Red meat has long been considered unhealthy because of its high-fat content. But recent studies show that it might be good for you after all. What are some health benefits of red meat?
Red meat contains iron, zinc, vitamin B12, protein, and other nutrients that are essential for our body. It also provides us with energy and helps us build strong muscles.
But red meat isn’t always bad for you. It can provide several health benefits. The key is moderation. If you eat too much, you risk developing heart disease or cancer. However, if you consume the recommended amount, red meat may help prevent these diseases.
Health Benefits of Red Meat
Here are the top 14 reasons to eat red meat.
1. Contains Iron
Iron is essential for healthy blood cells, and red meat contains iron. This means that eating red meat regularly helps prevent heart disease and cancer.
However, there are some downsides to consuming too much red meat. The saturated fat in red meat increases cholesterol levels, which can lead to cardiovascular problems.
If you’re concerned about your health, eat red meat in moderation to avoid the risk.
2. Helps Build Strong Muscles
Eating red meat helps build stronger muscles. This is why many athletes choose to eat a lot of beef.
It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean that you should start eating steak every day. Instead, try to incorporate red meat into your meals once or twice per week. You don’t want to overdo it.
3. Provides Energy
Meat is an excellent source of protein, and it’s one of the best sources of energy. That makes it perfect for people who need extra energy throughout the day.
In addition, red meat is rich in amino acids, which help repair damaged muscle tissue. Eating red meat regularly can even improve athletic performance.
It’s important to remember that red meat is not as nutritious as plant-based foods like beans and lentils. So, if you’re looking to lose weight, you’ll want to make sure you get enough protein from other sources.
4. Good For Your Bones
A study published in Nutrition Reviews found that women who ate red meat at least three times per month had less bone loss than those who didn’t eat any red meat.
The researchers believe that the iron contained in red meat helps protect against osteoporosis.
5. Can Help Prevent Cancer
Several studies have shown that eating red meat can reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
For example, a study conducted by Harvard University showed that eating red meat was associated with lower risks of colon cancer. Another study found that men who consumed red meat were 50 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer.
Another study found that women who ate processed meats such as bacon, hot dogs, and sausage were at a higher risk of stomach cancer.
While these studies suggest that red meat consumption could help prevent cancer, they do not prove cause and effect. More research needs to be done before we know whether red meat does prevent cancer.
6. May Lower Blood Pressure
According to a study published in the Journal of Hypertension, people who eat red meat have a lower blood pressure than those who don’t.
This suggests that eating red meat may help prevent high blood pressure. High blood pressure can increase the risk of stroke and heart attack.
7. May Be Protective Against Diabetes
A recent study published in the journal Diabetologia found that people who regularly eat red meat tend to have better insulin sensitivity than those who don’t eat red meat.
Insulin resistance is linked to diabetes. People who have good insulin sensitivity are more likely to stay healthy and live longer.
8. Increases Cholesterol Levels
Eating red meat can raise cholesterol levels. In fact, according to the American Heart Association, people who consume two servings of red meat each week have about 30 percent greater chances of developing cardiovascular disease.
However, there are some benefits to eating red meat. A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating red meat reduced the risk of dying from coronary artery disease.
9. May Protect Against Alzheimer’s Disease
A recent study published online in Neurology found that people who ate red meat had a lower risk of developing dementia. This means that red meat may help keep your brain healthy.
In this study, researchers followed over 1,000 older adults for an average of nine years. They found that participants who ate red meat experienced fewer cognitive problems compared to those who did not eat red meat.
10. May Increase Bone Strength
A study published in the British Medical Journal found that people who eat red meat are less likely to suffer fractures. The researchers believe that the iron content in red meat helps build strong bones.
11. May Improve Your Mood
People who eat red meat tend to feel happier than those who don’t, according to a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine. Researchers believe that the protein in red meat provides essential nutrients that improve mood.
12. May Help Prevent Osteoporosis
People who eat red meat have lower rates of osteoporosis than those who don’t according to a study published by the European Food Safety Authority.
The researchers believe that the vitamin B12 contained in red meat protects against bone loss. However, it is important to note that other factors also play a role in preventing osteoporosis. These include exercise and adequate calcium intake.
13. May Keep You Leaner
According to a study conducted at Harvard University, people who eat red meats tend to weigh less than those who don’t because their bodies use up fat instead of muscle when they’re on a diet.
14. May Improve Athletic Performance
A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance found that athletes who ate red meat performed better on endurance tests than those who didn’t eat red meat. The researchers think that the iron in red meat increases oxygen uptake during exercise.
There are many other health benefits of red meat. However, it’s important to remember that while red meat is generally considered a healthier choice than white meat, it isn’t always the best option.
For instance, red meat contains saturated fat which raises bad cholesterol (LDL) and lowers good cholesterol (HDL). It also contains sodium which can lead to high blood pressure. Some types of red meat contain nitrites which can contribute to certain cancers. And, like all foods, red meat has calories. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, make sure you choose lean cuts of red meat instead of fatty ones.
Tips To Follow While Eating Red Meat
While eating red meat can be beneficial, there are some things you should know before indulging. Here are some tips to follow:
- Choose lean cuts of red meat. – Choose lean cuts of beef or pork rather than fatty ones.
- Eat small portions of red meat. – Don’t go overboard with red meat. Eat only one serving per day.
- Don’t overcook red meat. – Cook red meat until it reaches medium-rare. This will ensure that your steak doesn’t dry out.
- Don’t eat red meat more than twice a week. – Try to limit yourself to two servings every four weeks.
- Avoid processed meats.- Avoid canned meats such as ham and bacon. Processed meats may contain additives that cause cancer.
- Read food labels.- Look for labels that indicate whether a product was made from whole grains, organic ingredients, low-fat dairy products, or natural sweeteners.
Eating red meat can provide numerous health benefits. But, it’s important to keep in mind that not all types of red meat are created equal. Some types of red meat can harm your body. For instance, red meat containing large amounts of saturated fat can raise LDL levels and lower HDL levels. It can also increase the risk of heart disease. If you want to enjoy the benefits of red meat without harming your body, stick to lean cuts of red meat and avoid processed meats.
Bharat Sharma is a Delhi-based writer who loves reading and writing research-based topics revolving around health, fitness, and nutrition. His love for writing started during his teenage and continues till date. After his graduation, he worked for GE Money, and IBM, but later found his true love i.e. blogging.