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Why I still recommend consuming red meat

These days in my old age I’m definitely leaning towards more of a plant based diet when it comes to optimising health and promoting longevity, but the complete avoidance of animal food sources can easily lead to nutritional deficiencies and therefore compromise health.

Now, when I talk about red meat I am of course NOT referring to processed meat, this is a different subject entirely. Red meat over recent years has gained a bad reputation and has been linked to cancer and heart disease. I personally am not convinced that consuming quality red meat is bad for our health, in fact it may have major benefits, the argument for avoiding processed meat however is far more convincing but I won’t be getting into that today.

 

Benefits of red meat consumption

Red meat is by far the highest dietary source of carnitine which is required for mitochondrial health and beta oxidation (fat burning).
It’s a great source of ‘heme’ iron which is much easier for the body to absorb then plant sources of iron.
It’s high in crucial nutrients zinc and vitamin B12.
It’s a good source of vitamin B3 (niacin), B6, choline & phosphorus.
It’s high in protein.

Potential Downsides

  • Some cuts are high in saturated fat and often cows are fed a low quality diet producing lower quality meat.
  • High saturated fat intake has been linked to insulin resistance and heart disease, however humans have been consuming it for thousands of years and I believe moderate consumption will not be detrimental to health, but the simple fix here is to choose leaner cuts, trim all visible fat and to only eat ‘grass fed organic beef’.

Top tip

⭐️ If frying, use avocado oil and an acidic marinade such as lemon juice or wine vinegar to help reduce the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs). AGEs are harmful compounds which form when protein or fats become glycated (stuck to sugar). They have been shown to increase oxidative stress and inflammation and are linked to diabetes, heart disease and premature ageing. Cooking certain foods at high temperatures can increase AGEs content but using acidic marinades has been shown to drastically reduce their formation 🍋

Personal Recommendations

If I was to give my personal recommendations I would say to eat high quality lean ‘grass fed’ beef around 2-4 times a week, but don’t neglect your plant intake and aim to eat around 8 – 12 different plants every day.

 

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Craig Barton

Author Craig Barton

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