The Reason Meat and Animal Products Can Negatively Impact Your Weight Loss and Diet Plan

In my previous articles I explained how we basically get our nutrition from 3 main “food” sources: plant (fruits and vegetables), animal (beef, cheese, chicken, eggs, etc.) and laboratory synthesized (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, hydrogenated oils, etc). I then went on to explain how the fruit and vegetables of today are grossly lacking in the nutrition that they once possessed years ago.

Today, I want to talk about out meat based foods and explain that the problem with these is not with what they are lacking, but what is being added. You need to understand the reasons that meat and animal products can negatively impact your weight loss and diet plan.

Let’s look at beef as an example. Personally, a good steak or a slice of prime rib is one of my favourite meals. But where does beef come from?

Well duh! It comes from cows.

And who raises cows?

Well the answer to that should be a “no brainer” as well. Farmers raise cows. And that is the way it should be.

I live in rural Quebec. My neighbours are all farmers and they all raise cows. I see these cows out in the fields every day in the spring, summer and fall happily grazing on grass. In the winter, they have a huge barn which they have access to which is full of fresh hay for them to eat. These are the cows that I eat.

But are these the cows that you purchase in your local grocery store?

Sadly they are not. My neighbours barely make enough money from their herds to cover the expenses of these animals. First the calf has to purchased, then it has veterinary expenses, then it needs nutritional supplements (farmers know that the soil is missing certain elements and thus compensate for that. In our region, our soil is completely lacking in selenium.), then there is the electricity the barn uses for lights and to keep the water from freezing, and lastly there are tons of fuel expenses for cutting and transporting the hay.

Most small rural farmers raise cattle as a side income only. “Farmers” can’t make much money raising cattle because they have to compete with “industry” who are the primary cattle raisers in North America. Some of the largest cattle “ranches” in the USA are found in Arizona. In fact, they aren’t even called ranches or farms. They are called Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO). 97% of all beef in the U.S. comes from CAFOs.

“So what is wrong with Arizona?” you may ask.

What do naturally eat? Grass.

What type of environment is Arizona? It’s a desert. So… no grass.

Cows have 4 stomachs. They evolved in this manner as they are a grazing animals that are meant to eat grass at a leisurely pace and slowly digest it in their stomachs. But since raising cows in these feed lots is not about producing food, it’s about producing money, CAFOs don’t have the time to fatten their cows naturally.

So in these feed lots cows are primarily fed a mixture of grain and corn, and in some cases rendered protein and even concrete dust! Rendered protein is the ground up carcasses of dead pigs (this is a problem because cows are herbivores, not carnivores). Concrete dust was found to increase the weight of cows at auction (heavier cows sell for more money!).

In the CAFOs, living conditions are not quite the same as here on my neighbouring farms and the cows are stressed. Stressed animals have weakened immune systems. Cows with weak immune systems are at greater risk for illness. Living in such high density corrals means that if one cow gets sick, they likely all will. So to reduce the risk of losing a cow, most cattle are fed prophylactic antibiotics to keep them “healthy”.

Don’t think of CAFOs as farms, they are cattle factories just like a car factory. Do you think Ford wants to spend a full month getting a car through the assembly line? No they want that car to be built and out of there as quickly as possible. It’s the same with the beef. The more cattle they can pump through in a year, the more money they make.

To encourage growth in these cows they are also administered growth hormones and steroids. So here you have cows that are taking regular injections of antibiotics, steroids and growth hormones, eating a diet that is completely unnatural to them, and packed into a super small living space. On top of that, the feed that they are fed is itself genetically modified and loaded with herbicides, pesticides and other chemicals.

These are the cows that are sent to slaughter and end up in your grocery stores! This is the beef you are eating. Pigs, chickens, lambs, and even fish are all raised in pretty much the same manner and experience the same outcome.

Just think about it. If your food is full of antibiotics, hormones, and chemicals, what makes you immune to them?

Have you noticed how big kids are these days? Have you noticed how early young girls start to physically mature? The kids today look a lot different now than when I went to public school just 30 short years ago. Do think this might have something to do with all the steroids and growth hormones they are getting second hand in their milk and meat products?

In the case of vegetables, your body is being placed under stress due to a lack of nutrition. In the case of meat, your body is being placed under stress due to the added chemicals and hormones. In an upcoming article, I’ll discuss how it is these stressors on the body, and not the number of calories that are primarily responsible for weight gain and excess body and visceral fat.

Seven Money-Saving Tips for Affordable Pet Care

You want to keep your Fido happy and healthy as always. Isn’t it true? Right. But spending at arm’s length may be also not possible for you. And, you are always on the run to save few bucks wherever possible. As per the data collected from different sources, the estimated expenditure of every pet owner is around $1500 a year for each of their pet, and that too varies depending on the size of the pet. However, there are ways applying which you can easily save a little more on every necessity of your furry pal.

Go through these tips and see how much can you save on your pet as well as keep your Fido in good health.

Make Half-Yearly Or Yearly Vet Visits Compulsory

Normally, pet parents in order to save money most times miss vet visits. But when it comes to health whether it is you or your pet, it is crucial to have a health checkup at least once or twice a year. Your vet may give vaccination necessary for the prevention of certain diseases in your pet. They can also diagnose for any of the problematic health conditions in your pet. Therefore, a yearly visit can save huge bucks by keeping your pet in good health. Missing vet appointments may sometimes lead to a development of some chronic diseases, which could have been preventive in a case of regular vet visits.

Don’t Skip Preventive Treatments

Pet parents are least aware of the importance and benefits of the preventive treatments. Mostly they only prefer to treat their pets when they see that the furry pal has been infected with parasites in which flea and tick infestation is most common. Many times due to lack of preventive treatments like Heartworm Prevention and Flea and Tick Treatments, pets are badly affected and sometimes the situation even turns out to be worst. They suffer from health complications and when infected with diseases such as heartworm, they are even at the risk of losing their lives. Therefore, it is better to treat your pet with flea and tick treatments as well as heartworm preventives in order to protect your furry friends from preventive diseases.

Ensure Proper Dental Hygiene

Most health conditions are the result of poor dental care. Brushing your pet’s teeth regularly boost his overall health. In lack of dental hygiene, there is a build-up of tartar and plaque leading to periodontal diseases. Moreover, the bacteria in the gums travel through the blood to the various vital organs such as heart, lungs, liver and kidneys and badly infect them. This can even end up into emergencies. To avoid such critical situations, it is always in the favour of your pet and your budget to provide proper dental care.

Regular cleaning with Pet Dent Toothpaste and Toothbrush along with Pet dent oral rinse can help your pet dental health to be at optimum.

Look For Affordable Pet Supplies And Food/ Treats

People get swayed away by those big advertisements of pet supplies and pet food on those local pet stores, that pushes you to buy only certain brand of pet supplies or pet food and treats for your furry pal from them. In reality, you can get these high-quality pet supplies and top brand pet food and treats from online pet stores at cheaper rates. Normally, these neighbourhood stores sell pet items at higher prices whereas same supplies you can purchase at affordable prices with big discount, and at some stores like Pet Care Supplies or Budget Pet World, you can even get Free Shipping for any of your pet products.

Be Watchful For Signs Of Something Wrong

Pets are a bundle of joy and happiness, and they are least vocal to tell you about their pain or what health difficulty they are undergoing. That’s why it is paramount to be always watchful to look for any suspicious signs that can direct you that there is something wrong with your furry pal. While grooming, move your hands all around your pet’s body to find about the existence of any lumps or warts. Part the fur and check for the presence of ticks. Look for flea dirt or flea eggs in your pet’s surroundings. Notice the movement of your pet, whether he is swift in his movement or taking a time to get up or jumping. Whether he is limping or reluctant to walk. This can direct you that whether he has got some injury in his leg or may be facing a problem of arthritis. At the notice of any unwanted signs on your pet’s body, consult your vet for further diagnosis or treatments. This greatly lowers the vet bills due to treatment of diseases in advance stages.

Keep Your Pet Moving

A healthy pet is always in a good shape and fit and fine. As to keep yourself in proper shape you exercise daily, it is also imperative to make your pet exercise. A regular exercise helps to keep your dog healthy and fit. Keeping your pet moving, not only keep his weight under control but also boost immunity, digestion, mood and behaviour. A tired dog gets a good sleep and stays happy. This is a good way for you to keep your furry friend in great health.

Bonus Tip:

Grooming your dog at home is also a great saving. Taking your pet to spa or grooming salons can be quite expensive, however shampooing, brushing fur, trimming hair and clipping nails at home save you few bucks.

Having a family of four dogs, I always look for cost effective pet supplies. Working on these steps, I have seen that I can save a little extra on pet products and provide the best care to my pets.

From Hairballs to Arthritis, Pet Nutritional Supplements Tries to Solve it All

We may have a lot of differences with dogs and cats in terms of anatomy and physiology but it appears we are no different in nutrition development. Just as dietary supplements have become a growing trend for us upright creatures, the current craze for our four-legged friends are nutritional supplements. Although veterinarians and other animal experts don’t seem to see eye to eye regarding this matter, nutritional supplements for pets have become a major force in the animal feed department.

Besides the vast number of producers and distributors of nutritional supplements for pets, these more natural alternatives to pet food come in increasingly specific varieties. Above and beyond the vitamins, minerals typical of a food supplement, there are those with anti-oxidants and immuno-stimulants, digestion and elimination supplements, and high energy nutritional supplements.

Our pets won’t get left behind when it comes to staying slim, too, as there are nutritional supplements for pets that are specifically designed for weight loss! Also, if your kitten or puppy does not get enough milk, there are supplements that act as milk replacer!

There are even nutritional supplements for pets that aid in keeping them well-groomed. Skin/coat supplements and laxatives and hairball treatments make it easier for you to keep your pet always looking trim. Unless you’re one who garbs your pet in cute shirts, their basic all-around outfit is their skin or fur.

In the same way that we suffer stress and pain, our pets do, too. But pet supplements providers have got this covered! There are nutritional supplements for pets that serve to reduce pain, stress, and anxiety. If your pet experiences arthritis and joint pains in particular, there are supplements especially for that! These are said to be pretty helpful also as prevention to strengthen your pet’s bones even before arthritis sets in.

It’s interesting to note the sort of disclaimer that’s always present in the promotional materials. Most nutritional supplements promise a lot of benefits but it’s always balanced off with notices that results may vary depending on your pet’s response. So one might say it doesn’t really guarantee you anything. Pretty consistent with human nutritional supplements. Basically, it leaves you to choose whether to give it a try and see if it works.

There are countless testimonies as to the effectiveness of certain nutritional supplements for pets, some even from certified experts and doctors. But, it’s still you who decides what’s best for your pet. At the very least, giving ALL or a random pick of these supplements might not be a good idea. Consulting your personal veterinarian is.

At the onset, you should consult your veterinarian about the diet of your pet. Some pet specialists argue that nutritional supplements for pets are unnecessary since the formulated pet food already has sufficient nutrients and you only have to choose the best kind for your pet. Whether they are right or not, it is smart to find out what is or what’s not in the food you’re already feeding your pet.