Amazing Health Benefits Of Eating Meat
These days foregoing meat is trendy. But is it healthy? You might be surprised to learn that science has shown that men who eat meat are healthier than those who do not. And there are a whole bunch of reasons why you shouldn’t pass up on the pot roast or turkey. Today I’m going to share with you the top 4 reasons why as men we should be eating meat.
Meat and Fish Especially Important For Men
A recent study examined a large group of older men and women. What the researchers found was that among men eating more meat and fish is associated with significantly better health. In fact, the men who ate the most meat and fish had nearly a 40 percent reduced risk of physical or mental decline.
The same outcomes were not found among the women. So as men, particularly as we age, it is important to continue to eat meat and fish on a regular basis. Doing so can be protective of both physical and mental health.
The Importance Of Quality Protein
Many vegan health promoters claim that protein is protein, whether it comes from animals or from plants. But science shows this isn’t true. The quality of protein from animals is vastly better than the protein from all but a few plant foods. The protein from eggs and milk is very high quality and so is the protein from meat and fish. Although a frank protein deficiency is rare in the United States, the quality of protein does matter, and that may be one of the reasons why eating meat and fish is so beneficial.
Another reason why protein quality is important is because it helps to promote healthy digestion. Without adequate quality protein, the stomach begins to create less of the digestive juices needed to properly absorb the nutrition from food. The result can include sluggish digestion, heartburn, and nutrient deficiencies. Yet a simple way to ensure that you are eating enough quality protein to keep digestion healthy is to eat some meat and fish regularly.
Important B Vitamins
In a recent article I shared with you the tremendous importance of vitamin B12. Deficiencies in this essential nutrient are common, and the consequences can be devastating.
Vitamin B12 does not exist in plants. It only can be obtained from animal foods such as meat and fish. Some of the richest sources are organ meats like liver.
Although some men may require supplemental vitamin B12 for other reasons, most men can obtain enough of the nutrient by eating enough animal foods such as meat and fish on a regular basis. But foregoing these foods can quickly lead to a deficiency.
Although vitamin B12 is the only one that can be found exclusively in animal foods, animal foods such as meat are some of the best sources of other important B vitamins. The B vitamins are essential for energy production, repair, growth, and brain health.
Liver is by far the richest source of real vitamin A that exists. Although, like protein deficiencies, frank vitamin A deficiencies are rare in the United States. However, many men may be mildly deficient in this important, essential vitamin.
Remember, as I’ve shared with you previously, carotenoids such as beta-carotene, which are found in plants, may get converted to vitamin A in the body. But then again, they may not. Many humans are poor converters. So when you read a nutrition label for something like carrots or sweet potatoes and you see vitamin A listed, you may not actually be able to obtain the vitamin A benefits from those foods. Only animal foods supply true vitamin A.
Vitamin A is essential most famously for eye health. But it does much more. And one of it’s important and understated roles is in hormone balance. We all need good hormone balance, and getting some real vitamin A in our diets can help.
Rich Source Of Zinc
Men have a higher need for the mineral zinc than do women for a simple reason. One of the places in the body where zinc concentrates is in the testes. There, zinc is used to form testosterone, that important male hormone.
Plant foods are very poor sources of zinc. Even though some nuts and seeds are often touted as good sources, it turns out that they are not. The reason is that plant foods high in zinc also happen to be high in things that bind tightly to zinc, making it unavailable to the body.
What that means is that only animal foods are good sources of zinc. And among those, meat and fish are by far the superior sources.
Beware Of Meat Alternatives
Another problem with not eating meat is what many people eat in place of meat. We’ve already seen some of the consequences of not eating meat. But replacing meat with things such as soy is adding insult to injury.
Soy foods such as tofu and tempeh are often used as meat substitutes. But soy contains estrogen-like chemicals that may lead to low testosterone levels.
Eating meat regularly is a sensible step you can take to support your health. But does that mean you should be chowing down on 20 ounce steaks morning, noon, and night? Not so fast.
Research shows that a moderate intake of meat is generally best. In fact, there’s no need to wolf down giant steaks at all. Instead, 3 or 4 ounces of meat at a meal is plenty. Remember to leave plenty of room for fruits and vegetables as well.
Also, research shows that balancing muscle meat intake (steaks, roasts, and burgers) with gelatinous cuts and organ meats such as liver is good for health. Gelatinous cuts include oxtail and bone-in cuts made into slow-cooked soups and stews.
Finally, as noted in a previous article, meats may be best cooked at low temperatures such as in soups and stews rather than at high temperatures such as pan fried. The reason is that high temperature cooking over time can increase prostate cancer risk. No reason not to enjoy a grilled steak or a pan-fried burger or bacon on occasion. But just go easy on them.
Do these things and you’ve got a delicious and nutritious way to support your health for life.