I’m frequently asked the question: “If I can’t eat gluten, can I eat an animal who ate gluten?”
It’s a good question and it makes sense why someone who is gluten intolerant would ask.
The good news is that when an animal ingests gluten it is digested sufficiently enough that later eating the meat from that animal does not create any issue of gluten contamination.
That’s the good news.
Unfortunately there is bad news as well. While you might not have to worry about gluten contamination, animals that are fed high grain diets, be it corn or wheat, are not nearly as healthy as those who are grass-fed.
Have you ever wondered why heart disease and the concern of eating high fat red meat didn’t seem to be such an issue 50 years ago? The answer lies in what the animal is being fed. Grass fed beef is not the same quality as grain fed beef. There is actually no comparison. Grass fed beef is lower in fat, higher in CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) an amino acid believed to have anti-cancer properties, and higher in omega-3 fatty acids, critical for good health.
Grain fed beef is higher in omega-6 fatty acids, not the good kind and more likely to create inflammatory degenerative diseases such as heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
Other factors affecting the meat we eat include hormones and antibiotics given to livestock, but even putting that aside the high grain diets are creating an unhealthier animal and that certainly does affect the humans who eat the meat.
Therefore, while gluten contamination is not an issue, the quality of the meat is.
My recommendation is that you keep your consumption of animal meats to a minimum. It is better, and safer, to get your protein from non-animal sources such as dark green leafy veggies, beans, nuts and legumes. It turns out that our preoccupation with protein consumption has been a bit overblown. It turns out that we don’t need quite the quantity of protein as we used to think. In fact, we are likely healthier with more plants (fruits and veggies) in our diet than animal protein.
Occasional lean, clean protein sources are fine. When I say clean I am referring to grass fed, hormone and antibiotic-free animals. They are not easy to find and you won’t get them at most restaurants, but good grocery stores certainly offer them.
Have you wondered about how healthy it is to eat meat? Do you have any questions I haven’t answered?
Feel free to contact me. My team and myself are here to help. If you’d like to improve your health you can contact us for a free health analysis. Call 408-733-0400.
To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen, DC, CCN
Founder of HealthNOW Medical Center
Co-author of “The Gluten Effect”Author of the e-Book: “Gluten Intolerance – What you don’t know may be killing you!”