Meat – For Or Against?
There has been a long running feud between meat lovers and vegetarians for years.
Recently this has been thrust back into the limelight with the allegations of red meat causing heart disease and even cancer.
It’s been referred to as the ‘Doom Meat’ – a bit harsh, no?
With new figures showing that 7% of the adult British population is now vegetarian, and more converting every day, is meat becoming obsolete? Or, is the media simply scare mongering for a juicy story?
There are pro’s and con’s to both ways of life.
Vegetarianism, on the face of things appears to be the healthiest because there’s little consumption of the bad fats like saturated fat. Whereas a meat diet provides access to essential nutrients a vegetarian would only get from supplements.
But do we really have to pro meat or pro veg? Could we not be both?
In terms of ‘pro’ meat we can get all the following from a simple steak:
Protein – All meat lovers and vegetarian’s know that meat is a leading source for this muscle building and repairing nutrient. It is essential in all diets that an adequate amount is consumed each day for brain function, healthier skin and hair as well as being linked to a better immune system.
And you don’t need to eat as much of it as people think – only 45g for women and 55g for men.
Iron – Iron from meat is easier for the body to absorb than if it comes from plant sources. But vitamin C, found in fruit and veg aids, the absorption process.
Vitamin B12 – This essential vitamin is only found in meat, eggs and milk. It is necessary for the creation of red blood cells and nerve fibres. If the body doesn’t produce enough red blood cells, it can lead to anaemia, an iron deficiency.
Omega 3 – Found in fish, this fatty acid can help fight against heart disease and high cholesterol.
Meat is high in saturated fat.
The bad fat. What happens is this fat can actually block the absorption of the good fats, like the ones found in avocados, into cells.
They can also increase the amount of cholesterol in the blood, which directly links to heart disease.
But, while these fats are regularly found in products like butter, lean cuts of meat are not as high as they are made out to be.
The key to eating red meat and staying healthy is moderation.
It is, after all, a choice if people want to eat just fruit and vegetables with the occasional egg or glass of milk, or if they want to have their meat and two veg each night when they get home from work.
Both ways of life have a downside and an upside. One thing is for certain, red meat isn’t ‘the end’ as it has been portrayed.
For meat lovers, the quality and leanness of the meat is what makes all the difference, so don’t put down that steak knife just yet, maybe substitute it occasionally for a fish one instead!