Is it time to embrace a meat-free diet | Ask Dr Daniel Chang

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Be bold. Stay beautiful.

In the past, we shun vegan diet because it tastes ahem, lets just say not as tasty haha… Now with plant based meat substitutes tasting nearly as good as beef, and being touted as the vegan burger that bleeds, the food industry is in for a MEGA game changer.

We all heard of the food craze, the impossible burger which is taking the world by storm. We also know that environmentalists worldwide are championing for a reduction in meat consumption for the sake of our planet and waterways. Now, new research is showing evidence that a meat free diet is better for your overall health and performance, and top athletes are switching to this. The list goes on…

Why is going meat-free good for the planet?


Since the extinction of the dinosaurs, we are seeing our earth dying.
Wit rapid globalisation and industralisation, large conglomerates are clearing trees to make space for livestock. This alo creates as much greenhouse gases as our cars and planes.
This drives climate change and damages our waterways and landscapes.

How does going meat free save the planet?

It reduces our carbon foodprint 

1. less acres of deforestation

2. less polluted waterways

3. less greenhouse emission

Is meat good for u?


Several studies have demonstrated a correlation between red meat and lifestyle diseases- hypertension- obesity- cancer – colorectal cancer

What are the alternatives to meat?

  • Beans, Soy
  • Lentil
  • Wholegrains and Nuts
  • IMpossible burger ( plant based genetically engineered food, that smells and tastes like real meat ) Beyond burger

What is the impossible burger?

It is a plant based substitute for your fav beef patty.

How does it taste like meat?


Food scientists have found that the essence of meat lies in this molecule, known as heme.
Heme is found in blood as hemoglobin, in muscles as myoglobin. Heme gives beef its colour and taste.
So by extracting heme from soy plants, in particular –leghemoglobin. And fermenting them with yeast – akin to the way beer is made.

You grow multiples of this heme molecule and voilayou got the IMPOSSIBLE burger.

How does the impossible burger work?


Okay lets dissect a meat patty. I am no burger expert but I do love my burgers lol.
1. Chewy and solid texture – wheat and potato protein
2. Fat – coconut oil
3. Flavour – Heme extract

What is the beyond burger?

Pea protein isolate. In terms of nutritional value, its similar to impossible burger, but 1.more fat, 2. soy free, 3. not genetically modified. 

Why are people going meat-less?


1. Save our planet
2. Boost your health
3. Grow your pockets 

( Just look at how the Beyond meat shares are going. They are partnering groceries with beyond meat in your local supermarkets, fast food outlets like Wendy’s, KFC, are dishing out beyond meat meals, this is gonna be a game changer, just like GRAB. I know what shares I am gonna invest in lol ) 

Daniel Chang

Do we need real animal protein to gain muscle?


In our protein- obsessed world, people associate meat with power, strength and vitality. You would see protein loving, muscle fanatic men chomp down chunks of chicken breast and beef steaks after a gym workout to grow more muscle.


Studies now show that it is a fallacy that one needs animal protein in order to grow muscle. Just look at the Monks at the monastry. Theirs is a diet of tofu and beans and look how strong they are. Meat lovers need to supplement their diet with protein shakes. Vegans can gain all the essential nutrients for lean body mass building from their diet. 

What are top athletes doing?

Recent studies on elite athletes have even shown that animal protein impairs health, and we are slowly killing ourselves with eggs, steak and ham, and those with vegan diets actually perform better.

Hence there is a growing number of top level, elite athletes who have switched to a pure vegan diet. From MMA fighters, world class runners, football stars…  


What are the benefits of a vegan diet on your body?

1. faster recovery

2. more energy

3. Better digestion and leaner muscles

No doubt, studies are still at its infancy and more clinical trials are needed. But this ex protein obsessed meat lover, yours truly here, will be going on a vegan diet. So watch this space as I update you on my meat-free journey. (only if you are interested lol).


So I hope this article has been useful! Happy holidays and together lets strive to enjoy a meat-free Dec. Personally, I know its gonna be ultra difficult for me =P

Dr Daniel Chang
Dr Daniel Chang

References: 

  • de Nascimento Monteiro, Inês. “Abordagem Nutricional do Atleta Vegetariano.” (2019).
  • Robinson, Claire. “The Impossible Burger: Boon or Risk to Health and Environment?.” GMO Science, May 16 (2018).  
  • Biesalski, H-K. “Meat as a component of a healthy diet–are there any risks or benefits if meat is avoided in the diet?.” Meat science 70.3 (2005): 509-524.  

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Categories Skincare and Aesthetic Medicine

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