Should older people meat and dairy products?

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Should older people meat and dairy products?

A few days ago, a Chinese article caught my attention saying that people at 50 or older should eat quite some meat every day to maintain their health. But is it true they have to eat meat to maintain health?  The truth is, if you eat too much meat and dairy products, you are waiting to get cancers like breast cancer, colon cancer and prostate cancer.

In contrast, we never hear eating plant-based diet will get you cancer.

Many consumers may not be savvy enough to know that the meat and dairy industries like them to consume their products.  If consumers do not use their products, they go bankrupt.  So they promote consumption of meat and dairy products. They would tell you their products are needed for your health.

Is it really? Do you have to eat meat and dairy products to be healthy?

Dr. Colin Campbell, a well-known nutritionist at Cornell University says in his book China Study that meat and dairy products are not necessary.  One can get all the nutrients he needs from plant-based diet. And in fact, many nutrients can only be obtained from plants such as vitamins and minerals.  The only abundant macronutrient meat and dairy products provide is protein while plant foods provide you everything except for vitamin B12.

Meat and dairy products can be a good source of protein. They can be useful for children to grow their bodies.  Children eat a lot of meat and dairy products like cheese tend to be taller.  Older people eat a lot of meat and dairy products tend to have high levels of hormones and make them look healthier and younger.

But there are problems with meat and dairy products.  For instance, children eating a lot of meat and dairy products tend to be sexually mature earlier. Girls who are sexually mature earlier have a high risk for breast cancer and other hormone related cancers.  Taller women are found to have higher risk for breast cancer. Likely, tall men may also have high cancer risk.  Older people eating too much meat and dairy products tend to have higher risk for heart disease and cancer.

Red meats like beef, pork and lamb and processed meats like bacon, sausage, hot dogs, luncheon meat and ham can be particularly harmful. Toxic preservatives are used for processed meat.  Cooking process can cause a lot of cancer-causing agents. Dairy products are linked to prostate cancer.   Dairy products and all sorts of meat are fairly dirty and can carry a lot of toxic contaminants from the processing and packaging.

In comparison, plant foods are much cleaner even though there may contain some residual pesticides.   Dr. Campbell says that eating plant-based diet is better even if pesticides may be present in plant foods. (Meat and dairy products can be contaminated with pesticides too because the plant-foods they eat.)

Eating meat and dairy products make people more vulnerable to heart disease and cancer.   Studies show that meat eaters are more likely to develop liver cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, and other cancers.

The problem plant food eaters may have is they may not have a nutritionally balanced diet.  But that does not mean plant-derived foods are not good.   If they can have a variety of plant-derived foods every day, they get enough nutrition.  And they do not have to eat meat and dairy products for their health.

Not eating meat and dairy products are critically important for many cancer patients if not all.  Many patients with breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colon cancer recover after they follow a vegetarian diet. There is a reason for that!

We rarely hear that eating plant-foods will cause heart disease and cancer.

In conclusion, older men will be better off not eating a lot of meat and dairy products.  They better eat a lot of plant-derived foods. (David Liu)

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