Red lean meat is low in saturated fat, and if consumed as a part of a healthy diet, is associated with reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol.
Many people enjoy red meat but wonder whether it's healthy. Studies have busted the myth that red meat is unhealthy.
Red meat has acquired a negative reputation as its fat and cholesterol content is comparable to that in poultry and fish. Red meat has about 20-23 per cent protein content while the amount of fat varies between 5 to 30 percent. According to the experts, the fat in red meat fat is more saturated than poultry fat, while the fat in fish is primarily unsaturated in the form of fish oil.
Meat eating has been associated with heart disease, diabetes and cancer. The benefits of eating meat and several nutritional benefits are sidelined. There is a substantial scientific evidence to suggest that lean red meat is a healthy and beneficial component of any well balanced diet if fat is trimmed.
Red Meat and Cholesterol
Over the years, studies have found that lean red meat (trimmed of visible fat) does not raise blood cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. In fact, it is low in saturated fat, and if consumed as a part of a healthy diet, is associated with reductions in LDL (bad) cholesterol in individuals with high and normal cholesterol levels.
Red Meat and Cancer
Red meat is considered to be one of the causes of cancer. However, the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) and the American Dietetic Association (ADA) recommend red meat to those who are at increased risk of colon cancer.
Scientific evidence reveals that processed meat such as sausages, bacon and salami increase risk of bowel cancer more than red meat. They are high on fats and contain potentially carcinogenic (cancer causing) components such as nitrites.
It is recommended that cured or processed meats be eaten as a condiment or flavouring with foods rather than as a main dish. Organ meats such as liver and kidney are relatively low in fat but high on cholesterol, and should not be eaten more than once a month.
Benefits of Eating Red Meat
- It is an excellent source of B-complex vitamins, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and bio-available heme iron (more readily absorbed form of iron).
- Lean red meat may be an important source of iron for those who suffer from anaemia.
- The protein is a high quality protein, which provides all the essential amino acids that cannot be made by the body.
- Red meat is also a source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a group of fatty acids that are found in milk and milk products and ruminant animals. CLAs are known to reduce cholesterol, body fat and possess potentially anti-carcinogenic properties.
(Source: Financial Express)
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