How Excess Meat Consumption Shortens Life


The Medical Director, Medical Art Centre, Lagos, Prof. Oladapo Ashiru, has warned that excess consumption of meat could reduce life expectancy.

Ashiru, who spoke at the Vanguard Allure Wellness Seminar in Lagos on Friday, said though meat is a rich source of protein, too much of it in a diet pose long term cardiovascular risks.

He noted that excess consumption of meat was associated with declining kidney function and gout as well as increased risks of heart disease and cancer.

According to him, patients treating the aforementioned diseases must reduce their intake of meat.

Ashiru said, “Eating too much meat, fish and other key sources of protein is bad, it takes longer to digest, when you eat a lot of protein and meat, it takes significantly longer for your body to pass through and digest into your body.

“This is because meat takes longer to be broken down, that means the enzymes in your stomach and intestines will have to work much harder. In fact, it takes approximately three to four times longer for your body to break down meat compared to fruit or vegetables,” he added.

He identified poor diet and incompatible lifestyles as factors responsible for increasing disease burden in Nigeria.

“Most Nigerians have very bad eating habits, they do not chew food before swallowing and this does not help digestion. The best time to eat dinner is before 8:00pm and fruit or raw vegetables like salad should be taken before 4:00pm to aid digestion but what we see in Nigeria is complete opposite of these. And if we want to live well, we most eat well too.”

Also, a cardiologist, Dr. Okoli Emmanuel, said that over 80 per cent of cardiovascular deaths took place in low and middle-income nations such as Nigeria due to ignorance and poor eating habits.

According to Okoli, CVDs are diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels such as arteries, capillaries and veins. The term also refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system, especially cardiac disease, vascular diseases of the brain, kidney and peripheral arterial disease.

Okoli said, “Fortunately, Nigeria has abundant fruits and vegetables that are required to keep CVDs at bay. We should eat more of our local foods, as they do not predispose people to heart diseases, when compared with the over-processed foreign ones that some Nigerians now patronise in fast foods’ outlets,” he added.

Punch Nigeria


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