Red Meat – Good or Bad?
Good health for a good life is not only necessary. It is essential to an extent without which you become a problem not only for yourself but for those staying beside you. To obtain and maintain good health one must be having optimum knowledge of hygiene. So those who are ignorant of enough knowledge regarding health have a negative impact on the whole society. Therefore, it is necessary to learn two things: (i) to stay healthy (ii) and to maintain a healthy environment around you. Otherwise, dreams of a healthy society remains a dream forever.
Also Read icon-hand-o-right Eat One less Gulab Jamun This Eid
As you know it is a time for Bakra Eid (Eid-ul-Adha) now. It is also known a “Big Eid”, the bigger festivity leading to greater happiness, blessings, and boon. Since this is a festive moment, I have decided to discuss few things in order to celebrate this Bakra Eid in a healthy manner. This article mainly aims to discuss the beneficial and harmful effects of eating red meat on health. Also, I will be discussing some of the myths that are widely accepted and facts that are widely gone unnoticed.
So, here we start:
Nutritional Benefits of Red Meat
Red meat that we obtain from animal sacrifice on Bakra Eid is one of the most important meals out there. Chemically, red meat has tens of chemical substances that are actually having a great deal of health benefits over you.
Proteins are the building blocks of meat. And this is true for all kinds of meats (either white or red). So biologically, you can’t obtain any regular picture of the structure of a living organism without proteins.
There is no natural and easily available source of proteins as much rich as meat. And vegans, since they don’t eat meat at all, face a severe difficulty in obtaining a balanced protein intake. Meat eaters, on the other side, have the best protein intake option out of all others.
Besides proteins, red meat also contains several minerals such as iron, zinc, and selenium, and vitamins such as Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin B12 in sufficient quantities. So if you take 250 grams of meat a day, you are naturally getting recommended amount of these vitamins and minerals from your diet. There are also other vitamins and minerals present in red meat in a small quantity.
Besides this, creatine and carnosine are the important nutrients found in red meat. Vegans may be at a greater risk of having a deficiency of these nutrients and consequently, develop various medical conditions.
Harmful Effects of Eating too Much Meat
Benefits of eating red meat cannot be denied. But, as there are benefits of eating an optimum quantity of red meat, there is a plenty of harmful effects produced by eating too much red meat. There is no debate on the proposition that each cell and every organ in your body need proteins. This is also true that meat is the richest, natural and easily available source of proteins out there. But, too much of proteins can also produce various harmful effects on your body The accumulation of too much protein can cause several problems such as high levels of amino acids, insulin, and ammonia in your bloodstream.
Too much red meat can cause weight gain. There are two reasons for it. There is a greater amount of bad fats (LDL) in red meat rather than white meat. This bad fat, in your body, accumulates in your body and causes you to gain weight. Or the calories of abnormally high protein in too much meat will be converted into fats and will consequently be the cause of weight gain.
Too much red meat can cause liver become overworked. As I have mentioned above, there are several toxins produced in the process of digestion of red meat. Our liver is continuously working to deform these toxins by a process of detoxification in order to prevent harmful effects of them. When you continuously eat so much red meat, your liver works restlessly and as a result, it may become overworked or stressed.
Over eating of meat can cause hardness in arteries. This is because of excess cholesterol. We should know that fat intake doesn’t only lead to overweight, but there is a lot more to it. Excess cholesterol can form plaque between layers of artery walls, making it harder for your heart to circulate blood. Gradual deposition of cholesterol in arteries finally lead to stroke, heart attack and cardiovascular disease.
There are several other problems that can occur due to overeating of red meat. These include digestive problems, high blood pressure, diabetes and others.
Be Careful to Cook Red Meat
There are several factors that are in your own control. You can manage to decrease the harmful effects and increase benefits of your meal depending on the method you use to prepare it for eating. Good cooking is one way to decrease the problem-causing factors. By good cooking, I don’t mean to cook the meal at high temperatures, giving it a high flame or heat. The aim is to know the proper way for healthy cooking.
Things to remember for cooking red meat:
- Cut out all the visible white fat you see on the piece of meat before cooking.
- Abstain from cooking meat higher flames and temperatures. Rather, boil and cook under lower temperatures.
- Steam cooked meat is a better choice. Pressure cookers are good for this purpose. Or the meat fried in cooking oil will decrease the problem causing factors.
- Don’t expose meat directly to the flame.
- If it is necessary to cook a certain meal at high temperature, try avoiding overheating the same side. Continue stirring and flipping.
Bakra Eid and Barbecue (Tikka Boti)
Many people think that BBQ, that is the meat cooked on wood fire has no harm at all. I have seen so many people turning all the meat of sacrificed animal into BBQ meal, having BBQ parties savoring a plenty of barbecued meat every now and then. Other than Bakra Eid days, some people simply prefer BBQ food rather than a karahi-cooked meal. Or they consider it a healthier meal than other methods of cooking.
This wrong conception that “BBQ is BETTER than other methods of cooking” should be condemned because meat that has been cooked over the direct flame is potentially more harmful if proper care is not taken. The piece of meat that has been charred or blackened or burned is simply carcinogenic (cancer forming).
Organic foods such as meat or bread that have been burnt by flame, produce some chemical compounds like Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These chemical compounds produce a greater risk of developing cancer and if eaten too much, the risk is increased so many times. So, if you think that your tikka boti is completely safe, you are severely mistaken. A better strategy to decrease the harmful effects is to cut and separate out all the charred and blackened part of the meat and the small black burnt particles should be separated out by simply picking through the pinch.
Red meat has been a part of medical literature for a long time. Medical professionals have been forbidden red meat for hundreds of years now. Though modern medical science particularly does not agree with the concept of meat explained by the Greek medical practitioners, but a set of researches have been made and there is evidence that in certain cases, too much red meat may be too much harm. Except that, if you are 40+ now, you should become quite health-conscious as your body’s functional organs start weakening. So, your digestive system, kidneys, heart, and liver need a good attention and well-balanced diet in order to keep them working for a longer period of time. And avoid everything that may have a negative impact on your health in any manner.
Happy Bakra Eid!