There probably hasn’t been as much controversy about any other food ingredient as there has been about red meat. With numerous studies on either sides of the divide, Some arguing it poses no danger while others think otherwise. With the debate still raging on, it is difficult to sit on the fence.
In our opinion, red meat in itself is not harmful or threatening to the health. Rather, its effects on you will be largely due to how you handle (cook) it, the nature of the meat and your general lifestyle.
There have been quite a number of studies which have found that red meat maybe linked to various cardiovascular health diseases (some fancy words for blood circulation related problems such as stroke, heart diseases, hypertension, heart problem and so on).
Yet, there have equally been studies that have refuted these claims. One in particular was conducted among the traditional Masai people(whose life style can be likened to that of the Fulani-herders of Nigeria). They inhabit the region within central and southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. These people have a long history of dependence on animal diets. The study found this people to be very healthy and No significant link was found between their diet and any form of heart related problem as to suggest causation.
As far as meat and heart related ailments are concerned, it is suggested that the problem may lie in the general lifestyle of an average meat eater rather than on the meat itself. The average meat eater is said to be unlikely to eat much fruit and most likely will not exercise alongside many other unhealthy lifestyle practices that could explain the association found between meat eating the above mentioned ailments.
But What About Cancer ?
The link between meat and cancer is worth looking at. While some studies did find links between cancer and meat consumption, there are others that failed to find any link with unprocessed meat. As a matter of fact, some certain substances which are suspected to be responsible for causing cancer are produced during high temperature cooking of not only meat but also all source of animal protein. These substances are referred to as carcinogens. Carcinogens are compounds that form on your animal protein when cooked at a very high temperature such as deep frying, grilling and baking.
So, carcinogens have been identified as possible cancer causing compounds and can be produced not only during cooking of red meat but also from the cooking of your fish, chicken, turkey and so on.
To be on the safer side, adopt a cooking technique or method that would minimize the amount of heat your meat is subjected to. You should also avoid burning your meat, if burnt, do not eat the burnt portion of the meat because you would be ingesting carcinogens.
If there is anything to fear, it would be carcinogens, not red meat.
What are your thoughts concerning red meat?
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