The red meat contains vitamins and minerals that are essential for a healthy, balanced diet. However, in recent years, various studies have indicated that the consumption of red meat can increase the risk of cancer and other diseases, which has greatly reduced its consumption. Is red meat so bad for you?
Some facts about red meat
We call red meat any type of meat that comes from the muscles of mammals, usually cow, veal, pork or lamb. In many homes it is a basic food source, which we consume in different ways every day.
The 3rd Nestlé Observatory on Nutritional Habits, carried out in 2016, already indicated that 43% of the population in Spain had reduced their consumption or had not tried red meat in the last year.
Other reports confirm the downward trend in the consumption of red meat in households, but what is the reason for this change in habits? There are several factors that affect consumption. On the one hand, there is a greater concern for the health of the population, which is leading them to choose more and more to increase the consumption of products of plant origin compared to those of animal origin in general, since they are considered healthier foods by most people.
To this must be added the growing increase in vegetarians or vegans in Spain, which according to some studies could already be close to 8% of the population.
Faced with the benefits of diets with a strong component of plant origin, in addition, in recent years alarms have been jumping related to the consumption of red meat and its health effects.
Red meat and cancer
Probably the factor that has most recently influenced the consumption of red meat is its association with an increased risk of cancer. In October 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) published a study that concluded that red meat is possibly carcinogenic to humans, indicating some evidence that its consumption increases the risk of suffering from this disease.
The WHO also warns that processed meats, that is, those that undergo a transformation process including salting, curing, fermentation or smoking, as well as other processes to improve the taste or presentation of the meat, are carcinogenic to humans.
Among other data, the studies presented by the WHO indicate that each 50g serving of red meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. It is also associated with cancer of the pancreas or prostate.
Initially, it appears that the way red meat is cooked, especially at high temperatures, has a decisive effect on how the consumption of red meat is associated with cancer, although the details of these processes are not yet known enough to establish with certainty the relationship.
An unhealthy diet, with excess consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol, has been shown to greatly affect the risk of cardiovascular disease. Unfortunately for red meat, there are also studies that associate red meat with these types of ailments.
A study conducted in Sweden in 2014 indicated that men who consumed more than 75g of processed red meat daily were about 30% more likely to suffer heart failure than those who consumed less than 25g per day. Other studies have shown that the consumption of red meat releases a substance in our body called Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) that can cause arteriosclerosis.
In July 2016, a study published in the Journal of the American Society Nephrology suggested that, in addition to diabetes or blood pressure problems, the consumption of red meat could be a factor that affects the failure of the kidneys.
The study suggested changing the animal sources of animal protein consumption for other vegetables or, in any case, replacing them with fish or white meat.
How much red meat should we consume?
Not all reports on red meat are negative. There are multiple studies that seem to indicate that a moderate consumption of it does not have to negatively affect health, and yet it incorporates many very beneficial nutrients for our body. For example, 100 grams of beef contains about 25% of the RDA for vitamin B3 and 32% of the RDA for zinc. It is also very rich in iron, vitamin B6, selenium and other vitamins and minerals.
Although the benefits and negative effects of red meat on health are still being studied in depth, some scientists consider it necessary to establish a balance between the two in order to make adequate recommendations on its consumption.
As an example, the American Cancer Research Institute recommends not consuming more than 500g of red meat per week to reduce the risk of cancer, and completely avoid processed meats.
In this modern world, it seems that people are constantly rushing from one place to another. Without a second to spare in these ever-changing times, health and nutrition often fall by the wayside. You may remember to hit the gym for a sweaty cardio session; however, if you aren’t consuming enough vitamin D and Calcium, mineral deficiency such as osteoporosis can arise, putting you on the path toward bone pain – and even fracture. Another common cause of bone pain is infection, or osteomyelitis. A build-up of bacteria can spread from infected skin and muscle, or through the blood to nearby bones. The U.S. National Library of Medicine states that a weakened immune system, poor blood supply, and recent injury involving bones can all result in osteomyelitis. 1MD OsteoMD Review
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