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Is Red Meat Good or Bad For Your Health?

By eHealthIQ
Reviewed: August 26, 2013

There’s always a debate on whether or not red meat is good or bad for your health. Choosing what to eat is a personal choice, but you should be as informed as possible about what you decide to put into your body. Knowing how red meat affects you will help you decide if it is right for you or not.

Red Meat And Your Body

Red meat is full of iron and Vitamin A. These are important minerals and vitamins that your body needs. Red meat is also full of fat and cholesterol. The average three-ounce portion of steak contains at least 25 grams of fat. That’s practically all of your daily fat needs in one small piece of meat.

A new study from Harvard suggests that the L-carnitine in red meat is linked to heart disease. It’s still too early for scientists to make a definitive statement, but the link is something to consider before you pick up your fork. L-carnitine is a necessary amino acid for carnivores, but it may not be necessary for humans.

Red meat is also known to lead to colon cancer. This is particularly true if you consume excess amounts of processed meats. Processed meats are typically worse than natural and organic choices. This study measured a 28 percent increase in those who consumed red meats, and a 20 percent increase in those who consumed any type of processed meat. Combining processed and red meat you get a pretty dangerous combination.
 

What About Positives?

It’s hard to find positives about red meat. You do get a good dose of iron and protein when you eat red meat. Protein is an important muscle-building nutrient that is responsible for a lot of bodily functions. Protein isn’t needed in massive doses though, and you can reduce your overall consumption and still meet your needs. If you do choose to eat red meat, limit your consumption to about three servings of three ounces each week. A nine-ounce steak is still too much at once. You want to space out your servings.

Red meat that isn’t processed and is organic can definitely be a better choice. Grass-fed beef is healthier, higher in omega-3 fatty acids and generally a better choice for anyone. If you can’t afford it, you may want to consider skipping it altogether.

Making The Decision

Choosing to eat red meat or to abstain from it is a decision only you can make. Do some research with peer-reviewed studies. These are more informative than massive media when it comes to health advice. Research studies are on top of the game and able to give you insight into what decisions will be healthiest for you and your family.

The bottom line is to reduce your consumption. That will help your health in the long run, and you will be so much healthier for cutting back even a little bit. You should also eliminate processed red meat, but make the decision yourself for all other types of red meat you may consume on a regular basis.
 

http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/Red-meat-and-colon-cancer.shtml
http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/new-study-links-l-carnitine-in-red-meat-to-heart-disease-201304176083

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