- 1 The Impossible Guide to Meat
- 2 Benefits
- 3 What Is Meat?
- 4 What’s The Beef with Grass-Fed Beef?
- 5 How Much Meat Should I Eat?
- 6 CLA
- 7 Ethical Treatment of Animals
- 8 Meats To Eat Plenty of
- 9 Meats To Avoid or Limit
- 10 A Note to Vegetarians and Vegans
- 11 Grass-Fed Beef Videos
- 12 Sources
The Impossible Guide to Meat
Meat meat meat.
It’s freaking delicious and whether you’re making a turducken or just some simple grilled chicken, the chances are that it’s going to be pretty tasty. Not only that, but it’s a pretty essential part of your diet if you’re looking to become healthier. Vegetarians and vegans, you’ve been warned: this is The Impossible Guide to Meat.
- What Is Meat?
- What The Beef with Grass-Fed Beef?
- How Much Meat Should I Eat?
- Ethical Treatment of Animals
- Meats To Eat Plenty of
- Meats To Avoid/Limit
- A Note to Vegetarians and Vegans
- Grass-Fed Beef Videos
Meat is great. Besides being plain delicious, it’s a great source of the following things:
- Protein (the building blocks of your body)
- Iron (this helps carry oxygen to your blood)
- B vitamins (these help with energy release, your nervous systems, and red blood cell formation)
- Zinc (this helps your immune system)
- Magnesium (this helps with the building of bones)
Meat is an integral part of all of the best diets in the world (measured according to life span – see Health Mad). While it’s certainly possible to overdo it with your meat intake, it seems that a certain amount of meat is essential if you’re going to live the healthiest lifestyle possible.
What Is Meat?
The answer to this question should straightforward but, unfortunately, with the processing that goes into making so many meals these days, some of the products that are called “meat” aren’t actually meat at all.
For example, this is not meat:
The truth isn’t always pretty, but it’s good to be aware of it.
What’s The Beef with Grass-Fed Beef?
We’re pro-meat but we’re also pro-high-quality-meat. Not all meat is created equal (you can probably tell that from the video above). For this reason, throughout this guide we’ll focus mostly on the benefits of eating high-quality, grass-fed beef, instead of jumping into the meat vs. no meat debate. Vegetarians, please scroll down to the section of this post that’s dedicated to you.
The short of this is: grass-fed cows eat better food than grain-fed cows do. Better foods means healthier cows and healthier cows mean better meat. You’ll hear that grass-fed beef contains more omega-3s than grain-fed beef (which contains almost no omega-3). It follow that by eating grass-fed meat, you’ll get all the health benefits of consuming omega-3s too.
Other Health Benefits of Grass-Fed Beef
- Grass-fed beef is leaner and contains less fat than grain-fed beef.
- Grass-fed beef contains fewer calories than grain-fed beef.
- Grass-fed beef is the richest source of CLA, which has a ton of health benefits that we’ll talk in a moment.
How Much Meat Should I Eat?
So how much meat should you eat? The answer: it depends, since intake needs vary based on an individual’s needs.
An easy way to figure out how much meat you should be consuming is to make your portion of meat the size of your fist because larger people need more protein. Exception: this guy.
Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLA) is a fancy term for an unsaturated omega-6 acid found in meat and dairy products that has numerous health benefits, including:
- Improving body composition (decreasing fat mass and promoting lean muscle mass development)
- Providing several helpful anti-cancer properties
CLA is found in high quantities in grass-fed beef. This is yet another reason to eat higher quality meat.
Ethical Treatment of Animals
When possible, consume grass-fed and locally sourced cattle and poultry. Not only will you be getting higher quality meat with the benefits listed above, but you’ll also help local farmers and know exactly where your food is coming from.
You can find a directory of grass-fed food sellers in your local area at Eat Wild.
Meats To Eat Plenty of
If you run into any of the following meats, feel free to go plate to mouth, stat.
- Pork chops/pork tenderloin
- Chicken breast/thigh/leg/wings
- Ground beef
- Grass-fed beef
- Lamb rack
- Venison steak
- New York steak
- Bison steaks
- Bison jerky
- Bison ribeye
- Bison sirloin
- Lamb chop
- Beef jerky
- Eggs (duck, chicken, or goose)
- Wild boar
- Lean veal
- Chuck steak
- Red snapper
Meats To Avoid or Limit
You might want to avoid these processed and low-quality meats whenever possible:
- Hot dogs (see the video above)
- Bacon (in overly large quantites)
- Grain-fed beef (if possible)
- Grain-fed poultry (if possible)
- Overly processed meat
- Large quantities of processed/packaged meats packed with sodium (ham, sausage, etc.)
- Foods high in nitrates
- Fried and deep-fried meat (completely unnecessary – just grill those puppies up instead!)
A Note to Vegetarians and Vegans
I don’t want to get into a debate on vegetarianism/veganism. I’m very much on the pro-meat side of things. (And let’s face it – even vegans like bacon.)
That said, oft-cited reasons for not eating meat are the ethical treatment of animals and the low-quality of processed meats that so many people consume these days.
This are very poor arguments. Refusing to eat any meat because some meat is not optimally prepared is like rejecting all types of education because teaching is poorly done in some schools. The solution in both cases is not complete avoidance but a direct approach that forces the situation to improve.
Put another way, the response to poor-quality meat should not be no meat. The response should be to choose better quality meat and to use your buying power to influence market behaviors and to encourage farmers to raise their animals humanely. The recent rise in interest in grass-fed meat and ethically-treated meat is proof that this approach works.
And that’s all I have to say about that.
Also, PETA, cows are not people. Cows are cows. That’s why they’re called cows. 🙂
Grass-Fed Beef Videos
The Truth About GrassFed Beef
Why Grass Fed Beef Is A Healthy Red Meat
The Grassfed Difference
Grass fed Beef at McK Ranch
- The Health Benefits of Grass Farming – American Grass-Fed Beef
- Dear Mark: Eating Meat – Mark’s Daily Apple
- The Differences Between Grass-Fed Beef and Grain-Fed Beef – Mark’s Daily Apple
- What Foods Are in the Protein Foods Group? – Choose My Plate
- Ip, C, J.A. Scimeca, et al. (1994) “Conjugated linoleic acid. A powerful anti-carcinogen from animal fat sources.” p. 1053. Cancer 74(3 suppl):1050-4.
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