In recent times, there has been much talk about red meat and its effect on the body. Some reports say it could shorten your life span, while others say it could put you at risk of certain diseases, like cancer. This has led some people to advocate quitting eating red meat totally, while some call for the reduction in red meat consumption. So, is red meat good for the body? The answer to that question would be answered at the end of this article.
What is Red Meat?
Red meat is meat that is gotten from animals like goat, cattle, lamb, and so on. It looks reddish when it is raw, hence the name. Red meat is eaten across the world, because of how widespread the animals it is gotten from are.
Nutritional Profile of Red Meat
As far as nutritional values go, red meat is a great source of a range of nutrients, including iron, zinc, potassium, selenium, B vitamins, and more. It is also rich in protein and fat. A 100-gram serving of red meat has more than 200 calories. Red meat is also rich in creatine and carnosine, two nutrients that improve brain and muscle function. There is no doubt that the body has a lot to gain when you eat red meat. But does that make it good for you?
Red Meat and Heart Health
For years, scientists have studied the effect of red meat on the heart. One of the most common thoughts is that red meat increases the risk of heart disease. This is because it is high in saturated fat – more than other kinds of meat. Saturated fat increases the bad cholesterol levels in the blood, increasing the risk of heart disease.
This has led people to seek healthier sources of protein, such as chicken, turkey, lean meat, beans, peas and eggs.
But this does not mean that red meat is the chief source of saturated fat or is what puts your heart at risk the most. Processed or fried foods do the most damage. So, as you reduce your red meat intake, also make sure you keep other things down as well.
Red Meat and Cancer
Another area of interest is if red meat increases the risk of cancer. The available data at this time does not give a definite answer on that. Some studies have shown that high red meat consumption puts one at risk of colorectal cancer, which is a very common kind of cancer, particularly in countries like the United States. However, studies like this often lump data from processed and unprocessed red meat together, which sort of puts its accuracy in question.
Is Red Meat Good For Pregnant Women?
Most people often wonder if red meat should be eaten during pregnancy. The answer is yes, because red meat a great sources of protein, zinc, iron, and vitamins which are essential nutrients that every pregnant woman should consume in adequate amounts during pregnancy. Nonetheless, pregnant women should not eat undercooked or raw meat during pregnancy, as it may make you ill and could even harm your baby.
Things To Keep In Mind
There a few things to keep in mind regarding consuming red meat and its effect on your health.
- Source: Where you get the red meat from could mean a lot. Factors like what the animal was fed, how it was killed, how the meat was transported, and other conditions could affect the quality of meat, which, in turn, has a huge impact on what it does for your health.
- Cut Back: Even though there is no sure proof that eating red meat causes any significant harm, it is still important that you cut back on how much you consume. Try other kinds of animal-based protein sources, like turkey and chicken breasts, and even lean meat. You can also go for sea food like fish, prawns, and so on. You can limit your consumption of red meat to three servings per week, according to the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR).