Why does everyone think that red meat is bad for you?
Red meat is bad for you if you eat crapy meat, just like anything else. Grass fed meat is something that has not been studied at all, and it’s relation to cancer. That said, thinking that “any” red meat is bad for you, is simply stupid. When you eat crap chicken, full of steroids and preservatives, and other processed food, you are eating things that will make you sick in the long run. Eating grass fed red meat, would be by far healthier than eating other drug infested food. So thinking that red meat is bad for you, is just dumb. Take a look at the video below.
Red meat is bad for you? What about this good stuff?
Red meat is a rich source of vitamin B12, which is vital to proper functioning of nearly every system in your body. B12 deficiency can play a role in everything from aging, neurological disorders, and mental illness, to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infertility. Red meat also contains significant levels of other B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, niacin, and vitamin B6. It’s crucial to get these vitamins from whole foods sources, rather than relying on government fortification of processed foods, and red meat is one of the easiest ways to ensure adequate intake.
For people who don’t eat a lot of oily fish or receive a lot of direct sun exposure, red meat can contribute significantly to their overall vitamin D intake. Red meat also contains a vitamin D metabolite called 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, which is assimilated much more quickly and easily than other dietary forms of vitamin D. In populations with low sun exposure, meat has been shown to be protective against rickets, a degenerative bone disease caused by severe vitamin D deficiency. Interestingly, consumption of milk with the same levels of vitamin D does not provide this same protection, indicating that the vitamin D in meat is uniquely absorbable and useful to the human body.
Red meat contains primarily heme iron, a form that is absorbed and utilized much more efficiently than the non-heme iron found in plant foods. Furthermore, even small amounts of meat can aid in the absorption of non-heme iron. For people with iron overload conditions like hereditary hemochromatosis, it’s probably best to limit high-iron foods such as red meat, but for most of the population – especially those with iron-deficiency anemia – the iron from red meat is beneficial. This is particularly important for women who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant, as iron is crucial for the growth and development of the fetal brain.
Red meat is an especially important source of zinc, because the other rich sources — organ meats and shellfish — are much less commonly consumed in our country. As with vitamin D and iron, the zinc present in red meat is highly bioavailable, and even a small amount of red meat in the diet can increase zinc utilization from all sources. Zinc is an essential mineral that is an imperative part of many physiological functions, including structure in certain proteins and enzymes, and regulation of gene expression, and those eating meat-free diets are at greater risk of zinc deficiency. Finally, to round out this impressive nutrient profile, red meat contains significant levels of other vital minerals such as magnesium, copper, cobalt, phosphorus, chromium, nickel, and selenium.
Why red meat trumps white meat
Some of the benefits I’ve mentioned thus far are not unique to red meat, but apply to animal flesh in general. For example, levels of B vitamins, vitamin D, and most of the trace minerals are just as high in white meat as in red. However, red meat does have significantly more b12, iron, and zinc than white meat, and those things alone are enough to set it apart. Where red meat really shines, though, is in its fatty acid profile.
The fat of ruminants comprises approximately equal parts of saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only a small amount of polyunsaturated fat. The unique ruminant digestive system ensures that these proportions stay relatively constant, regardless of what the animal eats. This makes red meat a better choice than pork or poultry for those that cannot afford pasture-raised meat, because you will still be getting mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats.
What is the point?
The point is that you should do as much research as possible to determine if you should eat red meat or not. There are a lot of studies about if red meat is good for you or not, but there are also a lot of people that claim these studies are correct, and they are simply not. A “study” can mean a million of different things, so make sure you understand fully what the study was before jumping to conclusions.