I could easily be a vegetarian. I mean, I like meat just fine, but I also love meals without meat. Beans, rice, pasta, grains, fruits and veggies; I could happily live on any combination of those and never really miss meat. But the men in my life don’t operate that way. They eat meatless meals a few times a week because that’s what I prepare, but they are big meat eaters. And I guess they are typical American men in that regard.
American men eat 57% more meat that women. Fifty seven percent. That’s a LOT more meat! I’d always heard the expression “meat and potatoes guy,” but I didn’t realize how much of the male population it applied to. According to a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, it’s A LOT! In fact, most men eat more protein than the daily recommended amount, while most women eat less or about what is recommended.
There are some theories on why that is so. Many men tend to view meatless meals as incomplete and believe that humans are designed to eat a lot of meat. I’m not exactly sure where that belief comes from? Perhaps it’s a history thing, perhaps a generational thing? Who knows. But I know it rings true for so many guys I know.
Both men and women associate meat-eating with strength and masculinity, characteristics that men in particular are eager to cultivate. Civil Eats cites a study in which “men who eat a beef-heavy diet are perceived as 20 percent more masculine and 30 percent less feminine than vegetarians.” This makes men less inclined to give up meat, because they think they’ll have to work harder to affirm their masculinity in other ways.
Do you agree with that? Have any other ideas as to why men consume far more protein than women? Do you yourself eat a lot of meat or do you feel a meal is complete without meat as a protein?
Let me know!