Thinking of eating healthy? Many sources will warn you against eating red meat. There are tons of studies that warn against the horrible side effects of eating too much red meat, from high cholesterol to even cancer. But are these claims founded on reliable research?
Unfortunately, it appears so. There is research that has proven that a high amount of red meat increases your risk of getting diagnosed with heart disease. But a lot of that is linked to unhealthy eating in general.
Eating many fatty foods clogs your arteries and raises your blood pressure. However, there are essential vitamins like iron and protein that are advantageous to your health that are completely ignored when discussing the health benefits of red meat.
Keep reading to find out the advantages and disadvantages of red meat and how to maintain a healthy, balanced diet.
Does Red Meat Cause Cancer?
Let’s tackle this issue first. There has been a lot of research that states how eating red meat actually shortens your lifespan. In a study performed on 500,000 middle-aged and elderly patients, they found that eating a quarter pound of meat a day reduced the lifespan of many participants, most of which also contracted heart disease or cancer.
Fatty cuts of meat and processed meats are much higher in saturated fat, which leads to high cholesterol levels. The added ingredient of nitrosamine in processed meats is linked to cancer, as well, and you consume carcinogens when you grill meat. Overall, it looks like it’s hard to make a good case for red meat.
Although these are not the most positive outcomes, in reality, it all comes down to eating right. Eating red meat every day, especially processed meats or grilled meat can definitely lead to unfortunate side effects like heart disease, cancer, and even a shortened lifespan.
However, there are essential vitamins and nutrients that red meat does provide, such as iron and protein. Usually, if you think you’re not getting enough iron in your diet, you can take supplements to ensure you’re getting the correct amount of nutrients.
Why risk heart disease if you can just take some supplements? Actually, there are many strange side effects and unsafe supplements on the market. Websites like Analyze That compare different brands of supplements and give an unbiased opinion of which supplement can be best for you.
Vegetarians or vegans who may not be receiving the correct amount of protein or iron could especially benefit from this. But overall, it doesn’t seem that eating red meat is worth the potential risk.
Protein and Iron: How Red Meat Helps
- B vitamins
In fact, it is suggested to eat 5 to 6.5 oz of protein a day to fulfill your daily needs. Protein helps build muscles and strengthen your bones. One serving of lean beef has 10 essential vitamins and only 180 calories.
So, instead of giving up red meat entirely, your selection of what kind of meat you eat needs to be more refined. If you are lacking protein in your diet, your body shows signs of the deficiency pretty quickly. Brain fog, brittle hair and low immunity are some common signs of protein deficiency.
Red meat contains vitamin B12, which keeps your red blood cells healthy and boost your cognitive function. Many brain boosting supplements contain a mix of B-vitamins to sharpen your concentration, improve your memory and keep your brain clear.
Red meat also contains zinc, which maintains your immune system. It is also extremely rich in iron, and the type of iron found in red meat is easily absorbed by the body. Iron is used in your bloodstream to transfer oxygen from your lungs and spread it around your body.
Which Meat Is Best?
Meat cuts that are lean are perfectly healthy and have lower levels of cholesterol and saturated fat. Instead of buying flank steak, you can purchase:
- beef loin
- lamb loin
- pork loin
As long as you’re eating in moderation, you will not have to worry about any side effects or diseases that are linked to eating red meat.
The Good and the Bad
There have been so many studies about the effects of red meat on the body, and they are not positive. People who eat more than one serving of red meat per day every day have shorter life spans and have higher risks of heart disease and cancer.
However, red meat has the essential nutrition that many people may be missing in their daily diet, especially if they are vegan or vegetarian. Red meat provides protein, iron, essential B vitamins, and zinc to improve immunity, boost your heart health and help shape your muscles.
It is up to you to balance your diet fairly to ensure you’re getting the nutrition you need to be at your best.