As a functional nutritionist, I have encountered many clients looking for guidance on their diets. One of the most debated topics is animal-based nutrition. Many people now are turning towards plant-based diets, but it still important to understand the health benefits of animal-based nutrition.
There are several benefits in including animal products in your diet. First, animal products are rich in protein, which is essential for growth and repair of the body. It is also the primary building block for enzymes, hormones and neurotransmitters. Second, animal products are also rich in important vitamins and minerals, such as vitamins A, B12, D, and K2, and mineral such as zinc, iron, and magnesium. Third, consuming animal products have been shown to promote satiety, meaning you feel fuller for longer. Lastly, animal-based nutrition can also provide essential fatty acids such as omega-3 fatty acids, which is especially true for fish, and is necessary for maintaining optimal brain function and overall health.
It has been shown in studies that consuming animal products can be beneficial for weight loss, improve cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation and improve overall health status. Researchers found that subjects eating a diet of lean meat lost more weight and body fat than those who consumed a high amount of carbohydrates. In another study conducted on overweight adults, participants who consumed a low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, and high-fat diet over six months showed a significant reduction in blood pressure and a decrease in blood sugar levels. Participation also experienced lower levels of inflammation, which is linked to an increased risk of chronic disease.
Apart from overall health benefits, animal-based nutrition is especially important for certain populations, especially pregnant and breastfeeding women, and infants and children. During pregnancy and breastfeeding, essential nutrients, such as calcium, protein and iron are crucial for fetal development and infant health. Animal products, including dairy and meat products, can be a rich source of these essential nutrients. In infants, animal-based nutrition is necessary to support growth, development and cognitive function, as they require different set of nutrients than adults.
In conclusion, it’s indisputable that animal-based nutrition comes with several health benefits, including; potential weight loss, cardiovascular health benefits, reduction in inflammation and improvement in overall health status. The peer-reviewed studies underline the significance of consuming animal products within a balanced and healthy diet. As a functional nutritionist, my recommendation is to consume a wide variety of foods, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds and yes, high quality animal products.
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