Is Eating Red Meat Really Bad For You?
Is Eating Red Meat Really Bad For You? With all the bad press red meat has been getting in the media recently, it's no wonder it's one of the most controversial subjects in the field of nutrition. Over the last many decades, it has been to blame for every kind of health problem from heart disease to cancer, why?
Because it makes for a great headline! However what the newspapers fail to mention is that there is a very big difference in the quality of meat you can buy in your local supermarket, and that red meat, especially from grass-fed animals is one of the healthiest and most nutritious types of food you can eat!
But There Are Studies Showing It Is Bad For You!
The studies claiming to show red meat having a negative impact on your health are what are known as observational studies, these studies have many downfalls and can only show a correlation between two different factors, not actually prove they are conclusively linked.
The outcomes of these studies may very well be down to the fact that after the public "health scare", those eating red meat usually lead a less healthy lifestyle, are more inclined to eat junk food, smoke and drink alcohol.
Just look at our ancestors, they consumed much more than the average modern man, and they still remained exceptionally healthy. Yes, the quality of meat was almost certainly better and healthier than the meat from most of today's factory-farmed, hormone-induced behemoths, yet the fact still remains, they didn't suffer from many of the health conditions that plague us today, and you can get very high-quality meat, grass-fed and free from all the other nasty toxins that may be pumped into our animals, just by being sensible with which product you choose.
Red meat is absolutely loaded with a huge variety of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, antioxidants and much more, all essential to maintaining a healthy, functioning, physiological system!
It is a great source of B vitamins, these should ideally be consumed through whole food and red meat is a great way to ensure you get adequate intake. It is a rich source of vitamin B12, this is vital to ensure the proper functioning of nearly every system in your body. You also receive a massive variety of other B Vitamins from red meat, including niacin, riboflavin and vitamin B6.
The vitamin D source in meat contains a metabolite 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, this is absorbed much more quickly and easily than other forms of vitamin D making it much more useful to the body. For people who don't get a lot of sun exposure or eat oily fish, it is a great way to get the vitamin D your body needs.
Again the form of iron contained in red meat (heme iron) is absorbed and utilized much more effectively than nonheme iron. Consuming it in your diet becomes even more important for people suffering from conditions such as iron deficiency anemia or pregnant women, as iron is crucial for the growth and development of the fetal brain.
Zinc is an essential mineral that has to be consumed through the diet, it is a vital part of many functions undertaken by the body, a lot of westerners fail to get enough zinc in their diet as other sources of zinc such as shellfish are less common.
Other Useful Minerals
The meat also contains a significant profile of other minerals vital to your bodies health such as selenium, magnesium, cobalt, copper, nickel, phosphorous and chromium. Red meat also contains high levels of creatine and carnosine, vegetarians are usually deficient of these nutrients which can have detrimental effects on the brain and muscle tissue.
Protein And Essential Fatty Acids
An average 100g portion of beef contains over 20g of protein and 10g of fat! As the nutritional industry starts to realize that a diet containing a moderate amount of fats, red meat should become even more important in your diet. Essential fatty acids are just that, ESSENTIAL! Your body needs them to survive! Saturated fat is not bad for you in moderation, in fact, it's incredibly healthy and vital to life.
So To Sum It All Up
DO NOT shy away from eating it, whatever these studies may "indicate", they are not proving red meat is to blame for any modern health problems, it is just media scaremongering. Red meat is a great source of a multitude of vital nutrients that will help with nearly every physiological function in the body and should be eaten on a fairly regular basis, and on another note, there is nothing quite as satisfying as digging into a perfectly cooked, juicy steak. So YES, You really can have your steak and eat it too!