It turns out vegetarians may be on to something!
A new "cradle-to-grave" report of the environmental impact of 20 popular types of meat, dairy and vegetable proteins shows that eating too much may be bad for our health!
Using past studies, the Environmental Working Group found a "whole host of reasons" Americans should cut back on their consumption of meat.
For starters, a 2009 report from the National Cancer Institute found that people who ate the most red meat were 27% more likely to die of heart disease because of high levels of cholesterol-rising saturated fat. Similarly, serious meat eaters were 20% more likely to die of cancer than those who consumed the least amount of meat.
Kari Hamerschlag, an agriculture analyst with the research and advocacy group behind the report, said:
"On the health side, we really pulled together all of the information and tried to make it as clear as possible that there's not just one reason to limit meat consumption; there are a whole host of reasons."
Even though meat is recommended as part of a healthy, balanced diet, the report suggests America may simply be eating too much of it.
Data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization suggests that Americans consume almost 60% more meat than their European counterparts, and four times more than in many developing countries!
So what can we do about it?
Joan Salge Blake, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, recommends:
"If you focus on filling up on fruits and veggies, so they're at least half your plate, you're not going to have a lot of room left to even eat all that meat. The biggest thing is just getting down the amount we eat."
Yes! There's nothing wrong with eating meat, but we need to be more conscious about HOW MUCH of it we eat and make an effort to eat more veggies!
[Image via AP Images.]