It’s unfortunate the foundation of a classic American diet is based on red meat. Hamburgers, hot dogs, beef, steak: all of these are difficult to pass up when living in America. But now it’s no wonder the U.S. has the highest rate of obesity and heart disease in the world. With a diet revolving around red meat, it’s inevitable.
A new study released earlier last week shows all red meat is bad for you. That’s right, ALL red meat. Although red meat has some good qualities, it is not the sort of food to put at the center of your diet.
Red meat is very high in two types of chemicals called myoglobin and haemoglobin. These two chemicals can be difficult to convert and digest which can damages your intestinal tract and lead to cancer. Red meat intake has been correlated with several forms of cancers included intestinal, colorectal, esophageal, lung, bladder, and pancreatic cancer. But that’s not the main reason red meat is bad for you.
Red meat also has a high percent of saturated fat and trans fat. The saturated fat and trans fat clings to our bodies because of its chemical form. A study done between vegetarians and non-vegetarians showed that vegetarians had 30% lower BMIs. Obesity then leads to other problems such as diabetes, acute coronary syndrome (stroke), and heart disease.
Why is red meat so high in fat? Well what is meat exactly? Meat is the flesh taken from animals that is then eaten by us. Usually, meat is the skeletal muscle taken off the legs and abdomen. Take a look at your own legs and abdomen. Sure, you have muscles there. But what surrounds your muscles? Fat. Animals are exactly the same way. And with the high-paced way red meat is processed and packaged these days, I don’t think ranchers are too concerned about the content of fat in their meat.
The key to red meat, like any other type of food that’s bad for you, is moderation. The FDA recommends eating no more than 300 grams (11 oz) of lean red meat every week. Lean red meat has less fat and cooked more healthy than other meats.
Another way to make red meat healthier is to try cooking it in different ways. By slow cooking red meat, you can allow the proteins in meat to convert more easier and that way the meat doesn’t lose all its nutrients and doesn’t gain a ton of fat.
Of course, it would be wise to quit red meat entirely. White meat has the same kind of nutrients without all the fat, so it’s a good substitute. Certain nuts and fish are also high in iron and protein and can replace those nutrients lost by cutting red meat out of a diet. There are iron supplements you can take as well, but those aren’t as healthy, wholesome, and natural as getting your nutrients from food itself.
And honestly, who knows what chemicals are used to process red meats these days anyways?