Eating red meat: Healthy or unhealthy?

by Ahsan Sohail
Eating red meat: Healthy or unhealthy?

Red meat is one of the most dubious nourishment throughout the entire existence of food nutrients. It is the meat of mammals and red when raw. Even though humans are eating red meat since the evolution period but still some people believe that it’s not healthy and can affect our health.

Humans have been consuming red meat throughout the evolution and have well developed digestive frameworks to deal with it. But the problem is, the meat that we are consuming today is different from the meat that humans used to eat back in the past. Animals nowadays are fed artificial foods and raised in factories instead of farms. They are nourished on grain-based feed and are fed antibiotics and growth-promoting hormones. 

What is red and processed meat?

  • Red meat:

Mutton, goat, beef, lamb, pork, venison and veal comes in the red meat category. Though chicken, turkey, duck or rabbit does not count in it.

  • Processed meat:

Preserving meat by smoking, curing, or adding slats or preservatives makes it processed meat. Processed meat includes canned meat, corned beef, ham, sausages, ham and bacon. 

What amount of red or processed meat humans can consume?

  1. Adults should not eat meat more than 70g a day. If you are eating 90g or even more than that then you should consider reducing your meat intake as it can cause serious health problems if you do not limit your meat consumption. 
  2. Children should eat a very balanced diet and their diet must have a small portion of meat or any other source of protein. As children eat very less compared to adults, the amount of proteins necessary for kids depends on their age and size as well. 

What impact does red meat have on health?

Experts characterize red meat as muscle meat that comes from sheep, goat, beef, pork and other land mammals. Red meat is a great source of getting some specific nutrients, particularly iron and vitamin B-12. These nutrients are necessary for a human body to form new platelets and red blood cells. Additionally, red meat has a great amount of proteins present in it which is vital for building muscles, different tissues, bones, and enzymes.

However, some specialists claim that customary utilization of red meat can lead to various health problems such as cancers, heart diseases, digestive problems, kidney issues and in extreme cases, death. To additionally muddle the issue, the effect that red meat has on your health greatly depends on the type of red meat a person consumes. 

Leaner cuts of natural or unprocessed red meat, for example, sirloin steaks or pork tenderloin, might be more stimulating than many other different sorts. This is because they are natural and don’t contain any excess salt, fat, or additives. Processed red meat such as bacon, ham, hot dogs, salami, bologna and other similar meats seem to cause the most of deadly health problems.

What nutrients are present in red meat?

Red meat has a surplus amount of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, cancer prevention agents and different supplements that can have amazing effects on your health. Red meat is considered one of those foods that have the most nutrients present in it. Red meat contains nutrients such as iron, vitamin B-12, and zinc. These nutrients are highly beneficial for health. 

Red meat is extremely high in iron something that today’s teenage girls and women need the most. Vitamin B-12 aids in making DNA and keeping nerves and red blood cells in good health. Zinc encourages the immune system to work appropriately. Red meat contains proteins that help in building bones and muscles as well. 

Animal food such as meat and dietary are the principal dietary source of vitamin B-12. People who are vegetarian or follows a vegetable strict diet need to take B-12 supplements to forestall B-12 deficiency anemia.

Numerous elements can influence the dietary benefit of a particular piece of meat. Piece of meat form different parts of the animal body differs in the number of calories they carry. Additionally, how the farmer raises the animal, the animals eating routine and even the animal’s age and sex can influence the nutritive benefits of the meat.

Does red meat increase the risk of heart diseases?

A wide range of studies suggests that eating red meat on regular basis can prompt a greater and higher risk of heart diseases. For quite a long time, specialists believe and claim that the connection between red meat utilization and coronary illness is because of the saturated fat present in the red meat. 

The American Heart Association (AHA) claims that red meats contain a higher amount of saturated fats than any other protein source for example fish, chicken or vegetables. 

They recommend that eating saturated fats and any kind of trans fat in large quantity, can cause an increase in an individual’s cholesterol level and increment their danger of coronary illness. They in this way suggest people limit the measure of red meat they eat and urge individuals to pick lean cuts of meat to eat.

Can red meat cause cancer?

Numerous observational researches show that red meat utilization has a strong role in increasing risk of cancer. Red meat and processed meat both have same intensity risk but processed meat is said to be more hazardous in this case.

Several types of research show that people who eat red meat have a higher chance of diagnosing pancreatic or prostate cancer. On the other hand, people who eat progressively processed meat have a higher risk of stomach cancer.

The primary sort of cancer that red meat can cause is colorectal cancer. It is the fourth most diagnosed type of cancer all around the world. But an issue in this researches is that they mix up the red meat with processed meat.

Meta-analyses in which scientists break down information from numerous researches show that there is a very low risk of colorectal cancer. Studies found a frail impact on men, however no impact for ladies.

Different investigations propose that it’s not simply the meat, but instead unhealthy and dangerous compounds that structure when the meat is cooked and increases the risk of cancer. Accordingly, the cooking technique might be a significant determinant of the definitive health impacts of meat.

Researchers state that meat processing ways such as smoking and restoring can develop cancer-causing synthetics. This might be the reason why scientists associate processed meat with more noteworthy health dangers than unprocessed or natural meat. 

What cooking methods are better to cook meat?

Pan-frying or grilling meat on the open flame can produce certain chemicals in the meat that are genuinely harmful to health. These chemicals are known as heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons can cause changes in DNA leading towards cancer. Always avoid cooking meat at a higher temperature as it leads to the birth of these harmful chemicals. You can reduce the risk of these chemicals by following a few cooking methods such as:

  • Steaming your meat instead of grilling or frying.
  • Avoid to cook meat over an open flame.
  • Do not let the meat burn as it increases the risk of developing cancer-causing chemicals.
  • Keep turning and flipping your meat while cooking on high flame.
  • You can microwave your meat to lessen the time if you want to cook on high flame.
  • Marinating your meat in olive oil, lemon juice, red wine or garlic reduces the Heterocyclic amines.
  • Never eat smoked or charred meat. In case the meat gets burnt, cut the burnt pieces right away.

No doubt people love to grill or fry the meat. But if you want to have the maximum benefits of eating meat and enjoy it as well without any health hazard, then you should use gentler ways to cook meat and refrain from eating burnt meat.

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