The truth about red meat

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Red meat has both beneficial and unhealthy aspects

Red meat is all flesh from mammals that is used as food. Mutton, goat, pork, beef, rabbit and venison make for red meat. The redness refers to the colour of the meat before it is cooked, which comes from Myoglobin, the muscles' oxygen-carrying protein. The flesh of birds, fish, reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans and other seafood is not red meat. Salmon flesh and some lobsters look red, but they do not come under the "red meat" category.In India, mutton and goat are the most popular red meat. Beef is a taboo for most Hindus and pork is quite popular in Goan cuisine and in the northeast. Red meat, except beef and pork, is quite expensive compared to white meat. And hence, most Indians cannot afford to eat it more too often. Red meat has some undeniable benefits and many unhealthy aspects. The iron from red meat is absorbed better than from any other source and a few cuts of meat a day will prevent anaemia in most women. Red meat is also one of the best sources of protein, Vitamin D, zinc and selenium. Red meat is rich in saturated fat, but it is not a uniform trend. Some cuts of meat are leaner. Pork contains more fat than other meats and goat is leaner than mutton. Livestock rearing techniques affect the fat content of meat. Free-range livestock are generally leaner.A hundred gm of goat meat, roasted, contains 143 Calories. This may not seem like a lot, until you add on all the calories from oil and other ingredients.A diet rich in red meat can cause bowel cancer, atherosclerosis (leading to heart attacks and strokes) and obesity. Mammals are high up in the food chain and they tend to concentrate environmental toxins in their flesh. The livestock rearing and slaughtering practices in India can be cruel. Red meat enjoyed resurgence in popularity in the West after high-protein-low-carb diets like the Atkins' became the new dieting trend. The Atkins diet is wildly unpopular with most health professionals, but the red meat-is-good-for-you crowd is now a cult that is impervious to all reason. Its proponents include Hollywood stars, the livestock industry and a few maverick health professionals. The consensus among health professionals is that red meat is best consumed in moderation. White meat is better. RAJIV. M




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