I can remember the years of 2002 to 2004; my only concern was weightlifting and my biceps. ?I knew that good food and the weight room could get me where I wanted to be, but being a high school student, I didn?t have the slightest idea what to eat.
The only thing I knew was that if I would drink a glass of milk, have some peanut butter before bed, and eat plenty of steak and potatoes, that would put on the weight I wanted.
Did it work?
?I?d like to believe it did.
If it worked or not could be debated, but one thing I do know for sure is that I love steak, I love my bacon in the mornings, and I loved my hamburgers.
I have a sincere love for red meat.
So you can understand why I?m a little torn up about the research released by the World Health Organization about red meat consumption.
I want to ignore it, but at the same time, colorectal cancer, pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer are serious issues. ?
At this point, I?m all ears.
Research Findings of Red Meat
Let?s get to the point, the cancer group of the World Health Organization (WHO), put a panel together of 22 experts from 10 countries to review the effects of red meat consumption. ?They found through limited evidence, that red meat is ?probably? carcinogenic to humans.
Initially, the panel was put together to determine the effects of red meat and processed meats, and its association with colorectal cancer. ?But they found a strong correlation for colorectal cancer, as well as evidence of pancreatic cancer, and prostate cancer.
Most of us have a real love for meat, and a study like this can cause a lot of confusion. ?Now the question becomes, should I stop eating red meat altogether? ?How much is too much? ?What should I do?
Well, let?s start by defining red meat. ?
The World Health Organization defines red meat as any mammalian muscle meat. ?That includes beef, pork, and lamb.
Processed meat is also on the list as a contributor. Meat becomes processed meat when it is transformed by curing, smoking it, or salting the meat.
This is where it hits home for many of us, look at this list of processed meat:
- Hot Dogs
- Corned beef
- Beef Jerky
- Canned Meats
Sad to say, but by definition, this includes bacon of any kind, pork bacon, and turkey bacon.
Tough news for mankind, but let?s not be fooled, lean red meat does have nutritional value.
Benefits of Red Meat
While the thought of red meat and cancer can be scary, let?s not panic and avoid red meat altogether. ????
- ? It could be hard just quitting food that?s so ingrained in our diet. ?Often resulting in a failed attempt to improve eating habits. ?And?..
- Red meat can be nutritious; Therefore we all need to take advantage of any benefits available to us.
Before we rush to judgment on red meat, let?s discuss the benefits and what nutrients a lean piece of red meat provides us.
We all know that red meat is an excellent source of protein. ?3-ounces of lean beef provides the average adult with half of the daily recommended amount of protein needed. ?While there are other non-animal protein sources you can choose from, animal protein will provide you with amino acids that non-animal protein doesn’t provide. ?Most people have no clue what amino acids are, but they help to build muscles and repair muscle tissue.
Red meat also provides us with iron as well, you?re going to need to supplement your intake with other veggies and fruits, but a 3-ounce serving will give you about 9 – 14 % of your daily recommended intake. ?Iron is a mineral that helps your body produce healthy red blood cells. ?Those healthy red blood cells deliver oxygen to the tissues in your body.
Sounds like one of those functions where you just expect your body to produce healthy blood cells to deliver oxygen, but it?s possible to have a deficiency in iron.
A few symptoms of iron deficiency include:
- brittle nails
When I think about Vitamin B, I think of a jolt of energy.
I?m a baseball lover, and I can remember what will go down in history as the steroid era. That?s around the time of Sammy Sosa and Mark McGwire’s single-season home run chase to pass Roger Maris? single-season home run record.
I can remember listening to ESPN and talks about baseball players and B-12 shots. ?Of course, we later found out that a few players were taking a little more than B-12 shots.
But you may not be in the market for performance enhancement drugs (PEDs), but the consumption of red meat is a great source of Vitamin B-12. ?One serving, 3 ounces of beef will provide you with about 37% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin B-12. ?B-12 helps to convert your food into energy.
Now you could be asking the question, ?So, what do I do now??
I?m not saying you should stop eating beef.
But what I am saying is let?s look at the facts.
We now know that red meat consumption can cause colorectal cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer, but I don?t think we need a rush to judgment and quit eating it all together. ?
There are things we can do to hedge against the risk of such illnesses while taking advantage of the benefits of eating red meat. If we take the extreme stance, we may miss out on some of the good stuff.
But stay tuned, next week I?m going to share with you different tactics we can implement to eat red meat in a more healthful way.
It ranges from the way we prepare our food, to simply increasing our intake of vegetables and fruits.