Red Meat-Nutritional Benefits

Red meat is the meat of mammals, which is normally red when raw. It’s one of the most controversial foods in the history of nutrition. Red meat is generally meat derived from farm reared mammals, such as pork, ham and other cuts from pigs, Lamb, Beef. Red meat in a pure form is a good source of protein and B vitamins and has been a key part of the human diet.

Red meat is a popular food amongst those following a paleo diet, in which food choices are guided by judging which foods would have been available to our ancient ancestors. Paleo diet will often try to seek food that is unprocessed and where the animals have been fed a natural diet. Raw red meat can carry dangerous bacteria so it is important that red meat is stored, cooked and handled appropriately. Wash your hands after handling raw meat and wash any utensils and crockery that have been used for raw meat.

For many households, red meat is considered a food staple, with some of us consuming beef, lamb, and pork in different variations on a daily basis. It is advised that people can consume 90g or less of red meat per day. A thin slice of pork, lamb or beef the size of half a slice of bread provides about 30g of meat.

Nutritional Benefits

Red meat is one of the very nutritious foods you can eat. Red meat contains large amounts of protein, saturated fat, iron, creatine, minerals such as zinc and phosphorus, and B-vitamins: (niacin, vitamin B12, thiamin and riboflavin). It contains small amounts of vitamin D and is a source of lipoic acid.

Protein: Red meat is a good source of high quality protein with 20-24 grams of protein per 100 grams. Protein in red meat contains amino acids which is essential for growth, maintenance and the repair of the body and also provide energy.

Iron: Iron is needed to help red blood cells transport oxygen, as iron deficiencies are more likely to occur in children, elderly people and pregnant women. Iron is also available dark green leafy plants, beans and grains but is best absorbed by the body from red meat.

Zinc: Zinc is required by the body for DNA synthesis and helps the immune system to function effectively, building muscle mass, and promotes a healthy brain. As well being found in red meat, zinc is also found in fish, grains, eggs and beans. Including a serving or two of red meat in your diet will ensure that you don’t suffer from a zinc deficiency.

Vitamin B: Amongst the B vitamins found abundantly in red meat are vitamin B6 and vitamin12. Vitamin B6 is beneficial for the immune system and vitamin B12 beneficial for the nervous system. People taking the diabetes drug metformin have an increased risk of having lower levels of vitamin B12.

Red meat is also rich in important nutrients like creatine and carnosine. Non-meat eaters are often low in these nutrients, which may potentially affect muscle and brain function.

Grass-fed beef is even more nutritious than grain-fed beef, containing plenty of heart-healthy omega-3s, the fatty acid CLA and higher amounts of vitamins A and E.

Public health guidelines recommend limiting red meat consumption. It is recommend that eating more than 18 ounces of cooked red meats each week reduce cancer risk, while processed meats should be avoided completely.

Over View

  • Properly cooked red meat is likely very healthy.
  • As long as you choose unprocessed you can experience some health problems.
  • While consuming processed meat or grass-fed red meat, make sure to use gentler cooking methods and avoid burnt/charred pieces, there probably is nothing to worry about.
  • It’s highly nutritious and loaded with healthy proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, along with various nutrients known to positively affect the function of both your body and brain.
  • Liver contains much higher quantities of vitamin D than other parts of the animal.
  • Red meat should not be reheated more than once to prevent food poisoning from occurring. When cooking red meat, heat it all the way through to ensure bacteria inside the meat is killed.