Red meat: Health benefits, dangers

Health Desk
25 July 2020, Sat
Published: 11:15

Red meat: Health benefits, dangers

Higher intakes of red meat have been linked with a number of health problems, including type 2 diabetes. Research is showing that food processing is a key factor involved in the increase of risk.

Red meat in a pure form is a good source of protein and B vitamins and has been a key part of the human diet.

WHAT IS RED MEAT?
Red meat is generally meat derived from farm-reared mammals, such as: Lamb, Beef

Red meat is a popular food amongst those following a paleo diet, in which food choices are guided by judging which foods would have been available to our ancient ancestors.

RECOMMENDED INTAKE OF RED MEAT
The Department of Health advises people to consume 90g or less of red meat per day. A thin slice of pork, lamb or beef the size of half a slice of bread provides about 30g of meat.

RED MEAT HEALTH BENEFITS
Red meat is a rich source of protein, saturated fat, iro, zinc and B vitamins.

Iron is needed to help red blood cells transport oxygen. Iron deficiencies are more likely to occur in children, elderly people and pregnant women.



DANGERS OF RED MEAT
Consumption of red meat has been linked with increased incidences of heart disease, colorectal cancer and type 2 diabetes. The extent of the associations have found to be higher for processed red meat.

The risk of diabetes was 20% higher in those that ate over 110g of unprocessed red meat a day. However, the research attracted some criticism for including hamburgers within the unprocessed foods list. Of those that ate a serving of processed meat, the risk of type 2 diabetes grew 50% higher.

Processed red meat includes meat products that have been cured, pre-cooked, comminuted or had preservatives and binding ingredients added.

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