Today’s topic is about red meat – is red meat good or bad for you – the final conclusion.
One main reason I started creating content, writing blogs, and making videos is to help give more clarity and reduce the confusion and misinformation about health, fitness, and longevity.
Not just for you and my viewers, but starting for myself.
Unfortunately, there’s always conflicting information and bias from experts, doctors, researchers, and everyone in between.
And I’m going to summarize today’s topic and make it short – since this can be a very long and debatable topic.
What Is Meat?
First, we need to clarify what meat is … and it’s generally referenced to be RED meat, such as a cow. However, it can also include bison, lamb, elk, and similar animals.
Thus, it’s not poultry or pork or fish. Even though most people will throw in pork into the “meat” category.
So today, I’m going to focus on red meat…
What Type Of Meat – The Problem Begins
When doing research, and you hear about anything bad that’s related to meat consumption — such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and other health problems — the TYPE of meat includes everything and this is where the problem starts.
Yes, it includes cows. But it also includes hot dogs, cold cuts, salami, and other processed meats.
Obviously, anyone will know or should know, that a processed hotdog is nowhere near as healthy as a steak.
The hotdog is unhealthy because it has a ton of other junk in there.
And if we focus on only the cow, we have two different types of cow or beef.
The first and more common and “conventional” cow … is the factory-farmed, jailed up and confined, given unnatural foods such as grains, soy and chicken, antibiotics and drugs, and thus, it’s very processed.
Then we have the second, more rare and expensive, “grass-fed, pasture-raised” organic meats, which have been naturally fed and raised organically, without drugs and hormones. They don’t have any artificial chemicals added.
When researchers say negative things about meat, they do NOT distinguish between any of these two types of meats and factors.
The processed versus the natural.
Obviously, someone eating hotdogs all day or even processed, factory-farmed, drugged up meats is going to be a lot more unhealthy, than someone eating grass-fed bison – as I do.
Thus, not all red meat has the same health effects – positives or negatives
In fact, in a massive review of 20 studies including 1,218,380 individuals found that processed meat was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, no association was found for unprocessed red meat. [1,2]
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “you are what you eat”.
However, maybe the more accurate saying should be, “you are what your food ate”.
And this includes vegetables too – those grown with and without pesticides and other harmful toxins.
Life-Style Matters Too
Another issue with clinical studies is that they don’t take into account the person’s lifestyle.
For example, someone eating fast-foods, hamburgers, hotdogs, and so forth, probably isn’t the most healthy person. They aren’t exercising and eating a balanced diet or living a healthy lifestyle.
Most likely, the majority of their food consumption is from processed foods.
Thus, they are unhealthy – regardless of whether they eat meat or not.
So, why blame the meat for the illness when it should be the person’s lifestyle, habits, and so forth.
Here’s What I Do
As stated earlier, I can go on and on about this topic. I can debate both sides.
I can speak about plant-based diets, vegan and carnivore diets — the pros and cons of each.
I can speak in detail about how correlation doesn’t equal causation.
I can dig deeper into various randomized studies.
Even compare the different types of red meats and then compare them even deeper to other protein sources such as fish, eggs, poultry, protein powders, and so forth.
However, that’ll just cause you to zone out, get bored, or maybe even more confused — which is the exact opposite of my goal.
So, let me just get right down to it and let you know what I do and what I suggest you might consider doing for yourself and your family.
I eat almost all protein sources —
I do NOT eat pork or shellfish because I think they’re poor quality protein sources, are linked to negative health issues and many religions have stated this for thousands of years.
However, I DO eat:
- pasture-raised chicken and whole eggs
- wild-caught salmon
- Protein powders from vegetable proteins such as rice and pea… as well as pasture-raised whey isolate powder in small amounts.
- And I eat red meat — grass-fed and finished, pasture-raised bison and elk. I prefer these two red types of meat to cows because these animals are genetically better and healthier.
Yes, the above costs more money. But, my health and future is my #1 priority.
I’ve set a very high standard for myself when it comes to health and I think you should too.
Besides, quality is more important than quantity.
So I would rather you ate less animal protein but from higher quality sources.
And if money IS an issue and you still want to increase your protein amount, then get it from powdered sources as well.
This is more towards the athletes and bodybuilders who are so protein-focused.
You can do grass-fed whey isolate or vegetable protein powders – rice is my favorite, pea and hemp are also good.
In my opinion, there’s nothing wrong with high-quality red meat.
However, you also probably shouldn’t be eating pounds if it daily, either…. Like some bodybuilders and weightlifters do.
Lastly, if you want to have the occasional hotdog or hamburger for whatever reason – then go ahead.
But do me and yourself a favor and enjoy yourself. Do NOT feel guilty about it.
Just don’t make it a habit, either.