IS RED MEAT BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?

IS RED MEAT BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?
Red meat includes fresh beef, pork, lamb, mutton, veal, as well as processed meats that come from these animal sources. These foods can add value to your diet because they are rich in protein, iron, B vitamins and zinc. However their saturated fat and cholesterol content can adversely affect your health and the manner in which red meat is produced, processed and cooked can also impact your well-being.

According to www.webmd.com a study by National Institutes of Health-AARP in America of more than a half-million older Americans concluded that people who ate the most red meat and processed meat over a 10-year-period were likely to die sooner than those who ate smaller amounts.

Eating red meat increases the risk of the following ailments:

  1. Cardiovascular Disease
Animal-based dietary fats, such as the ones found in red meat, can contribute to risk factors associated with heart disease and stroke. They add cholesterol and saturated fats to your diet, which can increase the accumulation of a fatty substance called plaque to the walls lining your arteries.

  1. Cancer
Red meat can increase your likelihood of developing cancer in several ways. “After a systemic review of scientific studies, an expert panel of the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research concluded in 2007 that “red or processed meats are convincing or probable sources of some cancers.” Their report says evidence is convincing for a link between red meat, processed meat, and colorectal cancer, and limited but suggestive for links to lung, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers” according to webmd.com.

  1. Diabetes
The greater the amount of red meat you consume and of processed red meat in particular, the greater your risk can be of developing type 2 diabetes. Processed red meats can contain preservatives such as nitrosoamines that are toxic to the pancreatic cells that produce insulin. In addition, chemical changes to red meat during cooking or processing can lead to insulin resistance in your cells and tissues.

ARE THERE BENEFITS OF EATING RED MEAT?
According to www.Webmd.com there are some nutritional benefits of eating red meat and they include:

  • It is high in iron and the heme iron in red meat is easily absorbed by the body.

  • It supplies vitamin B12, which helps make DNA and keeps nerve and red blood cells healthy. It is also a good source of zinc, which keeps the immune system working properly.

  • Red meat provides protein, which helps build bones and muscles.

  • Shalene McNeil, PhD, Executive Director of Nutrition Research for The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association in the US says that “Calorie for calorie, beef is one of the most nutrient-rich foods, one 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes only 180 calories but you get 10 essential nutrients”.
IS RED MEAT BAD FOR YOUR HEALTH?

SIMPLE THINGS YOU CAN DO TO KEEP YOUR HEART HEALTHY

Sleeping: Too little sleep can increase the risk of developing heart disease by 48%. On the other hand, too much sleep gives a 38% higher chance. The ideal scenario is to sleep between 7 - 8 hours.

Laughing: Laughter is the best medicine and studies show that it causes blood vessels to expand, which increases blood flow and reduces pressure.

Eating less meat: Red meat has more cholesterol and saturated fat than chicken, fish and vegetable proteins e.g. beans.

If you like red meat, that’s fine as long as you limit the amount you eat.
“People don’t need to give up red meat,” says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, a nutrition professor at Georgia State University, “they need to make better selections in the type of meat they eat and the portions.”

By John kennedy Nnanna
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