There are few things as controversial as choosing to eat red meat every day. Whether it’s a juicy burger, a nice steak, or even a delicious taco, red meat is something that people tend to either love or hate. There are people who say red meat is terrible for you, and there are others who claim that’s it’s full of essential vitamins and nutrients. Whatever red meat camp you belong to, though, it’s no secret that the protein source has both pros and cons.
But what would happen if you ate red meat every day? How would your body react to a lot of red meat? Would the amount you consume make a difference? Well, there’s a lot of research out there on the side effects of eating red meat, and it’s all pretty complicated. However, it’s still important to take to heart the possibilities of what red meat can do to you because it may make a big impact on your health.
If you eat red meat every day, you’ll consume a lot of nutrients
Though red meat tends to get a bad reputation among health-conscious people, it isn’t all bad for you. In fact, red meat has a lot of nutrients in it, so, if you eat red meat every day, you’ll be providing your body with great nutrition. According to Healthline, red meat is rich in a number of vitamins, helping you meet your recommended daily allowance. For instance, 3.5 ounces of ground red meat that boasts 10 percent fat can help you meet 25 percent of your B3 needs, 18 percent of the RDA for B6, and 37 percent of the RDA for B12 — and that’s not to mention the selenium and zinc red meat provides!
Additionally, Healthline reported that “red meat is also rich in important nutrients like creatine and carnosine,” and people who don’t eat meat may be low in these. Creatine and carnosine impact your brain and muscular functions, so they’re definitely important for overall health.
When you eat processed red meat every day, you could be consuming cancer-causing chemicals
Not all red meat is created equal. That’s certainly true when it comes to processed red meat because it’s almost in a completely different category than other red meats. As Healthline reported, a lot of today’s meat products are “highly processed.” These meats may be “smoked, cured, then treated with nitrates, preservatives and various chemicals.”
Additionally, the World Health Organization has classified processed meat as “Group 1, carcinogenic to humans.” According to the World Health Organization, this is because “carcinogenic chemicals that form during meat processing include N-nitroso compounds and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. … Some of these chemicals are known or suspected carcinogens.” Because of that, the organization recommends decreasing the amount of processed red meat you consume, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop eating it altogether — just be mindful of your portions.
If you eat red meat every day, your gut health may suffer
One of the most crucial pieces of the puzzle that is your health is your gut, and gut health is especially important for a high-functioning immune system. According to Healthline, the microorganisms in your gut are essential to a healthy body. And as it turns out, if you eat red meat every day, you won’t be doing your gut health any favors.
According to family physician Dr. Joel Fuhrman, red meat isn’t good for your gut health. “When you eat red meat, you are unnecessarily exposing your body to carcinogens, your blood flow is being compromised, oxidative stress and inflammatory markers are rising, and you are eating a food that provides no sustenance for your microbiome,” Fuhrman told HuffPost. While that isn’t to say that red meat hurts your gut health, it certainly doesn’t help your gut health, particularly when compared to high-fiber or fermented foods. If you eat red meat every day, be sure you’re also consuming plenty of gut-healthy foods and consider taking probiotics.
If you eat grass-fed beef every day, you’ll receive high-quality vitamins your body needs
In addition to the health benefits that red meat in general has, one particular kind of red meat has even more nutrients: grass-fed beef. That isn’t to say that you should only eat grass-fed beef and no other lean proteins, but there is something to be said about how grass-fed beef has a different makeup than regular red meat or processed red meat. According to Mayo Clinic, grass-fed beef tends to have “less total fat” and “more heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids,” along with conjugated linoleic acid, which may lower your risk for heart disease and cancer. Additionally, grass-fed beef has a lot more vitamin E.
When it comes to red meat, grass-fed beef tends to be the healthiest, as some studies have suggested. So, if you have the option to choose grass-fed beef over regular red meat, the grass-fed option would definitely be a healthier choice.
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