Is red meat really that bad? What is all the hype about?
The main reason they say red meat and processed meat are bad for you is because research shows it causes inflammation I want to talk about inflammation here. There are 2 types of inflammation: acute inflammation and chronic inflammation.
Acute inflammation is actually good for you, it helps your body heal and it protects you from infection and invader and this type of inflammation is usually provided with foods that are rich in omega 6 such as poultry.
Chronic inflammation is what causes all the health problems like arthritis, cancer, colorectal cancer. This happens when you don’t include enough omega 3 rich foods that have anti inflammatory effects.
Your body needs needs a 4:1 ration of omega 6 to omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 6 in inflammatory and takes the fat and metabolizes it. Omega 3 is anti0inflammatory and cleans out the extra fat from your veins.
This DOES NOT means you should avoid inflammatory food, it means you have to balance it with the anti inflammatory foods such as fish, olive oil and flax seed.
The Research on red meat
First, keep in mind that a lot of the anti-red meat research is done with regular standard meat or processed meat and are funded by companies that sell vegan products.
Second, all the research is done on the most common fatty or processed meat and the subjects were fed these meats daily which I believe plays a big role.
There is an article published on Harvard health in which they focus on the word “high” intake and suggest we should stick to 2-3 servings per week and look at it as a luxury, not staple food.
There are different cuts and types of meat which is not specified in the research you can use that can be very healthy for you which we are going to talk about soon in this article.
Genetics play a big role in how your body responds to food.
Even though there is evidence that our ancestors have all been vegetarians and humans are to survive and perform on vegan diets but I’d like to think in a shorter term.
It is very important to know how your family ate (at least 3 generations) and also what you have been consuming most of your life as your main food source. Whether that is just processed food, meat or vegan diet, you have to understand you can’t roam too far from that diet too quickly without facing any consequences.
As an Iranian girl, I have grown up eating some kind of animal product multiple times of the day and if I just cut that out of my life within a year and change a system that I am used to for 30 years and my parents, grandparents and great grand parents are used to eating.
Your whole digestive system is used to breaking down certain foods and when you introduce new foods or a diet you need to take a few years to slowly transition into it and you might develop some issues when you avoid certain food groups that your body is accustomed to. Another person who was born vegetarian like Nimai Delgado will have a completely different experience than me on a vegan diet since his body is completely adopted to this way of eating and he is also very knowledgeable about nutrition.
As my last tip for this section, I wanted to mention that I myself consume animal meal but I am a fan of lacto-ovo vegetarian diet which you still consume animal products but not the meat itself. If you are having milk and eggs which pretty much covers your full amino acid profile as well as B12. It can be a very good diet to transition into over a couple of years but most people who try these extreme diets are not fully aware of what their body needs to be healthy and never follow a nutritionist advice therefore I truly believe in moderation. I don’t like extreme dieting.
Okay now let’s talk about different types of meat...
Organic Versus Inorganic
The meat you buy at least must be certified organic. If you are in North America, meat is certified by USDA both in US and Canada.
Inorganic meat means they can using most conventional pesticides; fertilizers made with synthetic ingredients GMO or sewage sludge; bioengineering; or ionizing radiation. Before a product can be labeled "organic," a government-approved certifier inspects the farm where the food is grown to make sure the farmer is following all the rules necessary to meet USDA organic standards.
So far we know that if you are going to buy meat make sure it is at least organic. So at least we know the cow is not eating garbage and make sure they are also hormone and antibiotic free.
Grain fed, grass-fed or grass fed grass finished meat
Grain fed: animals that are fed grain not of their lives.
Grass-fed: animals eat grass for most of their lives but fed grain for the last 4 months so make them more fattier and ready faster. (pretty much same as grain fed. Don't pay extra for this)
Grass fed grass finished or 100% grass fed: animals that eat grass for all their lives and they live around 30 months. They have the leanest meat
Grain-Fed/ Standard meat
. The short version is that you must stick to grass fed grass finished beef but the grain fed organic beef are not the worst option as long as you pay attention to a few details.
As a healthy person, If you Too much iron which can be extremely unhealthy, or don’t drink alcohol regularly, healthy organic grain fed meat in moderation causes no issues.
. Gain fed cows tend to have more inflammation which increases their omega 6 profile. With this type of meat you want to make sure you are consuming the leanest cut with the least marbling.
. For ground meat always go for extra lean and fillets for steak.
Remember to consume a lot of omega 3 source fats and obviously consume in moderation. I suggest you consume 1 to maximum servings per week or 1 serving per 2 weeks.
. Keep in mind most of the studies that I talked about in the beginning of this video which labels meat as dangerous is done with regular grain fed meat and is fed to the subjects of the research almost daily.
. Some of the other measure to take is adding polyphenol-rich antioxidant spices to hamburger enhances flavor while reducing meat, plasma, and urine MDA levels. Herbs such as rosemary and oregano enhance flavor and inhibit lipid peroxidation and grilling meat helps remove most of the fat from your meat.
This type of meat from cows that eat only grass. All cows do graze on pasture for the first six months to a year of their lives, but most finish at a feedlot on a concentrated mix of corn, soy, grains, and other supplements, plus hormones and antibiotics.
Low fat, less tender, longer lived animals (30 months). At a steak house, the steak will not melt in your mouth, it would actually be a little drier than gran fed meat but it certainly is a better quality.
Grass fed meat is better for the planet, better for the consumer; and better for the cow.
It has a 2:1 ratio of omega 6: omega 3 fatty acids Which is very similar to of fish.
According to an article published on nutrition journal, Several studies suggest that grass-based diets elevate precursors for Vitamin A and E, as well as cancer fighting antioxidants such as glutathione (GT) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activity as compared to grain-fed contemporaries.