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Red meat: is it really that unhealthy?

  1. If you eat red meat, you get cancer, you increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and you live shorter life. In short. Red meat is said to be incredibly unhealthy. Is that right? And what actually falls into the category of red meat?

  1. Most people think of red meat as a short fried steak, roast beef or carpaccio. It is true that these meats are â € redâ € ™, but red meat does not only mean raw or solid meat. Red meat is also not limited to the cow: it is the muscle meat of mammals. Pigs, sheep, goats, horses, deer, hares… They all come under red meat. Processed meat products, such as sausage, from mammals is also red meat. The muscle meat of chicken and other poultry and poultry is white: we call this white meat.

Harmful?

  1. The possible culprits in red meat are saturated fat and heme iron. Harmful PAHs can also form during preparation - especially during combustion - and processed products contain a lot of salt and nitrite. The saturated fats in red meat can increase cholesterol levels. This does not mean that you should not eat saturated fats at all, but it is important to consume relatively more unsaturated fatty acids. Lean types of red meat such as roast beef and lean cuts of beef contain less saturated fats than fatty types. The latter category includes bacon, shoulder chop and smoked sausage.

Cancer

  1. In addition, red meat and processed products are known to increase the risk of colon cancer. The iron-rich substance heme can damage the wall of the colon. Heme also stimulates the production of substances that damage the DNA in our body cells (nitrosamines). This can also increase the risk of cancer. Meat preparation also affects cancer risk. If you bake, grill or roast meat for too long at too high a temperature, the meat will become dark, almost burnt. At that point, substances can be formed that are converted in the body into carcinogenic products. So steaming, cooking and baking at a low temperature are a healthier choice. Finally, processed meat products can also increase the risk of cancer. Many people do not know that, for example, meat products also fall under red meat. This makes you eat too many of these types of products more quickly.

Safe food

  1. In small quantities, red meat is not harmful at all. So you can enjoy your steak with peace of mind. In addition, red meat is also a valuable source of various nutrients such as proteins, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. However, you can also get these nutrients from other foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, vegetables and fruit. The Nutrition Center advises eating a maximum of 300 grams of (prepared) red meat per week. A varied diet therefore remains important. Also, try not to see meat as the main part of your meal. You can go a long way by experimenting with fish, meat substitutes and poultry or replacing meat with beans and lentils.

  2. In small quantities, red meat is not harmful at all. So you can enjoy your steak with peace of mind. Red meat is also a valuable source for various nutrients such as proteins, iron, zinc and vitamin B12. However, you can also get these nutrients from other foods such as fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, vegetables and fruit. The Nutrition Center advises eating a maximum of 300 grams of (prepared) red meat per week. A varied diet therefore remains important. Also, try not to see meat as the main part of your meal. You can go a long way by experimenting with fish, meat substitutes and poultry or replacing meat with beans and lentils.



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