The Benefits and Drawbacks of Eating Red Meat

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

Lean red meat is part of a healthy diet. It’s so full of essential vitamins and minerals that it’s considered as one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. It’s also low in calories, making it an ideal food item for dieters.

However, too much of a good thing is bad especially since the quality of meats then vastly differ from meats produced today. For one thing, most cows are raised in cramped, dirty environments. This leads to infestation of microbes that could taint the meat product. In addition, most cows are raised on antibiotics and chemical-laden feeds. Traces of chemicals are left on the meat. This makes red meat unhealthy.

Over-processing, poor diet, and an unhealthy environment are factors that contribute to poor meat quality. However, as long as the cows are raised free ranging and are grass-fed, then the meat products will have the highest nutritional value.

Benefits of Eating Red Meat

Builds Muscles

Red meat is made up of protein. As such, it’s full of amino acids that help build leaner muscles. A reasonable serving of lean meat—followed up by a healthy diet and regular exercise—leads to faster muscle development, which is great news for bodybuilders and health nuts alike.

Loaded with Essential Nutrients

As mentioned earlier, lean meat is one of the most nutritious foods in the world. Just a hundred grams of raw ground beef contains 35% of your recommended daily allowance (RDA) of niacin, 37% of the RDA for vitamin B12, and 10% RDA of vitamin B6. It’s also packed with iron, zinc, and selenium!

It’s Low in Calories

Consuming a matchbox-sized portion of lean meat will allow you to meet your daily recommended dietary allowance for red meat. As long as you enjoy leaner cuts of red meat, you won’t consume more calories. This is why most bodybuilders and fitness buffs are able to eat red meat without getting fat.

Drawbacks of Red Meat

It Causes Cardiovascular Diseases

One of the most glaring cons of eating red meat is it could lead to a number of heart and artery disorders. Meat are high in bad cholesterol. Cholesterol hardens into fat plaques that cause obstruction in the arteries. Over time, fat plaques will constrict blood flow to the body and increase the risk of stroke and blood clotting. Minimizing your portions of red meat helps cut the risks of developing cardiovascular diseases.

It May Cause Cancer

Multiple studies suggest that one of the most serious long-term effects of eating red meat is it causes cancer. Although there is yet a research that links cancer to red meat consumption directly, some scientists observed that people who suffer from colorectal cancer tend to be meat lovers. Some scientists believe that it’s not really the meat that’s triggering the formation of cancer cells, but the way the meat breaks down during cooking.

It Could Cause Diabetes, Early Deaths

Observational studies suggest that red meat could cause diabetes and early deaths. Although many health experts believe that there is a strong link between diabetes and excessive consumption of red meat, research for it is very minimal. Processed meat, in particular, may increase the risk of early deaths as well as opening doors to various diseases.