[extropy-chat] More upsides to meat than meet the eye.

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Sun Sep 24 06:34:07 UTC 2006

--- Ensel Sharon <user at dhp.com> wrote:

> I have recently been in the process of re-evaluating
> my diet as relates to
> health, longevity, athletic performance and
> environmental impact.
> So it would seem that there is something to having
> meat in your diet - it
> would seem that its premium in (relative) price and
> its stimulative effect
> on growth and development are not imaginary.
> At the same time, I am reminded of a quote:
> "Short term expedients always fail in the long
> term"[1]
> ... and clearly meat fails in the long term (in
> relation to health and
> longevity) ... but if that is so, what is its short
> term expedient ?
> My own well being and positive results suggest I
> will continue to remove
> meat, and animal products in general, from my diet,
> but I'd like to have a
> better grasp of what I am giving up, and what, in
> most basic terms, meat
> is good for.  All comments appreciated.

Actually in retrospect, my original answer to your
question was more historically oriented which I think
is less relevent to your own decision to cut animal
products from your diet. Now that you have heard the
conventional wisdom of eating meat, I will now tell
you some the unconventional wisdom regarding meat.

This is a bit more more speculative than the previous
things I mentioned but is actually compelling enough
to give me a rationale to not cut animal products from
my diet. Since it is by no means proven and opinions
differ, consider an experiment I am performing on

The best thing I can say in the defense of meat from a
longevity stand point is that it has a glycemic index
of zero. This means that no insulin is used to process
it into energy. Type II diabetes, which is a form of
premature aging, seems to be brought about in part
from excessive carbohydrate consumption which I feel
many vegetarians are prone too. While many vegetables,
the high fiber-low carb ones like celery, spinach, and
such are good for you, some like carrots and potatoes
seem to be really bad.

Metabolism is a complex system but it seems pretty
clear that insulin is MAJOR growth factor and as such
is implicated in aging, diabetes, and cancer.

In as much as I seem to be able to control my diet
with the manic urban lifestyle, I tend to try to
emphasize high fiber content vegetables and lean meats
like turkey (high in arginine). The exceptions to this
are fish wherein, I think the fattier the better.
Salmon, sardines, and tuna are all staples of mine.

Omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help prevent
cholesterol oxidation which how free radicals turn a
vital nutrient into an artery clogging poison. It also
helps prevent inflammation and type II diabetes. Of
course you can get omega-3s from vegetable sources as
well. Nuts and seeds are good sources.

Somewhat less defensible is my love of eggs. Yeah they
got cholesterol but if you think about it, they are
one of the few things evolution specifically designed
to be eaten. I am hoping that my omega-3 intake will
protect me.

The one thing that would be a great would be a way to
routinely monitor and control the size of the LDL
particles in my blood. While LDLs have been getting a
bad rap the last few years, a study of a cohort of
centenarians conducted by gerontologists at the Albert
Einstein College of Medicine seems to suggest that it
is the SIZE of the LDL particles and not the
concentration that seems to be important for

Centenarians tend to have as much LDL as anyone else
but the sizes of the particles in their blood have a
larger average diameter. How this is protective is
unknown but it is theorized that the larger particles
present less surface area for the oxidation of the
cholestrol in those particles which as I mentioned
above is the big culprit in heart disease.

Any ways I hope all of this helps. Good luck. 

Stuart LaForge
alt email: stuart"AT"ucla.edu

"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us 
with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use." 

-Galileo Galilei

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