Red meat is without a doubt one of the most controversial food items out there. There has been a longstanding debate about the health problems that red meat can cause. Cynics have been proclaiming that eating red meat on a regular basis can cause a plethora of health problems, including such major conditions as heart disease. Excessive consumption can even prove fatal. However, at the same time, red meat is consumed by people all around the world, and in some parts is part of the staple diet. So, the question here is how red meat affects your health.
To start, you do need to understand that red meat contains a number of essential vitamins and nutrients that your body needs. In fact, red meat is among the best sources of protein. Also, experts state that moderate and infrequent consumption of red meat does not cause any major harmful effects. Hence, you might wonder what all the fuss is about.
Well, the issue is that red meat has been linked to cancer in numerous studies and researches. The World Health Organization (WHO) labeled red meat as carcinogenic, which means that it increases the risk of certain types of cancer. The research done by the organization clearly states that the consumption of processed red meat increases the risk of cancer by up to 20%. However, the WHO did state that there is room for further research and that red meat cooked at high temperatures might not be as harmful as processed red meat eaten raw or partially cooked.
High red meat consumption has also been linked to kidney failure. A study showed that people who have the highest red meat consumption levels have a higher risk of kidney failure, around 40%. This is because red meat causes the cholesterol levels to rise and increases the strain on the kidneys. The high cholesterol level is also the reason why red meat is also linked to heart disease. Red meat has high saturated fat content in addition to high cholesterol, a combination which can prove deadly when it comes to heart disease.
Certain studies have also concluded that red meat can impact your colon health negatively, leading to a condition known as diverticulitis. According to a study, men who eat red meat regularly have a 60% higher chance of developing diverticulitis as compared to men who don’t eat red meat or eat it sparingly.
So, after reading all this, you might conclude that you should avoid eating red meat altogether. Well, you don’t have to go to this extreme. You can still eat red meat without increasing the risk of the aforementioned conditions. The catch is that you have to limit your consumption to 18 ounces a week. Also, you have to avoid eating processed meat of any kind. At the end of the day, red meat is nutritious and not to forget, tastes great. As long as you eat it in moderation, you don’t have to worry too much.