More studies have produced evidence that eating red meat has a negative impact on mortality. Nothing new there, we been hearing this for a few years, but is red meat the culprit? Which begs the question – how healthy were the individuals used in the studies? We have all been told to cut back on red meat, so were these individuals less careful about other areas of their diet and health – I don’t know?
Could it also be more about the way red meat is cooked rather the meat itself – after all it has been in our diet for thousands of years.
When red meat is fried, baked and grilled, cancer causing compounds are created, especially in any blackened sections, commonly found in barbequing. The other danger with barbequing is smoke which also causes more toxins in the food.
A good way to minimise the effects of cooking is to marinate the meat in lemon juice, vinegar or wine which may reduce the amount of carcinogenic compounds. The other protective element is antioxidants which help mop up “free radicals” (harmful toxins). These are found in fruits and vegetable – the darker the colour of the food, the more antioxidants, for example blueberries and kale. You can also supplement with an antioxidant.
Finally don’t forget that red meat is one of the best sources of iron which helps transport oxygen around the body in our blood. Eating red meat with vitamin C such as raw peppers or watercress improves it’s absorption.
So if you eat red meat, marinate it, don’t burn it, and serve with dark green salads and bright red peppers!