For many people in the world, there is nothing quite as delightful as a juicy steak, a well-grilled hamburger, a rack of lamb, or a few BBQ ribs. Meat is a wonderful addition to any meal, and for most of us, it’s something we feel we cannot live without.
Sadly, meat is not the healthiest choice around. Vegetarians and vegans decry the mistreatment and slaughter of cows, pigs, and other meat-producing animals. Meat is packed with saturated fat, which means that it’s higher in calories than chicken, fish, and dairy products.
Here is what you need to know about the calories in meat:
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As you can see, meat is fairly high in calories, and there are a few things that make it less than “the healthiest” option for your diet.
But before you ditch meat altogether, here are a few scientific reasons why you need to eat at least some meat:
Your body is designed to do so — Throughout the millennia, the human body has evolved to need meat. It can process the fats, protein, and minerals in meat, and study of the digestive tract has proven that the human body is better at breaking down meat than it is as breaking down certain fibers and starches. If the body wasn’t meant to consume and use meat, why would it have adapted to do so?
It’s not as dangerous as feared — It was once believed that red meat was the cause of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease. No longer! Science has discovered that saturated fat is not the cause of heart problems, but it’s the unhealthy, unnatural trans fats from artificial, fried, and processed food. This means that you can eat meat without fearing what it will do to your heart. Sure, you’ll still want to keep your consumption moderate in order to avoid consuming too many calories and too much fat, but it’s not the “harmful” food it was once believed to be.
It’s packed with nutrient — First off, meat is loaded with protein, which is needed to build and fuel your muscles. Meat also contains iron to produce red blood cells, B vitamins to boost your metabolism, selenium to protect your body from free radical damage, zinc for your immune system, and other antioxidants and minerals that you cannot find naturally in other foods. If you eat grass-fed beef, you get a lot of Omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital for a healthy body.
It’s an animal protein — While vegans and vegetarians may promote vegetable proteins as being the best source of amino acids, nothing can beat meat, fish, dairy, and poultry. These foods contain all nine amino acids needed to produce muscle fiber, and these complete proteins will make a HUGE difference in your efforts to get in shape and build muscle. Animal proteins also help your body to produce more testosterone, which is needed for muscle mass, strength gains, stable mood, and high sex drive.
Meat doesn’t cause cancer — There is a very tenuous link between red meat and cancer, but it has nothing to do with the meat itself. Instead, it’s related to the WAY you cook the meat. When you grill meat, charring it (cooking until it turns black) can cause the fats in the meat to become carcinogenic. This is the “risk” people have been talking about, but the truth is that it’s easily avoided. All you have to do is find another way to cook the meat so that it doesn’t burn, and there are no carcinogens in your delicious red meat!