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Meat, an essential food for nutrition, health and environmental sustainability

Meat, an essential food for nutrition, health and environmental sustainability

This is explained by «The role of meat in the human diet: evolutionary aspects and nutritional value” in a study published in the scientific journal “Animal Frontiers”, which summarizes the best available scientific evidence on meat consumption, its implication on nutrition and health, environmental sustainability, economic affordability and ethical justification. The platform Meat and Health makes a summary of the main conclusions, which we reproduce.

Conclusion of this study:

Meat is a nutrient-rich food, well suited to meeting human nutritional needs. With a demonstrated role in human evolution, it continues to play a key role in human health and development today.

The elimination or large reductions of meat from the diet, as well as the prevention of increases where consumption is low, whether by an individual or populations, carries a risk that must be appreciated when considering its value in systems future food supplies.

Furthermore, a radical suppression of livestock-based systems may not only have the nutritional complications described in this article, but may also have unintended environmental consequences.

As discussed elsewhere in this issue, the nutritional benefits of meat should not be ignored when addressing its role in chronic disease risk or when conducting environmental assessments.

In fact, the dietary role of meat goes far beyond the provision of food mass, energy or even protein, to numerous essential nutrients and beneficial bioactive compounds, all of which are held together in a complex food matrix.

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