Is Meat Addictive?
For years, I wondered why people, including myself at one point, would feel so tired when making a rapid transition to a nutrient rich diet. Lethargy, would raise the questions, "Am I getting enough nutrients?" Enough Protein, iron etc?
I knew intuitively at that time that it had something to do with vital energy, the stimulating qualities of animal products and the less stimulating effects of truly nutrient rich foods. Because nutrient rich foods are aren't toxic, like beef for example, you literally don't intoxicate yourself like you do when you are eating significant quantities of animal products.
Intoxication feels good, just drink a glass of wine or beer! It is just the withdrawal effects that nobody likes.
Well, last year, I found a deeper explanation for why this lethargy happens. I am not saying it's the only answer, because Joel Fuhrman M.D. also explains and I paraphrase our conversation...
"the toxic metabolites of animal products that are flowing through the body, once consumption of animal products is dramatically lessened or eliminated, the presence of these toxic metabolites creates this hangover feeling."
Like a hangover from alcohol, this feeling is the process of withdrawal or detoxification that a healthy body that is always trending towards health will initiate. That hangover from animal products like beef, is saving your life!
Note: there is much more to the personal energy equation, but when it comes to food, this is a BIG factor.
I realized this morning, that I had never done a blog post about this, particularly highlighting a new finding.
Here is what I found...
According to George D Pamplona-Roger, M.D. in his book "Foods That Heal" -
"The stimulant hypoxanthine, not any special properties of its protein, vitamins, or minerals is responsible for the satisfying and stimulating effects of meat. It is similar in chemical formula and effect as caffeine.
It has been known since antiquity that those who regularly eat meat experience some degree of enervation when they are deprived of this food for some time. This sensation that "something is missing" always results from abruptly removing meat from the diet, even when it is replaced with plant foods and dietary supplements providing as much or even more protein and nutrients as meat.
He goes on to say, "that the enervation that some persons experience when they stop eating meat products is not due to a lack of its protein or other nutrients that some consider irreplaceable. It is due to a type of stimulant found in meat. Today it's known that the muscle cells of meat contain Hypoxanthine, which increases in concentration as the meat ages.
Hypoxanthine and other similar substances, such as inosinic acid and guanylic acid, are present in meat. They have a chemical structure similar to that of caffeine in coffee or the theobromine in cocoa, with similar effects. They are central nervous system stimulants. They are addictive.
Hypoxanthine explains the stimulating effect of meat and it's capacity to create a certain level of addiction, which manifests itself when meat is given up abruptly. Because of this, it is recommended that those wishing to replace meat with plant-based foods follow a transition diet to help avoid the effect of sudden deprivation.