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August 04, 2020 - Viva Health

Are we designed to eat meat? Comparing carnivores and herbivores.

Are we designed to eat meat?  Comparing carnivores and herbivores.
Lioness, carnivore© Photabulous!

Carnivores have sharp teeth and claws that help them to rip their prey apart, tearing off chunks of raw meat and ‘wolfing’ them down without the aid of a knife and fork! Their acidic stomachs help to digest flesh quickly and their short intestines allow the rapid expulsion of rotting meat remains. The diet of wolves, for example, consists mainly of meat from large prey such as elks, with nutrient-dense organs eaten first followed by muscle tissue. When carnivores eat saturated fat from meat it does them no harm, we on the other hand respond very differently – saturated fat clogs up our arteries increasing our risk of heart disease and stroke.

Herbivores, such as rabbits, horses and sheep, chew from side-to-side and have longer intestines to absorb nutrients. Their saliva (and ours) contains amylase, an enzyme that helps digest starchy carbohydrates found in bread, rice and other wholegrains. Carnivores don’t spend as much time chewing nor do they consume many carbohydrates, so there is no need for amylase in their saliva. Their strong jaws can only open and shut and are incapable of moving from side to side as ours do.

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