You know how they say ignorance is bliss? I think this might be one of those times for me. I want to know how much meat I should be eating, really I do, but I also want to stuff my face with delicious Korean BBQ or steak until I can’t move. I have a sneaking suspicion by the time I’m done with this article, I’m going to feel worse than I usually do about my inability to say no to sizzling meat.
Accept it or not, one of the most controversial discussions you have had about food is on the topic of meat consumption.
One of the most controversial discussions about food is how much meat is too much meat. There are advocates for each side. Some people say we’re meant to eat meat, it keeps us strong and healthy, while others say that the inclusion of meat into our diets is the leading contributor to diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Before you cry into an ice cream tub (no? is that just me again?), and wonder why everything you love eating has to be avoided, the good news is eating controlled amount of meat is beneficial.
Alright, time to face the truth. We’re going to find out just how much meat we should be eating to get the maximum amount of nutrition and benefits from it without going overboard to the point of meat sweats.
Why should you eat meat?
Vegetarians and vegans have made the decision to do without meat completely. Now, while that is admirable, I am pretty sure, I don’t want to, or have the willpower to be able to stick with either of those eating plans.
The good news is that you don’t have to just say goodbye to meat altogether, it DOES have numerous benefits. It is through meat that a non-vegetarian person gets 80% of the protein that the body needs. Meat is also helps fight diseases like anemia and problems caused by obesity. In fact, the sole reason why many people consume meat is to take in healthy proteins and lose weight the right way.
Did you know that a lot depends on your cooking technique as well? Boiled meat doesn't harm as much as fried does.
Processed meat- The real monster
You know how it’s always more tempting do to something you know you’re not supposed to? Eating proceed meat is kind of like the same thing. It can cause significant health problems due to the saturated fats and added preservatives in it. Processed meats, while cheap and plentiful, really just makes you gain weight, leading to heart-related issues, and high cholesterol.
As delicious as those sausages, ham, and salami might taste, they’re really not as good as they look. Just by cutting out processed meats, you’ll be able to reduce a large portion of negative effects associated with too much meat consumption. Lean meat is the way to go.
Meat- How much should we be eating?
On a daily basis, keep your meat consumption somewhere between 70-90 grams per day, or between 2.5 -3.2 ounces.
Yes, you did read that right. I actually just tripled checked myself, because I was convinced for a minute that must be the recommended amount per meal, not per day.
Eating 3oz of meat per day, healthy non processed meat, will give you all the protein your body requires to function. By eating significantly more, you increase your risk of health problems such a colon cancer. If you just can’t go without getting the larger steak on a night out, try eliminating meat one or two days of the week and then enjoy eating larger portions of it on your “on” days. ‘No meat Mondays' or ‘Fish Fridays’ can be a great start.
If you’re eating meat for specific weight loss or body building goals, you should still keep some things in mind. Did you know that there is a limited quantity of proteins that is required per pound of body flesh for different goals? For instance, if you consume meat to get rid of the extra body weight or to maintain muscles, you just need .65 grams of protein per pound of your body weight. For the bodybuilders out there, it is 1 gram per pound of body weight that is ideal.
Remember meat isn’t the only source of protein either. The best way to get the protein you need is to get a portion in the form of meat and other in the form of eggs, lentils, and veggies.
How to consume meat the right way
As with a lot of things, it’s often not only just about how much you eat, but how you eat as well. Here are some tips to eat meat the smart way to reduce health risks:
- Think of protein alternatives to meat and try filling up on those first. There are lots of delicious sources of protein that are good for you, and keep you full other than meat. Eggs are the richest source of protein per effort, cost, ease of cooking, and size out there.
- Rich meats like pork and beef should be limited to just once a week. Red meat is anything but healthy. Chicken is my best friend, because it is easy to cook and inexpensive. Fish and seafood are great tasting and great for you as well as meal alternatives.
- Did you know that there are veggies like mushroom and aubergines have all the same qualities as meat? Try and include them in your meals regularly and have at least one meatless meal each day. If you normally eat meat at breakfast, try and replace it with an egg. This way your body gets the protein it needs and you get to stay healthy.
- Another trick is to balance meat with lots of veggies for easier digestion. Try and cut down on overly carb rich meals when also eating meat. You’ll just feel full and tired.
- Try to eat marinated roasted, boiled, or grilled meat instead of fried meat. Add vinegar or lemon to the coating because their acidic quality is beneficial for health.
- Go for quality and not quantity. Eating grass fed meat which is hormone free might cost you a bit extra to begin with, but save you a lot of money since you’ll have a significantly lower risk of health problems later.