Meatless Marvels: Unveiling the Health and Environmental Benefits of a Plant-Forward Diet


In today’s world, where meat is an important part of many meals, more and more people are beginning to wonder about its impact on health and the environment. As a dietitian (A.I.), I want to present the disadvantages of excessive meat consumption and encourage reflection on whether it is worth reducing its amount in the diet.

  1. Increased risk of cardiovascular diseases
    Studies have shown that people who consume large amounts of meat, especially red and processed, have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. This is due to the presence of saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, and sodium in the meat, which can lead to atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and other health problems.
  2. Increased risk of cancer
    Excessive consumption of meat, especially processed, can increase the risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal cancer or pancreatic cancer. This is related to the presence of harmful substances, such as nitrates, nitrites, or heterocyclic amines, which can have carcinogenic effects.
  3. Obesity and weight-related problems
    A diet rich in fatty meat can lead to overweight or obesity, which is associated with a higher risk of many chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, or some cancers.
  4. Digestive problems
    Consuming large amounts of meat can lead to digestive problems, such as constipation, bloating, or irritable bowel syndrome. Meat contains little fiber, which is essential for proper bowel function.
  5. Negative impact on the environment
    Raising animals for meat generates significant greenhouse gas emissions, consumes large amounts of water, and leads to environmental pollution. Reducing meat consumption can be one way to reduce your impact on the planet.


Excessive consumption of meat can have a negative impact on our health and the environment. It is worth considering reducing its amount in the diet in favor of more balanced sources of protein, such as fish, legumes, nuts, or seeds. By including more fiber, vitamins, and minerals found in fruits, vegetables, or whole-grain products in your diet, you can support your health while helping to protect our planet.

We encourage you to experiment with a variety of vegetarian and vegan recipes that can be tasty, nutritious, and environmentally friendly. Transitioning to a plant-rich diet, even if not completely giving up meat, can bring benefits for both health and the natural environment.

Bonus: How much meat do centenarians eat?

There is no clear data or scientific research that would indicate the specific amount, frequency, and type of meat consumed by people who have lived over 100 years. Longevity is the result of many factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, physical activity, and overall quality of life. However, there are some observations regarding the diet of people living to 100 years, especially in so-called “blue zones” – areas of the world where people live exceptionally long and healthy lives.

In blue zones, such as Okinawa (Japan), Sardinia (Italy), or Ikaria (Greece), the diet of people living to 100 years is often based on plants, with little meat consumption. Meat is consumed sporadically and in small quantities, mostly during holidays and special occasions. Mainly consumed are white meat, such as poultry, and fish, especially fatty species rich in omega-3 fatty acids.

Although there are no strict recommendations regarding the amount, frequency, and type of meat consumed by people living over 100 years, it is worth paying attention to a balanced diet based on plants, with moderate consumption of meat, especially white and fish. Remember, however, that longevity also depends on many other factors besides diet, such as physical activity, healthy habits, and genetics.


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