Meat is one of the best sources of protein and a lot of different healthy nutrients. Even though it is a staple in many diets, many people consider meat consumption unhealthy and unethical. Meat is typically consumed as chops, steak, roast, or ribs. Even offal is an important part of many of the traditional dishes of the eastern culture.
Different Types Of Meat That We Usually Consume
Red meat is the muscle tissue of mammals and it is high in iron-rich protein myoglobin. Some of the most popular red meat that we usually consume are pork, beef, veal, lamb, goat, and game, such as elk, bison, and deer.
White meat is the meat that usually comes from birds and small game. Some examples of white meat are chicken, duck, turkey, goose, and wild birds. This type of meat is usually lighter in color than red meat.
Processed meat is the meat that is modified to enhance its flavor or to preserve it. The modification process is done through smoking, salting, drying, curing, etc.
Nutrients Present In Meat
We have already discussed that meat is one of the greatest protein sources. About 31 grams of protein is present in a 100-gram serving of cooked chicken breast. Animal protein is the complete protein and it provides all the necessary 9 amino acids.
Vitamins B12, vitamin B6, zinc, phosphorus, selenium, niacin riboflavin, etc. are also present in good amounts in red meat. The amount of vitamin thiamine is very high in pork and every 5.5 ounce serving of pork chops provides about 78% of the DV for thiamine.
Reasons For Reducing Meat Consumption
Many studies are telling us that increased meat consumption can cause many health problems Let’s take a look at why reducing meat consumption is good for your health.
Effects Of Carcinogens
Many studies are showing that certain ways of cooking and preparing meats have a negative impact on your health. People often grill, barbecue, or smoke meat at high temperatures and this causes the fat to be released from the meat and it then drips onto the cooking surface. Since the cooking surface is too hot, it will produce a toxic compound called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. This toxic compound will rise and seep into the meat you are preparing.
Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are carcinogenic and may cause cancer. Therefore, the best way to prevent the risk of developing cancer is by avoiding meat consumption. Or, you can also minimize smoking and wipe away the drippings quickly from the hot surface. That way the formation of PAHs can be reduced by 89%.
Meat Consumption Can Increase Cancer Risk
Some clinical studies have linked high meat consumption with increased cancer risk. According to some of the recent studies, consuming more red meat will increase the risk of prostate cancer, kidney cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, etc.
Many recent studies have observed a strong connection between red meat consumption and colon cancer. Some of the studies have shown that the increased risk is due to the cooking method but there are many other studies that also observed an increased cancer risk with well-cooked meat.
Some animal studies are showing that the heme iron present in red meat also plays a major role in the development of colon cancer. Also, some studies have shown that too much consumption of processed meat will cause inflammation in the colon, which may eventually lead to cancer.
Meat Consumption May Increase The Risk Of Heart Disease
Many anecdotal records and clinical studies are showing increased heart disease risk with the consumption of processed meat products. A review of 20 studies conducted on over 1,2 million people has shown that there was a 42% increase in the risk of heart disease with the consumption of processed meat. However, some controlled studies are showing that there is a positive effect on the risk factors of heart disease with increased consumption of high-fat meat varieties.
Increases The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
According to many studies, there is a strong association between the consumption of red meat and processed meat and the chances of developing type 2 diabetes. A recent study has shown that there is a 30% increase in the risk of developing type 2 diabetes when half a serving of red meat is consumed regularly for about 4 years.
Weight Control And Obesity
Consuming a high amount of processed and red meat will lead to obesity. When your body weight increases, you are at a higher risk of developing health issues like type 2 diabetes and heart diseases. Higher meat consumption is associated with a higher intake of calories, which in turn can lead to weight gain and obesity.