Meat Might Not Be So Bad After All!

By Jon Sullivan [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Even though a vegan diet undoubtedly comes with many health benefits, eating meat might not be so bad for you after all. As long as you consume plenty of vegetables with your meat, it’s not that bad, according to a new study.

The Study

In the newest research study, researchers explored different diets and how these diets affected the microflora in someone’s gut. We all have a certain level of bacteria in our gut, as well as certain compounds that these bacteria produce. The team found that not only did individuals who ate a veggie rich diet have higher levels of good bacteria that comes from a plant-based diet, but they also had increased amounts of molecules called “short chain fatty acids.” These molecules are made are extremely beneficial for one’s health.

Diets that include meat, such as the Mediterranean, don’t necessarily prove to be a disaster for someone’s gut health. People who participated in the study and followed the Mediterranean diet closely had higher amounts of short chain fatty acids than those who didn’t.

The study authors wrote in the journal Gut, stated “Western omnivore diets are not necessarily detrimental when a certain consumption level of vegetables is included.”

Evidence proved that if people do not consume too much meat and increase the amounts of veggies in the diet are more likely to have a healthy community of gut microflora.

Researchers included healthy vegans, vegetarians and omnivores from all over Italy. The team collected data about these individual’s and their daily diets, along with urine and stool samples. This information was used to base how closely the groups participated in the Mediterranean diet.

The research team also used DNA sequencing to find out the specific types of bacteria in the gut, along with chemical analysis to find out the levels of beneficial metabolites, short chain fatty acids and trimethylamine oxide.

Short chain fatty acids are made when gut bacteria breaks down fiber. Researchers found these molecules have an important role in protecting the body against different diseases.


The study found that vegans and vegetarians had higher levels of short chain fatty acids than omnivores. Additionally, the more veggies, fruits and legumes a person eats, regardless of the type of diet they observe, the higher their levels of short chain fatty acids.

Trimethylamine oxide forms when certain types of bacteria in the gut breakdown fats in animal protein. This particular compound has been directly linked to an increased risk of hypertension and coronary artery disease.

In Conclusion

When put all together, the molecules that are made by someone’s gut bacteria compose what scientists call “metabolome,” which is an end product of digestion. Gut microflora has been proven time and again to influence a person’s health in many ways. However, it’s more likely the compounds made by the gut bacteria are what influences our health.

Although there has been previous research done concerning the different types of bacteria in the gut, studying the byproducts of these bacteria is the next logical way to gain a better understanding of how our diets can be used to maximize specific gut bacteria and to make them work for our health.


This information is solely for informational and educational purposes only. The publication of this information does not constitute the practice of medicine, family planning, child psychology, marriage counseling and this information does not replace the advice of your physician or other health care or mental health care provider. Neither the owners or employees of or the author(s) of site content take responsibility for any possible consequences from any treatment, procedure, exercise, dietary modification, application of medication or any other action involving the care of yourself or any family members which results from reading this site. It is always best to speak with your primary health care provider before engaging in any form of self treatment. Additional information contained in our Legal Statement

Daily Videos

In order to view the content on this page, you will need the latest version of Adobe’s Flash Player. Click here to download it.

What does your weekly dinner look like?
The whole family dines together at home
The whole family dines together at a restaurant
Parents and children eat separately
Whoever is around eats together
Every family member for themselves!
Total votes: 6380