Meat - Processed, Red, White, Fish… What Are The Facts?
Meat has been a hot topic of conversation in the media recently. You may have caught an article or two in the paper suggesting we should “give up eating meat altogether”. This discussion was triggered by the results of a British study which showed that consuming red meat increased the risk of developing cancer, heart disease and diabetes. It’s not the first study to show this link but it got a lot of media attention, and we’re glad it got this conversation going!
Why is over consuming red meat such a big problem for countries all around the world?
Red meat is (and has been for a very long time) a food staple in many different cultures’ cuisines. A juicy steak in Australia, cured meats in Italy, bangers to go with your mash in the UK or a rack of ribs in the US. It is incredibly popular and is still being consumed in very large amounts worldwide. But there is growing evidence to suggest there needs to be a shift regarding the production and consumption of red meat.
The international agency for research on cancer has classified “processed meat as a carcinogen, something that causes cancer - and red meat as a probable carcinogen, something that probably causes cancer” (IARC, 2015). The IARC is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization.
Now we’re not suggesting you remove all red meat from your diet! There are certain meats and ways of cooking meat that have the strongest link with diet related diseases.
So the key tips for consuming meat in the healthiest way possible are:
- To choose lean cuts
- Consume smaller portions (limit consumption of red meat to three or four times per week)
- Use the more gentle methods of cooking red meat like stewing or steaming
- Choose poultry or seafood instead
- Cooking red meat above 150 ̊C
- Exposing meat directly to a flame and charring the meat
- Smoking meat
- Eating highly processed meats e.g. cured meats
Over the next 7 days, decrease your consumption of red meat, increase your consumption of poultry and seafood and have 2 meat free days!
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