why is too much red meat bad for you

Red meat offers solid nutritional benefits: ItБs high in quality protein and a good source of vitamin B-12, iron and zinc. On the other hand, itБs high in saturated fat and cholesterol. You can limit unhealthy fats by choosing lean cuts of meat, but that doesnБt help other health concerns. When red meat is cooked to a high temperature, it produces substances that increase your risk of some types of cancer. Red meat contains enough saturated fat and cholesterol that youБll need to watch portions and make sure that the total amount in your diet stays within the recommended daily intakes. Check the nutrition label on the meat you buy because fat content varies depending on the type and cut of meat. Various cuts of beef, veal, pork and lamb contain 65 to 130 milligrams of cholesterol in a 3-ounce serving, according to the U. S. Department of Agriculture. Saturated fat ranges from 1 to 10 grams. The American Heart Association recommends keeping your daily cholesterol to less than 300 milligrams. No more than 7 percent of your total daily calories should come from saturated fats. When red meat is cooked at high temperatures, such as grilling and pan-frying, two cancer-causing substances are produced: heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. A study published in the January 2008 issue of БCancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and PreventionБ concluded that consuming red meat that was well and very well done significantly increased the risk of prostate cancer.


Another study found that HCAs and PAHs from red meat may also increase the risk of developing colon cancer, according to the October 2013 issue of БNutrition and Cancer. Б
Unprocessed red meat is not associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease or diabetes, according to a review published in the May 2010 issue of БCirculation. Б People who ate red meat eight times weekly did not have a higher incidence of either disease than those who ate meat once a week or less. However, processed meats contribute to both diseases. Every daily serving of processed meat increased the risk of heart disease by 42 percent and the risk of diabetes by 19 percent, according to Harvard Health Publications. Any meat that contains preservatives or is preserved by smoking, curing or salting is processed meat. A few examples include hot dogs, bacon, sausage and luncheon meats. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends avoiding processed meat and limiting your consumption of red meat to no more than 18 ounces weekly. Based on a 3-ounce serving size, that works out to 6 servings of red meat weekly.


Other recommendations are more conservative. The U. S. Department of AgricultureБs Food Patterns suggests 1. 8 ounces of meat daily, or 12. 6 ounces weekly, based on a 2,000-calorie-a-day diet. The Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension, or DASH diet, recommends 1. 4 ounces of meat daily, or 9. 8 ounces weekly. The DASH recommendation is also based on consuming 2,000 calories daily. Humans have been eating meat throughout evolution and our digestive systems are well equipped to handle it. Traditional populations like the Inuit and Masai have eaten lots of meat, much more than the average Westerner, but remained in excellent health (, ). However, the meat we eat today is vastly different from the meat our ancestors ate. Back in the day, animals roamed free and ate grass, insects or whatever was natural to them. Picture a wild cow on a field 10. 000 years ago, roaming free and chewing on grass and various other edible plants. The meat from this animal is completely different from the meat derived from a cow that was born and raised in a factory and fed grain-based feed. It may also have received growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics. Today, some of our meat products go through even more processing after the animals are slaughtered. they are smoked, cured, then treated with nitrates, preservatives and various chemicals.


Therefore, it is very important to distinguish between the different types of meat: Processed meat: These products are usually from conventionally raised cows, then go through various processing methods. Examples include sausages and. Conventional red meat: Conventional red meats are fairly unprocessed, but the cows are usually factory farmed. Meats that are red when raw are defined as red meats. Includes lamb, beef, pork and some others. White meat: Meats that are white when cooked are defined as white meats. Includes meat from poultry like chicken and turkey. Grass-fed, organic meat: This meat comes from animals that have been naturally fed and raised organically, without drugs and hormones. They also don t have any artificial chemicals added to them. When examining the health effects of meat, it s important to realize that not all meat is created equal. The studies on meat, especially the ones performed in the U. S. , are mostly examining meat from factory farmed animals that have been fed grain-based feeds. Bottom Line: It is important to make the distinction between different kinds of meat. For example, grass-fed and organic meat is very different from factory-farmed, processed meat.

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