Red meat eaters have always been warned to cut their consumption to reduce the risk of cancer and heart related diseases, but a new study has found that consuming red meat and cheese reduces chances of dying early. TUNDE OGUNTOLA writes.
Red meat is often rich in fat and cholesterol, and an increase in both has been associated with numerous health conditions like heart disease and diabetes. A serving of red meat contains a healthy dosing of protein as well as vital nutrients including iron, vitamin B12, and zinc, among others.
Red meat, i.e. beef, lamb and pork, has a role to play in a healthy, balanced diet as it is a natural source of protein, iron, zinc and B vitamins. In fact the UK government recommends eating around 70g (cooked weight) of red meat a day and the majority of people in the UK are well within this target.
Despite the alarming headlines, red meat isn’t all bad. A healthy diet can absolutely include moderate amounts of red meat, a nutrition educator and advocate. It is packed with protein (there are about 22 grams in a three-ounce portion), which plays a role in weight loss by inducing that feel-full sensation.
For a healthy way to eat red meat, first, consider portion size. Researchers recommend eating no more than 18 ounces of red meat per week. That should not feel too restrictive given that a portion should be 3 to 4 ounces, or about the size of a small iPhone. But many people need to reprogram what qualifies as one helping, as restaurant servings can be close to 16 ounces or more, Begun said. In other words, don’t take the fact that red meat can be nutritious as a pass to regularly wolf down huge cuts of steak.
Next, choose the right cut. As it is suggested that avoiding unnecessary calories and fat by choosing pieces of meat with “round” or “loin” on the label, or ground beef that’s 90 percent lean. You can slash the fat count even more by opting for grass-fed options, which have less fat and more antioxidants than grain-fed beef, according to a 2010 study published in Nutrition Journal.
Also, think of meat as one ingredient in your dish rather than making it the star of your plate. Begun suggested adding slices of beef to a dinner salad or cooking them in a veggie stir-fry.
Hence, it is about time to add red meat and cheese back to your diet; this is because researchers at McMaster University in Canada have found that consuming red meat and cheese reduces your chances of dying early.
McMaster professor of nutrition and epidemiology and principal investigator at the university’s Population Health Research Institute, Andrew Mente and his team said this at the European Society of Cardiology conference in Germany. They revealed that consuming meat and dairy reduces the chances of premature death by 25 percent and heart attack by 22 percent.
“For example, our results show that dairy products and meat are beneficial for heart health and longevity. This differs from current dietary advice.”
“It’s protective up to the serving sizes that we’ve identified. We are saying three dairy and we are saying around one portion of red meat [a day], or white meat.”
While stating that what constitutes a healthy diet may need to be thought out again, they said that a healthy diet should consist of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and meat.
“People who consumed a diet emphasising fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy products and meat had the lowest risks of cardiovascular disease and early death.”