Sedative Meds

Does a person need to eat meat

ANSWERS TO MOST OF THE QUESTIONS THAT HAVE ARE EXCITING TO US, we are all used to searching online. In this series of articles, we ask just such questions – burning, unexpected or common – to professionals in a variety of fields. 

Recently, more and more people are giving up meat: some for ethical reasons, others for health reasons. Still, which is better – eating meat or being a vegetarian? Does meat really contain essential substances and which ones? Can a vegetarian diet be balanced? Is meat a carcinogen? We asked these questions to an expert.

Masha Budryte

Nutritionist, graduate of King’s College London

It is believed that our ancestors ceased to be vegetarians about two and a half million years ago – and then they did not even know how to hunt and make a fire, so they ate the raw meat of dead animals. Half a million years ago, hunting became a part of the way of life, and ten thousand years BC, people began to domesticate animals. Both hunting and agriculture required communication between people, and therefore the development of the brain – that is, meat-eating indirectly contributed to human evolution. Recently, researchers found that meat-eating allowed our ancestors to reduce the feeding period of newborns and the interval between births – that is, to increase fertility.   

Of course, the most important thing that meat, eggs and milk give us is high quality protein. Animal proteins are closer in composition to human proteins than plant proteins, and therefore the body assimilates them more easily. Nonetheless, eating exclusively plant-based foods will just as well cover the body’s needs for essential amino acids – if the diet is varied enough. One of the problems of a vegetarian diet is the lack of two essential amino acids – lysine and tryptophan , which are needed, among other things, for the formation of collagen (a protein of ligaments, skin and nails). But this need can be met if there are legumes, soybeans, seeds and nuts. 

One of the most important trace elements for humans is iron. It is needed for the synthesis of enzymes, and also for the transfer of oxygen by the blood – iron is part of its protein hemoglobin. According to the WHO , iron deficiency anemia is the most common malnutrition in the world, affecting more than two billion people. The risk group includes primarily populations with limited access to meat.  

Iron is also found in plant products, but in animals, like in humans, it is included in a chemical complex called heme – which, in turn, is part of the hemoglobin molecule. So, heme iron, that is, iron from animal products, is absorbed much better. In addition, oxalates, derivatives of oxalic acid, which are present in sorrel, black pepper, celery and, for example, bran, interfere with the absorption of iron . Vitamin C, on the other hand, helps the gland to be absorbed. Other processes also affect the absorption of iron – for example, infections or the momentary need for it.  

In principle, some plants contain more iron than meat – and less is absorbed from them. In soybeans, iron is twice as much as in beef – but 7% is absorbed from soybeans, and 15% from beef. On the one hand, meat more effectively meets the body ‘s iron needs , and on the other, a plant-based diet is no worse if it is balanced and thought out. In the end, with iron deficiency, you can drink its course in tablets – you just need to remember about the risk of overdose , which manifests itself primarily in disorders of the gastrointestinal tract.  

Animal proteins are closer in composition to human proteins than plant proteins, and therefore the body assimilates them more easily

An important substance found only in animal products is vitamin B12. It is needed for the normal functioning of the nervous system and for the formation of blood cells, and the best source of it is the liver. Vitamin B12 is not produced by plants at all – but if you don’t eat meat, you can get it from fish, eggs and dairy products. Vegan foods like soy milk and cheese are additionally fortified with vitamin B12. Calcium , which is essential for healthy bones and normal muscle contractility, including the heart, can be found primarily in dairy products. If you don’t eat them, for example, due to lactose intolerance, then know that calcium is found in green vegetables like broccoli, figs, oranges and nuts.      

For the absorption of calcium, vitamin D is needed , which can be obtained from oily fish and eggs, as well as from foods fortified with this vitamin. As you know, the main “source” of vitamin D is the sun, as it is produced by exposure to ultraviolet rays. The British Dietetic Association recommends sun exposure for at least 15 minutes a day between April and September, and supplements containing vitamin D during other months. Unfortunately, just being in the sun is usually not enough – after all, we protect the skin from ultraviolet radiation (and we are doing it right).   

In 2015, the WHO published a report that the consumption of processed red meat can lead to the formation of malignant tumors. With red meat itself, everything is not so simple, so the WHO classifies it as a “potentially carcinogenic” product – there is no definite data yet. It is recommended not to consume more than 70 grams of red and processed meat per day. There are no recommendations for white, that is, poultry meat – but it may be a good idea to replace red meat (beef, pork and lamb) with chicken or turkey. To reduce the amount of meat in the diet, you can try ” Meatless Monday ” – an initiative of the international movement of the same name. Activists, including Sir Paul McCartney, argue that by cutting off meat for one day a week, you can improve both your health and the ecology of the planet – about 20 % of the gases that increase the greenhouse effect are produced by the livestock sector.      

Vegetarians are known to have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and some tumors, as well as a longer life expectancy . True, it is not yet clear what exactly this is connected with – with the exclusion of meat or with the consumption of plant products. For example, fruits and vegetables contain fiber , which lowers the risk of several diseases. Animal products can contain more fat and calories with less volume, and foods such as sausage can contain a lot of salt, which is also recommended to be reduced. Be that as it may, nutritionists do not get tired of repeating that harmful and healthy foods do not exist and everything depends on the balance. When refusing animal products, regardless of the reasons, you just need to monitor the presence of all the necessary substances in the diet.    

Can an irrigator replace a toothbrush?

ANSWERS TO MOST OF THE QUESTIONS THAT HAVE ARE EXCITING TO US, we are all used to searching online. In this series of articles, we ask just such questions – burning, unexpected or common – to professionals in a variety of fields. 

New cosmetics and devices for the care of skin, hair or teeth are constantly appearing on the market – and their creators convince us of their necessity with varying success. Irrigator – the right thing or a publicity stunt? Can he replace a toothbrush, and if not, how to combine them correctly? Who needs it and who can do it? We asked these questions to a specialist.

dentist, author of the Dental Jedi Telegram channel 

Dental plaque is not only the cause of caries , but also periodontal diseases. They begin with sensitivity and bleeding of the gums, that is, signs of inflammation – and can end with the destruction of the tissues surrounding the tooth root, mobility and even loss of teeth. Of course, the prevention of all this lies in hygiene – thorough removal of plaque and tartar (this is the same plaque, only hardened thanks to mineral substances) from the surface of the tooth and from under the gums.  

Only a dentist can completely remove all dental deposits, so professional hygiene must be done every six months. And at home, to maintain good hygiene , you need to brush your teeth twice a day with a brush and paste – and at least once a day to additionally clean the interdental spaces. This can be done with dental floss or an irrigator. 

More recently, dental floss was recommended by almost all dentists. Now opinions are divided – studies indicate a very low effectiveness of floss in addition to regular brushing, and even a lack of effectiveness. As a practicing physician, I can say that when used correctly, floss successfully removes food debris from the interdental spaces – and the key words here are “correct application”. Unfortunately, it is often necessary to observe how the floss cuts into the gum – it begins to bleed, while the visible plaque remains in the gap between the teeth. To do everything right , you first need to thread the floss into the interdental space, and then, with sawing movements, gradually rise towards the edge of the tooth, as if rubbing the thread to it. If everything is done correctly, the interdental space is cleaned, and the gums are not injured.       

For those who cannot master the correct technique for using floss or are lazy to use them, I recommend paying attention to the irrigator. This is a device that is a reservoir for liquid and a handle with a nozzle for washing the interdental spaces.

The irrigator forms a stream of liquid (water or rinse aid) that removes plaque and food debris from the interdental space, while simultaneously massaging the gums. The procedure itself implies that after the usual brushing of your teeth with a brush and paste, you take an irrigator and process each interval in turn. This helps to clean those “hard-to-reach places” and prevent the formation of denser dental plaque – tartar. Plus, the irrigator massages the gums, improves blood circulation.

The irrigator helps to clean those “hard-to-reach places” and prevent the formation of denser dental plaque – tartar

Irrigators are portable and stationary: portable can be taken with you on trips, to the office or to study – this is especially convenient for those who wear braces. They can be battery powered or with a built-in rechargeable battery that needs to be charged every couple of weeks. Stationary ones are larger, often hung on the wall, they hold more liquid – that is, it does not have to be poured every time before brushing your teeth.  

Most irrigators have several modes – pulsation, different pressure levels – and a gradual transition from a more gentle to a stronger mode can come in handy during the habituation stage. One irrigator can be used by the whole family – only everyone should have their own nozzle; usually, if additional attachments are not included, they can be purchased separately. By the way, nozzles are different – including for cleansing braces or rinsing deep periodontal pockets with periodontitis. 

A study was carried out , the authors of which proved that the irrigator is really effective – it removes plaque from the interdental spaces and improves the condition of the gums in just 14 days. The study dealt with the water pulsation mode – and such a mode is found in all irrigators, even the simplest and most inexpensive ones.  

An irrigator is absolutely necessary for those who have crowns, bridges or braces, as well as for people with bleeding gums, a tendency to tartar formation, frequent food stuck in the interdental spaces, crowding (very close arrangement) of teeth. For those who have healthy and even teeth, it will still be useful for maintaining good hygiene and preventing tooth decay and gum disease. It certainly does not replace a toothbrush and toothpaste – but it can replace dental floss. 

Let me remind you about the general algorithm for dental care: twice a day you need to brush them with a brush and paste, once a day (for example, before bedtime) clean the interdental spaces with an irrigator or dental floss, and come to the dentist for professional hygiene every six months. 

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *