Red meat. You have had it on your plate a couple of times, you have seen it on cooking shows and magazines, and you are fully aware of how popular it is in fine dining restaurants. But there’s something you probably don’t know about red meat, and that’s the implications it may have on your health. There’s no consensus on whether red meat is unhealthy or healthy, each side has its own arguments on the matter, and for today, we will be looking at the reasons why you should probably cut down on that red steak you adore so much.
Red meat has been associated with heart diseases based on a number of studies that have been conducted over the years by respected scientists and reputable institutions. There’s a compound in red meat called the carnitine that’s responsible for the hardening of blood vessels, which leads to the heart being forced to pump harder just to transport blood around. Once the hardening increases, blood vessels begin clogging up, and that’s when people start experiencing severe bouts of heart attacks that can turn fatal if not treated.
A lot of red meat is processed and has traces of preservatives that have been linked with increased chances of developing cancer. Things like bacon and hot dogs have been found to be responsible for a sharp increase in colorectal cancers due in part to the presence of a substance called Heme iron that is found in all types of meat but in higher concentrations in red meat. This compound is a trigger that leads to cell damage, which is how cancers start forming in the body.
Another disease that has been linked to red meat is type-2 diabetes. Data from a study that combined over 150,000 participants in various parts of the world revealed that people who had increased their consumption of red meat had higher chances of developing type-2 diabetes by about 48%, a huge number that cannot be wished away. This study also found s cases of obesity in the same number of people who had turned to red meat, and since obesity is also a high-risk factor for diabetes, once the study was completed, it was found that these people were at the highest risk of developing diabetes.
Despite the availability of advanced cooked food packaging ideas, many lovers of red meat have found themselves in the hospital at some point in their lives fighting an E.coli infection. The problem arises from the manner in which the red meat is cooked. Most people love theirs in a medium-rare condition where the meat is not completely cooked and comes to the table with streaks of reds still visible. As much as that’s a delicacy for many people, it is never a good idea to eat undercooked meat; you’ll always stand the risk of getting a nasty infection.
High Cholesterol Levels
Cholesterol is another huge factor that should keep you away from red meat owing to the huge impact it has on the body. The type of cholesterol associated with red meat is the bad kind, the type that comes from animal fat that is responsible for various body ailments like heart issues. The human body is not well built to deal with saturated fats, and when they are ingested, the body struggles to digest that and what happens is that they are deposited in the tissues as they are, accumulating over time, clogging important body tissues like blood vessels, leading to heart attacks.
Impacts the Planet
The amount of resources needed to raise cattle for red meat is gargantuan. The livestock requires more land, more grass, more water, and energy to raise them to the point where they are big enough to be slaughtered. According to research that was conducted, to produce a quarter-pound of red meat, you will require 7 pounds of forage and grain, 53 gallons of drinking and irrigation water, 75 square feet for grazing, and lots of electric energy for production and transportation. All this for a piece of meat whose benefits are far outweighed by the health concerns.
To make matters even worse, there are certain types of cattle that have been biologically modified to produce more meat, and this has caused a lot of concern due to the inhumane way they are developed. The meat they produce has also been associated with GMO complications across the globe.
There are Better Alternatives
You can eat red meat, but in moderation, but for the best results, you’d be better off going for the many alternatives to red meat that are in the market. You can switch to eating chicken, cooked fish, eggs, legumes, nuts, tofu, and all types of vegetables and foods that are cholesterol-free. You should definitely keep off medium-rare red meat as that will give you more than what you can bargain for.
The human body is very delicate and gets affected by everything we consume. Keeping track of what we should or should not eat can be a tall order for many people. Banning red meat would be impossible in the current environment since it is a whole industry on its own; therefore, it comes down to how much an individual values their health. If you are the kind that cares about their well-being, red meat shouldn’t feature in your diet.