build muscle or skin, we have to get proteins from our food. Meat and other animal-based foods contain all the essential amino acids, which are protein building blocks that we need to form the body's own cells. Vegetable proteins usually do not contain all essential amino acids. In addition, plant foods also contain antinutrients that hinder the absorption of amino acids. If we compare 20 g of vegetable protein with 20 g of animal protein, then we will absorb about half, but sometimes even less, from the vegetable protein. The so-called DIAAS index provides information on this. It takes into account the absorption capacity of amino acids in the intestine. [1]

However, there is no special protein at all in vegetable foods. It is collagen. Our body substance consists of 30% collagen. Bone Broth, the good old bone broth, was a good source for our grandparents. Fatty or sinewy meat also contains collagen. So if you prefer to eat only muscle meat, you have a deficiency in this regard and should also drink bone broth or take collagen. [2]

Important nutrients that support our bodily functions are minerals.

The best known is iron. This comes in both animal and plant forms. However, the bioavailability of the animal form, the heme iron, is 5 times higher than that of the plant form, iron oxide. A good iron level leads to more vital energy and a better mood. Heme iron is particularly found in red meat and offal. [3]

Offal is a nutrient bomb when it comes to minerals. Iron, zinc, potassium and copper are contained in large quantities and are also bioavailable. On the other hand, the situation is different with minerals, for example in cereals. The phytic acid it contains prevents the absorption of minerals because it binds them. As a result, the intestine can hardly absorb the minerals contained in the grain. The same applies to nuts, which also contain this so-called antinutrient phytic acid. [4]

Meat and offal are vitamin bombs

It is widely known that vegetarians or even vegans are deficient in B vitamins, especially vitamin B12. Meat and offal contain B vitamins in large amounts. They perform a wide variety of functions in our organism, vitamin B7, biotin is good for skin, hair and nails, vitamin B9, folic acid is essential for pregnant women and is found in egg yolks or offal. Vitamin B12 is essential for cell renewal.

Vitamin A is also abundant in animal fats, especially from pasture-raised farming. In addition, it is more easily bioavailable in animal form than, for example, from carrots. [5]

Vitamin D is also found in animal fats. The Inuit, who cannot produce vitamin D from the sun all year round, get it exclusively from animal fats.

Finally, vitamin K should be mentioned. Here, too, a distinction must be made between the plant form, the K1, and the animal form, the K2. To this day, the German Society for Nutrition (DGE) does not distinguish between the two forms, although they have very different functions in our body. While vitamin K1 allows our blood to clot and most people have enough of it available, vitamin K2 is different. It is found in animal fats from pasture-raised farming. Its function is to transport the calcium we absorb to the right places, namely into the bones and teeth. On the other hand, it can remove calcium from soft tissue, such as blood vessels. Thus, it prevents calcification there and at the same time reduces the much-feared osteoporosis by strengthening our bones. [6]

Antioxidants are not only found in fruits, in vegetables

Let's move on to antioxidants. Again, the first thing that comes to mind is fruit and vegetables as sources of these anti-inflammatory substances. But meat also contains antioxidants, and not too little. These include the substances carnitine, carnosine, choline, creatine and taurine. Many people may be familiar with their names, but it is not well known that they can also reduce inflammation in our body. In addition to the antioxidant effects, these substances have other positive effects on our health. For example, carnitine leads to an increase in performance in sports, it improves fertility in women and men and has a significant effect against depression. Carnosine supports the elimination of toxic metals. Choline is essential, especially for pregnant women. It prevents defects in the fetus and promotes its brain development. Creatine improves cognitive performance and memory. It also promotes blood sugar regulation. And finally, taurine, whose name derives from Taurus 'taurus', actually reduces anxiety. Athletes often take these antioxidants as a supplement to enhance performance. However, there are studies on carnitine, for example, that show that it can be better absorbed from its natural form, i.e. from red meat or offal, than from artificial supplementation. [7]

The Truth About Animal Fats

Probably one of the biggest changes in our diet in recent decades has been the transition from vegetable to animal fats. We have been led to believe that animal fats are not good for our health. This would be due on the one hand to the saturated fatty acids and on the other hand to the harmful cholesterol. The dogma of unhealthy animal fat has become very firmly ingrained. Vegetable fats are still declared healthier by the media, but studies now speak a different language. Since we now know how well saturated fatty acids boost the metabolism, coconut oil has been hyped for several years, a saturated fat, but mainly plant-based. You don't want to admit that you could just as well or even better use beef lard. This is available regionally in abundance and also served our grandparents as a healthy source of fat. A saturated fatty acid found in beef lard is called stearic acid. Its name was also derived from the word 'bull'. It has a health-promoting effect in several ways. Consuming stearic acid decreases visceral fat. This is the name of our body fat, which is deposited between the organs and is associated with arteriosclerosis. In animal experiments, stearic acid has also been shown to improve insulin resistance. And it has even been shown in humans that their metabolism is boosted by stearic acid.

Cholesterol - a vital raw material for our body

It was not only the positive effect of saturated fatty acids that was wrong. Cholesterol also fulfils many important functions. However, since we consume almost exclusively vegetable fats today, we are lacking in cholesterol in many ways. Cholesterol is a component of our cell walls and serves to stabilize them. This means that cholesterol is also found in our skin and also serves as a basic substance in the production of vitamin D when exposed to the sun. Most cholesterol is found in our brain. There are studies that show that cholesterol improves cognitive performance and protects against dementia. Among autistic people, there is research that adding cholesterol relieves their symptoms. But cholesterol is also essential for our hormonal system. It serves as the basis for the production of sex hormones and the stress hormone cortisol.

The supposedly 'bad' LDL cholesterol is now also known to have many positive effects. High LDL levels are not the cause of cardiovascular disease. There are numerous cases of heart attacks that occur when LDL levels are low. On the other hand, people who live to a very old age have elevated LDL levels. LDL also improves the immune system and has an anti-inflammatory effect. That's why the body often produces more cholesterol during infections. [8]

So the functions and importance of cholesterol have been vastly underestimated in recent decades, and for the most part this is still the case. The dogma that 'animal fat' is unhealthy, but unfortunately persists in people's minds. The increase in so many diseases of civilization should give us pause for thought that there may be a connection between the decline in our meat consumption, especially offal and animal fat, and the deteriorating state of our health.

Meat has a lot to offer, meat is the most nutrient-dense food and meat heals. The Fleischzeit podcast offers numerous reports from those affected who were able to regain their health with the carnivorous diet. [9]

[1] https://www.carnitarier.de/2020/01/28/aminosäuren/

[2] https://www.carnitarier.de/2022/04/02/muskelfleisch/

[3] https://www.carnitarier.de/2021/08/30/eisen/

[4] https://www.carnitarier.de/2020/04/30/phytate/

[5] https://www.carnitarier.de/2019/08/01/vitamin-a/

[6] https://www.carnitarier.de/2022/10/09/vitamin-k2/

[7] https://www.carnitarier.de/2020/04/06/antioxidantien/

[8] https://www.carnitarier.de/2019/10/24/ldl/

[9] https://www.carnitarier.de/fleischzeitpodcast

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