If you’re not vegan or vegetarian, meat may often be interchangeable with one another. Beef, chicken, and lamb may have different textures and flavors but are all consistent sources of protein. Meat is a staple to many dishes and red meat is one of the most popular of them all. Here is how red meat in particular can jeopardize your health. And, how to eat red meat without harming your health.
What Is Red Meat
There are tons of meat on the menu these days, however, common ones such as chicken and fish don’t count! Red meats are your heavier choices such as beef, lamb, veal, etc. These meats are commonly higher in price due to agricultural costs but are more commonly found in fine dining restaurants.
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While being coined under the term, these red meats can vary even more in terms of health based on how they are presented. Luncheon meat, sausages, and canned meat are ways to consume red meat at a slightly more affordable price, but at the cost of mass production and being filled with preservatives.
The recommended intake for red meat per adult is at 70g or less. Many medical professionals state that meat is one of the smallest quantities for daily consumption. This is because of how robust a serving of red meat can be from a nutritional standpoint. Certain meat that may not count as red meat includes chicken, turkey, duck, goose, and rabbit.
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Health Benefits of Red Meat
Before getting into the health risks that come with eating too much red meat, it’s important to know why this type of meat is considered by many as a nutritional powerhouse. The meat is filled with vitamin B-12 and Iron - crucial for the body to produce new red blood cells. Naturally, meat is renowned for its high protein content and this abundance is vital for muscle growth, bone development, and tissue repair.
If you’re interested in a fat-rich diet, red meat is often one of the most important ingredients for any dish. The dish is filled with enough nutrients to substitute carbohydrates with fat and is filling enough to last you a meal without getting bloated. For fitness lovers or those who seek to cut fat fast, red meats can make the experience enjoyable.
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Red meat is also a rich source of zinc, a nutrient that is often overlooked. Zinc is responsible for reducing the risks of inflammatory diseases and infections within the body. It is a safeguard that doesn’t require much to start working. Among your meat options, sirloin steak tends to be the richest source of zinc.
Risks of Red Meat Consumption
While meat can be quite interchangeable with its benefits, red meat has gotten quite a bit of attention recently for the health risks when consuming in excess. Firstly, dangerous bacteria are more prevalent in red meat than other types. Many often like their meat either rare or medium-rare, which can be a problem if the meat is not cleaned properly. This can cause severe indigestion.
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Higher Risk of Heart Problems
With high amounts of meat, comes a high amount of cholesterol along it. When exercising after consuming so much meat, cholesterol levels that are above average can lead to stroke, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular diseases. While the risk is only heightened when exceeding the recommended intake, it is still important to be mindful of how much red meat you are putting away.
Higher Risk of Cancer
This is more true with processed meat over natural cuts, but it is more common than one might think. Processed meats contain carcinogens that are found in cigarettes and alcohol. The survey that discovered this also traced the end result of excess consumption - leading to colon cancer specifically. While this only happens when other nutrition sources are disregarded, it is important to be extra wary of processed meats.
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Ways To Moderate Your Red Meat Intake
Dedicate One Day Off Red Meat
One day of not consuming red meat at all may seem a little tricky at first, but it’s all about finding a replacement to make it seamless. Chicken, fish, and other forms of seafood are equally easy to find and make for certain affordable dishes that will help keep your mind off red meat. Abstaining from it for just a day or two will help its nutrients settle into the body and moderate, without being unnecessary.
Fruits and Vegetables Are Important
Meat as a whole may be packed with a plethora of nutrients, it is not well rounded enough to encompass a meal - and a healthy one at that. Fruits and vegetables are still just as critical as ever for their fiber and carbohydrates and should be eaten in much higher quantities than meat in general. Putting emphasis on the two before adding red meat would make for an excellent method to plan to be moderate with your meals.
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Although this may sound easy, reducing your quantity of food overall might be tricky if you’re out and about every day. It is a necessary choice as red meat servings are usually stacked with nutrients - even in small amounts. Eating more than you need is a dangerous path of excess. Understanding your body and how much it needs before being functional is a discipline that can make the difference between being healthy and being at risk of diseases.