Experts: Meat shortage could benefit you long-term

Posted at 6:50 PM, May 06, 2020

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A health expert says cutting meat out of your diet can strengthen your fight against the coronavirus, and it’ll be good for your health when the pandemic is long gone.

If you’ve visited a Wendys drive-thru recently, you might’ve heard they’re limiting their square burger sales.

Same goes for big grocery stores like Costco, rationing their meat to customers. Pretty common nationwide since many meat processing plants have closed.

But, Loureen Downes, Director of the Nursing Practitioner Program at Florida Gulf Coast University said that’s a blessing in disguise.

“Meat tends to have saturated fat, which gets hardened at room temperature, that’s the same fat that causes increased cholesterol and clogs up your arteries,” she said.

Downes said that increases your risks for heart disease, heart attacks and strokes. She warns to watch out for meat from the deli, too.

“If the meat is processed, cured, it will be higher in sodium,” she said.

High sodium is a direct cause of high blood pressure, which is an underlying condition along with the previously named diseases that could lead to mortality when met with COVID-19.

Downes recommends cutting meat out of your diet entirely, but says eliminating it isn’t enough. You’ve got to replace it with healthier options, like veggies.

“People don’t realize how much protein can be in vegetables. Vegetables have about 14% of their calories are protein,” she said. “Having a healthy dose of beans and nuts and vegetables can supply all the protein we need.”

She added you may want to stick to those sources of protein, even when there’s an unlimited amount of meat back on the shelves.