How long does it take to digest meat?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “How long does it take to digest meat?” We will also discuss the different ways of making the meat digest faster, other tips for improving digestion, and the reason meat takes longer to digest than vegetables.

How long does it take to digest meat?

It can take up to two days to digest meat. This is a fairly long time required for digestion in comparison to other food sources. Meat contains complex molecules, such as proteins and fats, which take longer for your body to break down.

While foods high in protein may take some time to digest in the stomach and small intestine, the fat content present in meat may be the factor that slows digestion the most. 

More than any other food, fats, and oils are relatively complex molecules that cause the stomach to take longer to empty. Ideally, foods derived from animals, such as meat, dairy, and eggs, contain more fats than fruits or vegetables.

How can we make the meat digest faster?

Although you can’t make the meat digest at a similar speed as other fruits or vegetables, you can certainly boost the rate of digestion of meat to some extent by following these tips:

Chew properly

You must chew food several times until it completely breaks down to release gastric acid secretions in your stomach. As a result, the environment in the stomach will become significantly more acidic, hastening the digestion of meat.

Eat a few pieces of pineapple

Eat a few pineapple slices with your protein-rich meat meal or before you have a meaty meal. The natural enzyme bromelain found in pineapple further aids in severing the bonds between proteins, making them easier to digest.

Eat papaya

You can also eat papaya to boost the digestion of meats. It contains the papain enzyme compound that makes it easier to digest protein. It is edible so you don’t have to worry about any negative effects. Additionally, it also helps in preventing gas and indigestion.

Add probiotics 

The best way to help meat digest is to include probiotics in your meal. Probiotics such as yogurt and kefir can make your meaty meal more digestible. Probiotics are a great way to get the beneficial bacteria you need to support digestion.

Go for low-fat meats

Select low-fat meat instead of high-fat options if you want your meat to digest faster. Also, consuming meat in moderation may help you with your digestion. Most of the time when you eat meat in excessive amounts your digestive system may not function as fast. Naturally, low-fat meats will facilitate quick and simple digestion.

Marinate your meat

One of the best ways to make meat digest more quickly is to marinate it in an acidic solution (like vinegar) for an extended period. The acid marinating will ensure that proteins are broken down. This will improve its digestibility.

What are the other ways to improve digestion?

  • Regular physical activity may help to improve your digestive function.
  • Consume fiber- and prebiotic-rich foods to nourish both the probiotics you take and the healthy bacteria already present in your gut.
  • Stress management plays an important role in improving your digestion. Heartburn, cramping, and bloating are signs of a slowed-down digestive system that can be brought on by stress.
  • Follow dental hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth regularly.
  • Consumption of digestive enzyme supplements may be beneficial for those who suffer from low stomach acid, ongoing stress, digestive disorders, and other issues.

For more tips on your digestive health, please click the link here.

Why does meat take longer to digest than vegetables?

Fibers found in vegetables are easier to digest than the proteins in meat. This is why vegetarians are said to have faster bowel transit times and more frequent bowel movements. 

The gut bacteria also favors the carbohydrates in fiber. A lack of carbohydrates makes it harder for food to pass through the colon, and harmful bacteria start to grow because they start feeding on leftover protein.

The amount of fat consumed may also contribute to a difference in transit time between meat eaters and vegetarians. Typically, the fat content of animal products like meat, dairy, and eggs is higher than that of fruits, vegetables, and grains. 

In comparison to protein or carbohydrates, the breakdown and digestion of fats require more time, energy, and special enzymes. Fats are insoluble, so they act last in the digestive process and tend to slow it down because they rise and float in the stomach.


In this brief guide, we have answered the query, “How long does it take to digest meat?” We have also discussed the different ways of making the meat digest faster, other tips for improving digestion, and the reason meat takes longer to digest than vegetables.