Benefits of Eating Red Meat

March 18, 2014

There are a multitude of reasons to eat non processed animal sources of protein, both lean white meat (poultry and fish) and lean red meat (beef, pork and wild sources like venison and buffalo), as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Both have been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol). Lean red meat intake in elderly women helps with lean muscle gain and decreasing inflammation. Replacing some carbohydrate rich foods in your diet with lean red meat can improve blood pressure without increasing inflammation.

All too often red meat gets a bad rap because of its inclusion in processed meat products and fast foods. When was the last time anyone ever ate a bologna sandwich and thought “this pork product is really healthy” or eaten a hamburger from any fast food restaurant because it was a healthy choice? The additives (salts, preservatives, flavors, fat, color, fillers, etc.) in these decrease their nutritional value.

If you are trying to gain weight, red meat is a much better choice than chicken or turkey. Meat such as beef, buffalo and venison have a higher caloric density than chicken and turkey. They are high in the nutrients creatine, B12 and iron which are essential when trying to increase muscle mass (the good weight). The saturated fats in red meat also aid in keeping testosterone levels high.

When considering dietary protein sources look at what will be the most beneficial. Whey protein may be the cheapest source next to eggs, but the other necessary compunds in red meat, not to mention the culinary experience make red meat the better option. If you happen to hunt or are able to purchase venison, buffalo, elk or goat, these options are leaner, are higher in iron and often are high in omega-3 fats. They are also normally free range animals and don’t have all the hormones and antibiotics used in farmed animals if this is something that you worry about. You might just need to get used to the taste.

References:

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2014/01/29/ajcn.113.064154.abstract

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/83/4/780.abstract

http://jn.nutrition.org/content/137/2/363.long

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/07315724.2000.10718931#.UyjH5_ldV8F

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