Neal Barnard: Hissing temptation: the temptation of meat

Neal Barnard, MD (Neal Barnard, M.D.) - President and founder of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (Physicians Committee for Respponsible Medicine), a nonprofit organization based in Washington, District of Columbia.

The book "Overcoming food temptations," based on the study's authors and other prominent scientists from leading universities, talks about what changes in diet and lifestyle can destroy the unhealthy cycle of addictions.

Chapter "Hissing temptation: the temptation of meat»

Fried piece of meat - is the embodiment of temptation. Kebab, Chicken "tobacco", the eternal holiday turkey, fish fillet in the "tartare" sauce ... for many people there is nothing more attractive. Let cholesterol in them more than the water in the oceans, let the doctors unanimously repeat about the benefits of moderation, albeit newspaper cartoons making fun of our habit of eating meat - "Here's your piece ... and a course of chemotherapy in the bargain", - happy butcher buyer. Despite all the machinations of the "enemies", we do not produce meat knife from our fleshy jaw.

Most doctors urge people to limit - or eliminate - the consumption of meat. The fact there are good reasons.

With mostly meat nutrition related to the emergence of more deadly diseases than any other lifestyle factors or environmental effects. Cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, kidney disease, obesity, food poisoning, and many other ailments common among meat eaters several times more frequently than among those who do not consume meat. Researchers have come a long way in the search for an explanation why the consumption of animal protein, animal fat and cholesterol lead to such serious consequences.

Fans of meat stubbornly ignore the danger of pushing the pseudo-scientific arguments, asserting "carnivores' diets, such as Atkins. These arguments, as we shall see, does not stand up to scrutiny. The fact remains that one "sitting down" for meat, a person does not want to come off this tenacious hook. No wonder hamburgers and fried chicken, violently pushed to the Asian market international networks of fast food very quickly acquired the crowd of fans in this part of the world. It is against the background of the fact that the arrival of the Western power brought unseen there in Asia medical weight problems, heart and blood vessels, and an unprecedented level of cancer.

Recently, I flew on a plane from Los Angeles to Washington, DC home. When the truck pulled up with lunch, a man and a woman sitting on a nearby chair, chose the beef with pasta. The conversation touched the food, and out of it, it became clear that the lady seriously worried about the health of companion. He stood in the center of the stent to expand the coronary artery. Even after surgery, he did not change your diet, - the truth about diet and the doctor is not particularly spread - and the return of heart disease loomed on the horizon. He was not involved in sports. Although both were over sixty, they got married recently, and she feared that her beloved is not watching them. Honeymooner was aware that should drastically reduce meat in their diet, and willingly believe that this measure will help him. However, he could not imagine a full meal without meat. But life without the usual hearty meal seemed meaningless to him.

Flying across the country from the west coast to the east lasts for five hours. This time is enough to understand many things. But before we get back to our pair of fellow travelers, let's peer into the problem.

Is meat craving Causes?

Many children initially do not like meat. When kids start to lure solid food, rice and fruit they immediately come to their liking. And from the meat they refuse, as if my mother offered them a beer or a cigarette. However, it takes a little time, and the child gets used to the meat, in the future, this habit can become obsessive.

In April 2000, a survey was conducted among 1,244 US adults, which found that a quarter of Americans would agree week not to eat meat, even if they paid for it a thousand dollars. People of Asian and Latin origin are more readily be accepted that a hypothetical offer (at least 10% of them rejected it), presumably because of their national cuisine abound vegetarian dishes. Black and white Americans were much less accommodating: 29% of African Americans and 24% of whites have flatly refused to exchange the meat for money

. News about cholesterol, fat, Salmonella, E. coli Escherichia coli, mad cow and foot and mouth disease come and go, but people continue to eat meat. How could so much enthusiasm? Nature has bestowed the muscles animals so that they can move their feet, clap their wings and tails to wag, and does not think the muscle tissue as a nutritional supplement to man.

Let's start with the fact that fatty foods appeal is fully justified from a biological point of view. Fat is the most high-calorie portion of any product (in one gram of fat contains nine calories, compared to only four calories per gram of carbohydrate or protein). It is expected that with the development of our species are the people who know where the more calories, ie stretched to more fatty foods were more likely to survive in the conditions of lack of food.

When the now long-rooted taste for fatty pushes us to eat some nuts, seeds and olives, no harm to the body is not harmful. Nature had no idea that in the future, the desire for fatty foods will lead us into the arms of hamburgers, fried chicken and other dangerously fat and stuffed with food cholesterol. Approximately 20 to 70 percent of calories in meat provides pure fat.

Love to meat, and at the same time and fries, onion rings, and any other food with a high fat content due to the hardships of the evolutionary path of mankind, who led us to prefer high-calorie foods. Not the last role is played and banal force of habit. Scientists believe that as soon as we get used to the greasy food, seeing it on his plate every day, we come to love and want it up.

Interestingly, in the habit of meat can be another side. Experimental results indicate that, like sugar and chocolate, meat may also have narkopodobnymi properties. When researchers using naloxone blocked the volunteers opiate receptors, meat products partially lost their appeal.

So, a group of scientists of Edinburgh (Scotland) has determined that the neutralizing effect of opiate meat ham attraction for participants was reduced by 10%, a craving for salami declined by 25%, and purely gastronomic interest in tuna fell by 50%.

By the way, the same pattern they discovered in respect of cheese, which, of course, it is not surprising if we recall a cocktail of opiates is in the cheese. It seems that there is something like this: when the meat is in the language of the brain opiates are released to encourage you - rightly or mistakenly - for high-calorie food choices and therefore push you to to enter it into a habit.

Scientists look for another clue to the addiction to meat. It turns out that the meat provokes unexpectedly strong release of insulin, like cookies or bread. This fact could not surprise the experts on nutrition.

In turn, insulin associated with a splash of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine - a substance that is responsible for pleasure - is released under the influence of any drug: opiates, nicotine, hard liquor, amphetamines, etc. Dopamine activates the pleasure center in the brain

.. People who are accustomed to associate insulin exclusively with carbohydrates, it is not clear how meat can cause a release of insulin. It is known that carbohydrates - sweet and starchy foods - in the digestive process to break down the molecules of natural sugar. As soon as these molecules get into the bloodstream, they stimulate the release of insulin - a hormone transmitting sugar into the cells. The protein also triggers a surge of insulin.

In the course of research the volunteers offered the most variety of food, and they took a blood test for the next two hours every fifteen minutes. Meat is a significant, if somewhat unexpected, raising insulin levels. At the same time beef and cheese cause a bigger insulin release than pasta, and fish - more than popcorn

. Today, scientists are only suitable to the disclosure of the secrets of how insulin is associated with human attachments. Medics puzzled stories diabetic patients were on insulin therapy, which surreptitiously increased the dose and evidence that opiate-dependent people insulin function changed. In general, follow health news.

Today the good news is that, if you win the habit of meat for a few weeks, it is surprisingly easy to disappear from the memory permanently. In our study patients, Dr. Dean Ornish cores and our subsequent investigations, including the group of women who wanted to lose weight, only a few participants at the refusal of meat, still felt him pull. they could eat it if you want, but the habit of meat on them is no longer dominated. Many compared his attitude to the meat with the fact that people think about tobacco former smokers: something from which delighted that escaped.

Meanwhile, in a plane at an altitude of 11,000 meters of my companions asked me how, in practice, people overcome the habit of meat: "I just do not believe that I can give up meat, - the man said. - It is hard to even imagine. " "And do not - at least at first - I reassured him. - First things first, before you rule out any of the power necessary to bring the new into it. Certainly, there are many friends and loved your meals without meat. »

We figured with spaghetti in tomato sauce with fresh basil, vegetable stew, pea soup. "Chile" can be delicious without meat. All Indian vegetable dishes with curry sauce. From Mexican food - bean burrito with spicy salsa. They have never tried a veggie burger, but believe in the word, that he can be a very good-looking. Baked potatoes with mushroom sauce - Yum. "Do not hurry. Find those dishes that you really like - I said. - As you will already have a wide variety of delicious and healthy dishes, and kitchen supply of healthy foods, then you can eliminate meat. The trick is to not eat of it for three weeks. »

The fact is that if refrain from meat for three weeks, the taste changes. For example, what happens to those who are going with whole milk to skim quickly come to talk and can not drink milk fat. It is necessary to make the food more easily, tastes gradually adapted. And this process will take about three weeks.

If you take up the matter with confidence, firm and will not cheat, taste buds will learn to love the food, the corresponding your new preferences. After three weeks, you decide for yourself, stick to those preferences or not.

By the time of planting my casual companions were intrigued by the new perspectives in full. Finally, a glimmer of hope that the man will be able to improve their health. And the new menu looked very appealing. Both can become more energetic, stronger, leaner and together heal full life.


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