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What about red meat?

Updated: Nov 17, 2018

Is red meat something to be avoided, only to be consumed occasionally? Can it be part of your daily diet? Often we see media headlines to the tune of “red meat as bad as cigarettes when it comes to cancer”, striking claims like this can cause a lot of concern! Data driving these headlines are typically from observational studies where food/ lifestyle surveys are conducted, allowing researchers to look at occurring correlations. While these studies are helpful, just because there is correlation (e.g. higher red meat consumption and higher rates of cancer), doesn’t mean causation (red meat causes cancer). An almost endless number of confounding variables can influence results. It just so happens that people with high intakes of red meat typically eat the standard American diet (lots of processed foods and sugars, with little to no fiber, fruit, vegetables, and whole grains), and are typically smokers, overweight, and relatively sedentary. With survey studies, there is also a risk of inaccurate food logging, (ex. a participant may make it seem like they’re eating healthier than they really are). The “actual” risk of developing cancer from eating red meat is abysmally low. Hey, just putting any kind of food in our mouths increases our risk of developing cancer.  Red meat in general is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and of course, protein. When choosing cuts, select grass-fed/finished/pasture-raised meat for a nutritional boost. 100% grass-fed meat is typically much cleaner than it’s conventional counterpart, and it offers a healthy trans-fatty acid CLA, a quality source of omega-3s,and is loaded with carotenoids and other antioxidants from consumed vegetation. Overall, the typical mainstream headlines are ones you can take with a grain of salt (add it to your steak!). So enjoy your red meat (daily if desired) with plenty of fruit, veggies, and whole grains, be physically active, get enough sleep, and take care of your body!

Here at Reformed Nutrition we can help you achieve a healthy lifestyle and reach your goals.


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