In today’s society we are a meat eating culture, where we consume some form of meat/poultry with most meals. We are told that too much meat is not good for us, that it is not good for our cholesterol and overall health; however there are many benefits in continuing to eat meat.
Red meat is a major source of b-group vitamins (B12, B1 and niacin), zinc, iron, protein, essential amino acids and long chian omega-3. Iron is important to our health and it helps our body to regenerate red blood cells. Our body absorbs on average 30% of its iron from red meat sources and only 2% from plant based sources. Zinc is vital for healthy skin and an immune system and the B-group vitamins are widely found in red meat and are used to maintain nerve cells and blood formation. Proteins in meats are complete (they contain all the essential amino acids), and these help in the body’s repair and renewal of our muscles and organs. By not consuming red meat you may become protein deficient, anaemic (low iron levels), tired and with low energy levels, constantly hungry, and having poor immunity.
Red meat and poultry can be high in saturated fats (which can raise cholesterol levels), due to the skin on poultry and the fat on certain cuts of meat. Due to the many health benefits of meat it is important to continue to consume meats; however, always opt for lean cuts with little or no fat and remove the skin from the chicken. The cooking method is important also. Healthy and recommended cooking methods include steaming, poaching, grilling, stir-fry and dry roasting.
You should be consuming red meat/poultry 2-3 times per week and for a daily serve of 65-100g (for women and men respectively). The following cuts are the leanest types and should be included in your diet regularly: chicken breast, beef rump steak, pork steak, venison, kangaroo, turkey steak and minced steak. White chicken meat (breast) contains less fat than dark meat (legs and wings) and is a healthier option. Including these in your diet a few times a week will certainly improve weight loss, and help you to avoid heart disease and reduce blood pressure.
Overall, excluding meats from your diet will not benefit you. There are numerous advantages with red meat, and as long as you choose low fat cuts of meat and cook using a healthy method, your body can obtain these important vitamins and minerals. You will remain strong and healthy and not experience any of the symptoms you may get from not including meat in your diet.