Eat less red meat to maintain your health

Moderate consumption and look for low-fat cuts

A Harvard study linked the consumption of red and processed meats to a higher risk of dying from cancer or heart problems. Thus, cancer added to the list of diseases associated with fat consumption. Find out more details and how to choose the most appropriate products, to continue enjoying your favorite dishes but making them healthier.

The debate between supporters of meat and vegetarians  remains open, although both extremes can be detrimental to health. For example, if you decide to follow a diet without animal products you must ensure that it is varied and that it provides the necessary nutrients that your body needs. In some cases, it is wise to consult with a qualified nutritionist until you learn to select and combine foods.

On the opposite side, those who allow themselves to eat everything often tend to forget that everything includes fruit and vegetables and put them in second place after meat and other animal products, when they should really occupy the main portion of your plate ( remember the new suggestions the government of the United States for nutritional standard? ).

It is also known that the excessive consumption of fats (such as those of meat and other products of animal origin) is not only associated with obesity but also with other health conditions such as high cholesterol and cardiovascular problems (which include heart and the entire circulatory system). And that’s not all, the consumption of processed meats has also been linked to an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes and red meat, with more chances of developing cancer . Now, a new study reaffirms this hypothesis.

A group of Harvard researchers evaluated data from two studies involving more than 121,000 men and women who answered questionnaires about their health and diet between 1980 and 2006. What did they find? According to the results, which were published online in the Archives of Internal Medicine , the more red meats consumed the more are the chances of dying from cancer or heart disease.

In detail, each daily increase of three ounces (85 grams) of meat was associated with a 12 percent increased risk of dying from cancer or heart disease. And the risk was greater when it came to processed meats, like ham. In addition, the scientists found that people who ate more red meat were less active, tended to smoke more and have a higher body mass index (BMI).

Does this mean that you should stop eating meat and become a vegetarian? Not necessarily. Meats are an important source of protein and other nutrients ( there are even studies that question the accusations against it ). Therefore, the advice is to pay attention to the quantity and quality of the product you consume: choose the cuts that are leanest, that is, those that have less fat, eat small portions and accompany them with enough vegetables and whole grains.

If you do not know how to select what you eat and live in the United States, you have an advantage, because according to the regulations of the Department of Agriculture, all the milled or cut products, as well as 40 of the main cuts of meat (including poultry) ) must have a label that includes nutritional information (such as calories, cholesterol, dietary fiber, sugar, vitamins, calcium and iron) and the percentage of fat they contain.

Learn to read the labels of the products . With that information you can make smarter decisions and choose the one you prefer. For example, if you must follow a diet low in salt you can select those with less sodium and if you want to reduce fat intake, then you can also know which ones contain less.

If in your country or in the area where you live you do not have that facility, do not worry, in general those who sell meat or farm products know the cuts and will know which ones contain less fat. If you do not get the data, consult a qualified nutritionist who can advise you not only to choose between different meats but also how to combine them with other foods, so that your diet is tasty, varied and healthy.

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