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Meat digestion

  1. Aug 29, 2003 #1
    A question has been bothering me for some time. But when somebody proclaimed "red meat takes weeks to digest", I have to find out. Every so often I hear this said and I can't believe its true. I can see how protein and fat take longer to digest then most carbohydrate.
    I tried to look on the web and I got figures from 24 hours to 3 days. I'm sure by three days it would not be able to be digested!

    So could you guys and lasses clear this up? How long does it take for meat to be digested. And how does this compare to things like beans and vegetables , which due to their higher fibre content must take awhile.

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 9, 2003 #2

    Since nobody else seems interested in playing with this one, I will give it a shot.

    Yeah, I find this very difficult to believe too. As I understand it, digestion of plant materials takes longer than meat proteins largely due to its cellulose (hard to digest) component. This is why plant eating animals have relatively long digestive tracts. I believe that the Inuit (~ Eskimos) have shorter digestive tracts than most other humans due to the great proportion of meat in their traditional diet.

    The digestion of plant materials is a relatively difficult and lengthy process, usually necessitating the incorporation of specialized cellulose-digesting bacteria into the gut of plant eating specialists and, often, large body size to house the large stomachs, etc. necessary to the pull required energy out of often nutrient-poor foodstuffs (think of cows and grass).
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