“Eating red meat, any amount and any type, appears to significantly increase the risk of premature death.” This was the conclusion from a study back in 2012 by the prestigious Harvard School of Public Health in Boston that included 37,698 men and 83,644 women who were tracked. As meat consumption increased, so did mortality risk.
This message about consuming less red meat and less processed meats continues to be heard.
“The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s draft of the 2015 Recommended Dietary Allowances, released earlier this year, calls for the consumption of more plant-based foods and less animal-based ones. Specifically, the draft advises less “red meats” and “processed meats.”
Hearing messages like “all red meat is bad for you” and “eat less red meat and processes foods” has left many confused about whether they should continue to eat their burgers and weekend hot dogs off the grill, or start looking for alternatives.
Sources of protein in the diet include:
Animal protein include red meat such as beef, pork, lamb, veal, wild game like venison; poultry; seafood; eggs; and dairy, including cheese and yogurt.
Soy products such as, tofu, soybeans, edamame and processed soy products are also good sources of protein.
Some additional surprising sources of protein include beans, peas, vegetables, nuts and seeds.
In general, it’s recommended that 10–35% of your daily calories come from protein. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram body weight; but that’s the minimum amount needed for sedentary adults to prevent a deficiency. A more optimal amount has been projected at 1.2 grams per kilogram.
It is also generally believed that most Americans eat sufficient protein to meet their needs. National nutrition surveillance data show that the men average around 100 grams of protein per day and women eat 68 grams per day. However, the desire to select leaner and less processed food choices, including those of red meats, continues to be a challenge for many.
If you are thinking about reducing the red meat in your diet, want to select healthier choices or reduce the amount of processed food, select a variety of protein based foods and consider these 7 strategies below:
1. Use your palm, or the size/depth of a deck of cards, as the standard for your meat serving size.
2. On the days you have red meat reduce the amount by combining it with vegetables and brown rice, such as a stir fry dish.
3. Purchase more poultry. Chicken breasts actually have more grams of protein, by weight, than a piece of beef, and fish isn’t too far behind ounce for ounce – you are actually getting more protein for your money (who doesn’t like a bargain!)
4. For ground meat and turkey, only buy those with these two words on the nutrition label “extra lean.”
5. If you haven’t already; limit the portions and frequency of processed deli meats, even low fat varieties.
6. Consider a totally vegetarian meal. Vegetarian options focus on beans, peas, soy products, nuts and seeds for the primary source of protein with the remainder from vegetables.
7. Learn how to prepare one plant based meal (for example, a Black Bean and Zucchini Tortilla Casserole or Moroccan-Style Vegetable Stew) since you can get double the nutritional bang for your buck – photochemicals, bioflavonoids and other substances that are protective to our bodies and not found in red meat. Follow this for over 120 meat free vegan dinner recipes, including the two above.
Instead of thinking what you have to decrease in your diet, think about what you can add.
Your plate contains “valuable real estate” space for food. This valuable space can provide you with a big Return On Investment from foods contributing to your “health income” or with foods that accelerates the decline in your “health income.”
Either way, you have the power on your plate to make an investment in your health that will pay out dividends for a healthier and enhanced quality of life.
Sources; http://www.b3nutrition.com, http://www.pressherald.com/2012/03/13/eating-any-red-meat-raises-risk-of-death-study-reports_2012-03-13/, http://www.latimes.com/health/, http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usda/usdahome, http://www.vegkitchen.com/recipes/5-comforting-easy-and-healthy-vegan-casseroles/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flavonoid, http://www.choosemyplate.gov/, http://www.eatright.org/, http://readersupportednews.org/news-section2/445-farm-and-food-policy/10436-all-red-meat-is-bad-for-you-new-study-says, http://www.cdc.gov/
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