Want to live longer? Trade some of the red meat in your diet for fish, nuts, whole grains, and other healthier protein sources, Harvard researchers say.
Red meat is a term that came from a culinary industry. It refers to all meat that is red uncooked and does not appear white after being cooked. The common red meats being consumed in western part of the world are beef, lamb, goat, horse, goose, duck, pork and other livestock animals.
When red meat is consumed in moderation, it is beneficial to health. Most claims that advice against even small amounts of red meat consumption and assert it as being dangerous for health are misleading and far from the truth. There is no consistent evidence that the fats from red meat significantly raise cholesterol levels above the normal limits, cause a coronary heart disease or result in cancers from unprocessed meats.
An example of current red meat consumption controversy, a study from Harvard School of Public Health demonstrated that people who ate skinless chicken most days of the week had a 52% higher risk of acquiring a bladder cancer. On the contrary, those who consumed chicken with skin and had a variety of red meats in the diet were less likely to be affected.
Another 191-person study with those who had high cholesterol had defined 2 groups with one group consuming at least 80% of their dietary intake from red meats and another group consuming strictly lean white meats. The results of this study funded by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association demonstrated nearly identical triglyceride and cholesterol levels in both groups. This particular study suggested that lean red meat may be potentially beneficial in low-fat diets to treat high cholesterol.
Benefits of red meats
With consistently growing deficiencies of vitamins and minerals that our bodies require to function, the livestock meat is considered an essential element of the food chain.
Red meats contain some of the most important vitamins and minerals. Without these nutrients, people become sick more often while making a very faint connection to the actual deficiencies they create by their limited daily diet. This can be clearly demonstrated by following endless number of reports that vitamin B supplementation has been very effective to resolve a variety of ailments. Should there be no vitamin B deficiency, these illnesses would not occur in the first place nor would supplementation be effective. Red meat provides a rich spectrum of vitamin B compounds that work synergistically with minerals in the meat for great absorption and utilization.
But, if you are trying to decide whether red meat is safe to eat, then you should also know that the following four red flags have been raised. Still, it’s up to you to decide:
Reason 1: Red Meat May Increase Alzheimer’s disease Risk
Scientists believe when proteins called Tau and beta-amyloid accumulate in the brain they either disrupt nerve cells or kill them — and this may be the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. A new study from UCLA, though, suggests that iron accumulation is another possible contributing factor. Using an unusual MRI technique, researchers found that iron had begun to accumulate in the brains of 31 Alzheimer’s patients. Specifically, they discovered this build-up in a part of the brain which is generally damaged in the early stages of the disease. How does this connect to red meat? Well, it’s full of iron, and a high-red meat diet can lead to iron build up.
Reason 2: Red Meat Can Cause Cardiovascular Disease
Time and again scientists have demonstrated a connection between eating large amounts of red meat and an individual’s risk for heart disease. Now, a recent study suggests this link between red meat and disease does not derive from the saturated fats and cholesterol, but the fact that your gut microbes break down a compound found in the meat known as carnitine, which in turn produces trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). And TMAO has been associated with atherosclerosis, the fatty build-up in your arteries which in turn may cause a heart attack.
Reason 3: Your Risk of Colon Cancer Goes Up With Your Red Meat Consumption
Quite a few studies have provided evidence of red meat potentially causing colon cancer, and a U.S. study which involved 148,610 participants between the ages of 50 and 74 showed that a high consumption of red and processed meats substantially increased the risk of colorectal cancer. Fish and fowl, though, had the opposite effect: long-term consumption of large amounts of these appeared to ward off cancer of the colon and rectum.
Reason 4: Lots of Beef –> Type 2 Diabetes
According to recent research, red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes and three extra servings of red meat every week increases the risk of developing diabetes by 50 percent. That’s a pretty disheartening statistic. And you thought it was the cake and ice cream that would get you.