Nowadays, there is a lot of news surrounding the risks of eating meat and very little about the benefits. Whilst there is evidence behind such risks, they relate to processed meats or to people who eat the food far too much. However, when meat is ethically farmed and consumed in the right amounts, the side-effects are only beneficial to one’s health.
As you probably know, meat is a great source of natural protein - chicken, lamb and beef are especially full of it. Some of the benefits of protein are:
- retention of muscle mass, which means it helps to prevent muscle loss as we age
- stronger bones – a lack of protein in diets has been shown to lead to lower amounts of calcium in the body, a mineral that is vital for bone development
- reduced appetite – out of the three macronutrients (fats, carbs, and protein), studies show that protein is by far the most filling!
- high protein intake may boost your metabolism, helping you burn more calories throughout the day
Meat is also rich in vitamins and minerals:
- it is one of the main sources of vitamin B12 in the diet which promotes brain development in children and aids the function of your nervous system
- meats such as beef are rich in zinc which helps maintain immune function and wound healing abilities
- red meats are especially rich in heme iron, which helps to prevent anaemia, making you feel stronger and less fatigued
But the eighth, most important reason why meat should be in your diet is because … it tastes great!
Remember – we only get these benefits without health risks if:
- we buy non-processed meats
- we stick to the NHS 70g red or processed meat a day threshold
To really get the most out of our meat, we can also:
- stay away from high-heat cooking and wipe away fat drippings (read our previous blog post about the pros and cons of different cooking methods)
- select grass-fed beef since it is higher in healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef
- give organ meats such as liver a try – they may look less pleasant, but they are far more nutrient dense. We’re looking to get these in stock very soon!
So, if you enjoy eating meat, there’s no nutritional reason to stop. Just make sure you’re eating it responsibly.