Consuming lean, unprocessed red meat or steak can benefit body composition (i.e., weight loss and fat loss) while not adversely affecting cardiovascular functions. The topic of red meat consumption is highly controversial; this study suggests that lean, unprocessed red meat can be used while dieting
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU EAT RED MEAT? SUMMARY
- How often should you eat red meat is a topic on controversy for athletes and health care providers. However, there was no difference in weight loss or fat loss between the low and high lean meat consumption groups while dieting.
- There was no difference in cardiovascular disease or inflammation markers between low and high unprocessed lean meat.
We have all heard, If you want to be healthy, you should cut back on red meat and eat more chicken and fish. Red meat has gotten a bad rap for being unhealthy for decades. Large-scale studies have found that red meat consumption is associated with obesity, diabetes, and an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. (Lee et al., 2013; Micha et al., 2010; Rouhani et al., 2014; Zhong et al., 2020) As with any study, these studies must be looked at with caution. These studies did not differentiate between meat eaters and non-meat eaters, higher versus lower fat meats, or between processed (e.g., processed meats are preserved by smoking or salting, curing, or adding chemical preservatives. They include deli meats, bacon, and hot dogs) and nonprocessed meats (e.g., fresh chicken, steak, beef, and pork).
IS RED MEAT INFLAMMATORY?
There are many myths regarding meat consumption, such as the red meat cholesterol myth, which states that red meat will lead to an early grave [there is little research to suggest that red meat leads to an increased risk of cancer and heart disease (Zeraatkar et al., 2019)] Saturated fats and dietary cholesterol are essential for health. They don’t increase the risk of developing heart disease. (Zeraatkar et al., 2019) Another crazy thing you will hear is that red meat stays in your digestive system for decades.
IS IT BAD TO EAT STEAK EVERY DAY?
Previous studies have found that unprocessed red meat with portion sizes from 15 grams to 150 grams per day can be used as part of a healthy diet without adverse effects of weight gain or increases in cardiovascular risk factors. (Fleming et al., 2021; Hill et al., 2015; O’Connor et al., 2018; Sayer et al., 2017) There is nothing wrong with a heart healthy steak. A new study took the previous research and examined daily red meat responses in conjunction with a diet to examine the physiological responses of daily red meat consumption.