As of 2019, the average American is estimated to consume five servings of red or processed meat a week, making it a staple in most people's diets. Specialists usually classify red meat as muscle meat from beef, pork, lamb, goat, or other land mammals. It is a toxin that researchers have linked to an increased risk of heart disease death. For example: When a person cooks meat at a high temperature, such as by pan frying it or grilling it over an open flame, certain chemicals form in the meat. A recent study found that people who eat red meat regularly have higher levels of a metabolite called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). They suggest that eating high amounts of saturated fat and any amount of trans fat can raise a person’s cholesterol levels and increase their risk of heart disease. Saturated vs. unsaturated fat: Why nutritionists say unsaturated is healthier and how to get more in your diet, 5 of the best foods to lower blood sugar and manage diabetes, 5 science-backed benefits of vitamin B12 and how to get enough of it in your diet. SWAPPING red meat for chicken and fish – or pulses like beans and lentils – could help lower your chances of bowel cancer, experts claim. The AHA also explain that beans and legumes are heart-healthy alternative sources of protein. He used the carnivore diet to cure IBS, rheumatoid arthritis and his acne. The researchers estimated that substituting one serving of nuts, low-fat dairy, or whole grains for a serving of red meat each day lowered the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 16% to 24%. Researchers say that red meat contains important nutrients, including protein, vitamin B-12, and iron. While many vegetarians choose to consume eggs and dairy products, vegans do not consume these animal…, Cancer-fighting foods include apples, berries, and fatty fish. Nonheme iron occurs in plants and iron fortified foods, such as cereals and plant milks. For years, experts have believed that the link between red meat consumption and heart disease is due to the saturated fat that is present in red meat. The National Cancer Institute say that people can reduce their exposure to these chemicals by: Serving antioxidant rich vegetables, such as dark leafy greens, with cooked meats is another good way to support the body. The risk was higher for both red meat and processed meat, though processed meat seemed to raise the risk more. On one hand, red meat is a good source of certain nutrients, especially vitamin B-12 and iron. Depending on the cut, it can have high amounts of protein, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants — which are all important for your health. Heme iron is only present in meat, poultry, and seafood. Red meat has been termed “bad” because over the years (according to researchers), it has been associated with health conditions like heart disease, cancers, and the likes even though it is said to be a good source of protein and other nutrients needed by the body. This is because they are unprocessed and do not contain excess salt, fat, or preservatives. Eating red meat may increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer. But eating a lot of red and processed meat probably increases your risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer. Enjoying a steak once in a while isn’t a death sentence. A new report suggests longstanding guidelines that red meat is bad for your health may not be true. Like all foods, the decision whether to eat red meat is an individual choice and depends on many other factors. … All rights reserved. A serving of red meat is also a good source of zinc, which can help the body produce testosterone, and selenium, a powerful antioxidant. It’s the age old food debate – is red meat healthy or not? Red meat (such as beef, lamb and pork) can form part of a healthy diet. This includes sausages, bacon, ham, salami and pâtés. Red Meat Is Crucial for Brain Development and Cognitive Function Choline and B vitamins contribute greatly to brain development. The findings of specific studies vary, however. Nevertheless, not all red meat has the same health effects. However, red meat in moderation can be a great source of protein, vitamin B12, and iron. Here are some tips for consuming red meat so that it doesn't harm your health. So far, results have been mixed. Red meat contains heme iron — the most easily absorbed type of dietary iron. Red meat can be a good source of protein, B vitamins, iron and zinc. Processed red meats — including bacon, hot dogs, sausage, bologna, salami, and similar meats — appear to carry the highest risk of health problems. “If you have the option, you should avoid as much of processed meats as you possibly can. For this reason, people may wish to cut back on red and processed meat and to focus on foods that contain antioxidants and nutrients — such as fruits and vegetables — that can help prevent health problems. A 3 oz serving of raw ground beef has 14.7 grams of protein while an equal amount of raw ground lamb contains 14.1 grams. All of the Evidence that Red Meat is Not Bad For You. A leading-edge research firm focused on digital transformation. Carnivore Aurelius is a nutrition and biochemistry expert who's studied for over 5 years. What is the difference between veganism and vegetarianism? Like what you see here? Steven Gundry MD, a cardiothoracic surgeon, says that the link between red meat and cancer may lie in a molecule called Neu5Gc, which is not naturally found in humans. The AHA are less specific in their meat recommendations. But, experts warn that eating too much of it can be bad for your health. Red meat isn't all bad. Minerals, like iron, zinc, and selenium, along with vitamin B-12 are plentiful in red meat, moreso than in other sources. Examples include: A meta-analysis in the journal Circulation looked at 36 different studies. Also, because researchers have linked highly processed foods with numerous health problems, this may not be a positive trade-off. Is red meat bad for you? A: For heart disease , the answer is pretty clear. Packaged, processed, and fried foods tend to contain the most. Studies have found that eating large amounts of red meat also increases your risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Research indicates that chronic inflammation is closely tied to cancer development. Some recent research suggests that eating red meat regularly could increase the risk of cancer or death. The American Heart Association (AHA) claim that red meats generally have more saturated fat than other sources of protein, such as chicken, fish, or legumes. Myoglobin is an iron-rich protein that carries and stores oxygen in muscle cells. Processed meat refers to meat that has been preserved by smoking, curing, salting or adding preservatives. In addition, a 26-year study published in 2010 examined the diets of over 80,000 healthy women. Examples include: Modern research has linked red meat consumption to serious health problems including Similarly, the American Heart Association has spent the last several decades suggesting you decrease you cut out red meat to reduce your risk of heart disease. Animal based foods, such as meat and dairy, are the main dietary sources of vitamin B-12. Still, the body of evidence claiming that eating high amounts of red meat, especially processed meat, could lead to health problems is growing. The key difference between red meats and white meat like chicken and turkey is how much myoglobin is present. Red meat like steak can sit inside of your stomach sometimes for 3 days before it’s fully digested! It is important to remember that substituting red meat for processed, low quality carbohydrates can worsen insulin sensitivity, triglyceride levels, and overall health. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a healthcare professional, World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), Diabetes risk is shared between people and their dogs. Public health officials for years have urged Americans to limit consumption of red meat and processed meats because of concerns that these foods are linked to heart disease, cancer and other ills. Some processed meats are also considered red meat. Red meat intake was also associated with an elevated risk of esophagus and liver cancer. Subscribe to our daily newsletter to get more of it. It does not address the ethical and environmental arguments around the consumption of red meat. However, there is evidence to suggest that eating a lot of red meat can raise a person’s risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and other health concerns. Reason 3: Your Risk of Colon Cancer Goes Up With Your Red Meat Consumption. Learn more about the…, Just 10 diseases account for almost three-quarters of all deaths in the U.S. Heart disease is the biggest killer, followed by cancer, then chronic…, People who eat or are considering vegetarian or vegan diets may be concerned about getting enough protein from their food. A 3 oz serving of ground, raw beef has about 76% (1.8mcg) of the daily recommended intake of B12, while a 3 oz serving of ground, raw lamb has over 83% (2 mcg). Other studies have questioned the notion that saturated fat has links with heart disease. Instead, eating it in moderation, choosing leaner cuts, and buying grass-fed over-processed meat can help you mitigate the health risks. The NIH state that heme iron is more bioavailable, which means that the body can use it more easily. This may be why researchers have linked processed meat with greater health risks than unprocessed meat. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, one 3.5-ounce (oz) or 100-gram (g) serving of uncooked ground beef contains: Many factors can affect the nutritional value of a specific piece of meat. Daily consumption of red meat is bad for your health, as it increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. However, that doesn't mean you have to cut red meat out of your diet entirely. Iron is a mineral that helps carry oxygen throughout the body. Does eating red meat increase the risk of cancer and heart disease? However, not everyone agrees that people should avoid or limit red meat. Conversely, higher intakes of poultry, fish, and nuts were associated with a significantly lower risk. A 2011 analysis tracked the diets of almost 450,000 people over 20 years. Red meat is defined as the meat of mammals, which includes beef, pork, veal, venison, elk, bison and buffalo. A small 2019 study funded by the National Institutes of Health noted that red meat contains TMAO, a chemical linked to heart disease. But generally speaking, choosing white meat or vegetarian options are your best bets… These foods may help prevent cancer and promote general health. The guidelines for how much red meat is healthful vary from organization to organization. A standard serving of raw, ground beef has almost 1.7mg of iron whereas an equal serving of lamb has about 1.3mg. This article looks at what the research says, official dietary recommendations, and what amount of red meat might be healthful. For example, cuts from different parts of the animal vary in their calorie and fat content. In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified red meat as a “probable carcinogen,” meaning red meat consumption is likely to increase your risk of cancer[*]. Studies have found that red meat consumption can increase your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Published on February 12, 2020. What is red meat? The scientific consensus is eating a lot is bad for your health. since. Bacteria in the gut produce TMAO during digestion. This study shows that people who ate red meat had triple the levels of TMAO compared with those who ate white meat or plant based proteins. Major health organizations, such as the AICR and the AHA, suggest eating more plants and less meat to help combat disease. Research is ongoing. Specifically, the paper states that based on several large studies, people who ate more red meat were more likely to develop colorectal cancer. But if you’re eating meat twice a day most days, and you’re not eating very much fruit, vegetables or fibre alongside it, … A recent news story has whetted the appetite of meat-eaters around the world. The national cancer society recommends you eat no more than 20 ounces of red meat per week. On the other hand, headlines have hit out saying that this new research is nonsense, and that it could be deadly if people start eating more meat. Is red meat bad? While red meat offers nutritional benefits, choosing cuts high in saturated fat and cholesterol comes with unsavory side effects. Here are the health risks and benefits of eating red meat. , cancer, and diabetes. Learn about the nutritional value of these and other meat substitutes…, © 2004-2020 Healthline Media UK Ltd, Brighton, UK, a Red Ventures Company. Is red meat bad for you? They also say to eat little, “if any,” processed meat. In 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer — an agency under the World Health Organization — classified red meat as "probably" carcinogenic, or cancer-causing. They therefore recommend that people limit the amount of red meat they eat and encourage people to choose lean cuts of meat. In fact, they say that “people can obtain adequate protein from a mixture of pulses (legumes) and cereals (grains).”. Some studies have suggested that aside from the saturated fats debate, red meat still has other potential heart disease risks. What are the leading causes of death in the US? One of the biggest complaints about red meat is that it’s bad for your cardiovascular health. Quite a few studies have provided evidence of red meat potentially causing colon cancer, and a U.S. study which involved 148,610 participants between the ages of 50 and 74 showed that a high consumption of red and processed meats substantially increased the risk of colorectal cancer. It found that higher intakes of red meat were significantly associated with an elevated risk of coronary heart disease. Gundry says that when humans eat red meat, their immune systems attack the Neu5GC molecule, causing chronic inflammation. Also, the way the farmer raised the animal, the animal’s diet, and even the animal’s age and sex can affect the nutritional value of the meat. This would be equivalent to about 12–18 oz per week. For this reason, people who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet may need to take supplemental B-12 in order to prevent B-12 deficiency anemia. classified red meat as "probably" carcinogenic, Is spicy food good for you? "Foods such as red meat can affect people in different ways, working really well for some and not so great for others," says Frank Lipman, MD, integrative and functional medicine physician, founder of Eleven Eleven Wellness Center, and author of 10 Reasons You Feel Old and Get Fat. One article states that an “overzealous focus” on limiting red meat can lead people to eat less nutritious foods, such as highly processed junk foods. Health benefits and consequences often boil down to what type of red meat you’re eating, how often and how much. The vilification of red meat has everything to do with public discourse, and nothing to do with science. A debate is still on and there are confusions and controversies still there, whether consuming red meat is good or bad for human health. Admittedly, there are several downsides to eating red meat. The newest health guidelines encouraging more meat consumption caused a lot of conflict in the health community. If the answer were only that simple. While consuming large amounts of red meat may cause cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, that doesn't mean you cannot eat it in moderation. The research also found a higher risk of pancreatic and prostate cancer in those who ate red meat. Some observational studies have found that regular consumption could be associated with a higher risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, but more research is still needed. Protein is an essential nutrient that powers chemical reactions throughout the body and is the building block of hair, nails, and muscles. Leaner cuts of unprocessed red meat, such as sirloin steaks or pork tenderloin, may be more healthful than other types. Red meat may also contribute to cancer. For example, a 2007 study of approximately 500,000 people between the ages of 50 and 71 found that both red and processed meat intake was positively associated with colorectal and lung cancers. The researchers provide some thoughtful insights into meat consumption, but the majority of evidence collected over the years contradicts their theory. Plus, red meat is rich in iron. However, their TMAO levels returned to normal around 4 weeks after stopping eating red meat. Meats that are preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or adding chemical preservatives are labeled as processed. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) list some types of red meat as good sources of heme iron. Nutritionists and health experts have spent years debating the benefits and risks of eating red meat in an attempt to determine whether it is good or bad for health. Nutritionists say it may boost your metabolism and increase your life expectancy, Many health claims about celery juice are false — here are 4 proven benefits backed by science, Dietitians say there is no scientific evidence that MSG is bad for you and is actually found in everything from tomatoes to instant noodles, Saturated vs. unsaturated fat: why nutritionists say unsaturated fat is healthier, How to recognize the symptoms of magnesium deficiency and effectively treat it. The focus of this article is on the health impacts of red meat. Some observational studies have found that regular consumption could be associated with a higher risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer, but more research is still needed. But eating a lot of red and processed meat probably increases your risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer. This notion that red meat is bad for you is actually scientifically incorrect. The study found that eating red meat daily tripled levels of TMAO in participants' bloodstream compared to those who ate just white meat or non-meat sources of protein. One 2015 paper states that red meat is “probably carcinogenic to humans,” and that processed meat is “carcinogenic to humans.” This is consistent with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) classifications. The human body needs these nutrients to produce new red blood cells. Can a smile reduce the pain of an injection? Study after study has suggested an association between red meat consumption (especially processed red meat) and bad health outcomes like cancer, heart disease, and even diabetes. Another article says that numerous analyses and reviews do not support the notion that eating saturated fat has links with heart disease. 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