Scientific evidence points to the fact that eating sugar and fat may stimulate the pleasure at the same body receptors (opioid receptors) that respond to the drug morphine. Thus, eating fat can make us, if not addictive, at least very close to it. And here is why.

We need fat

In the history of evolution, man has developed an affinity for fat as a way of survival. For our ancestors, dietary fat was scarce, but it was a vital source of essential nutrients and energy. Almost all natural foods available to them, plants and animals, were low in fat. A few exceptions were eggs and organ meats.

Fat is necessary for us because it is part of our cell membranes and is required for human health. It goes without saying that our ancestors also needed the calories fat supplied to them to have energy to gather the food they needed in order to survive (seems like a vicious circle). Because of all this, it is normal that our ancestors would acquire a taste for fat that became a built-in aspect of our metabolism over the eons.

They don’t make meat as they used to

Our ancestors ate meat. This suggests that we should also be well adapted to eat meat and that doing so, it should not be bad for our
health. On the other hand, you have probably heard or read that meat is high in saturated fat and may contribute to the risk of heart disease and cancer. So, what are we missing here?

The meat we eat now is not the lean meat our ancestors used to eat. Nowadays, beef cattle contain 25-30 percent fat by weight. The fat content found in free African antelopes and other animals like them which we think are similar to the animals our ancestors hunted, is generally under 4 percent. So, we have increased the fat content of meat nearly 10 times.

But having increased the amount of fat in our diet is not all. We have also changed the type of fat we eat. Modern meat is high in
saturated fat, the kind associated with raising cholesterol and increasing our risk of heart disease.

On the other hand, the meat our ancestors ate was low in saturated fat and high in poly-unsaturated fat such as omega-3s, a fat
considered healthy. Omega 3 fatty acids are almost completely absent from modern meat due to the way cattle is raised.

The same thing is happening to fish, by the way. Salmon raised in farms do not eat algae from which they obtain their omega 3s, making them deficient in this type of fat also.

How to avoid the wrong saturated fat

By knowing this problem exists, you can plan for a strategy that will limit the damaging type of saturated fat which is unfortunately the most commonly available to us.

Keep in mind that when we talk about the saturated fat our modern meat contains, we also need to include the products derive from cattle such as milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, etc. the same applies to chickens, turkeys, and any other animals that are part of our diet.

So, when shopping for red meat or poultry products, look for the following:

Products from animals raised in the open fields.
Products from animals fed with grass, not with grains. Grass is a source of omega 3 fats; grains are not.
Products from animals that had not been fed hormones or antibiotics.
Read the food label of the product and look for the saturated fat content. Buy the leanest meat.

You need to look for saturated fat not only in meat and dairy products but also in cookies, ice-cream, breads, etc. because those products, if they include saturated fat, you can count on being the wrong type.

Final word

Regardless of what a vegetarian person may say, there is nothing wrong with eating moderate amounts of red meat or chicken if that meat comes from healthy animals raised the proper way. Because that is not always the case, make sure you look for quality when buying them.

I know by experience that products from animals raised organically are more expensive, but you can save yourself future trouble and a few visits to your doctors if you buy organic.


I am Andy Carpenter and I would start by saying that I have a Bachelor Degree in Nutrition Science conferred by California State University, Los Angeles and that I am certified as a Registered Dietitian.

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