We all love meat and delicacies derived from meat.In tropical Africa, meals are rarely served without meats. Most people will totally reject a meat-absent meal. Meats have come to play an obviously important place in our diet over the generations.

Why are they called Red Meat?

Beef, venison, lamb, pork, and goat are the most common red meats, and they are so called because they look red when raw and have a darker colour after they are cooked. Protein, iron, zinc and vitamin B-12 are found in high quantity in these types of meat and it helps build muscles, stronger bones and other tissues.

Negative impacts of consuming Red Meat

Some health professionals are of the opinion that regular & excessive consumption of red meat can expose to a number of health problems, such as heart disease, some cancers, kidney problems, digestive issues, and early mortality.

They believe that red meats may increase a person’s risk of developing heart disease or cancer. Remember that sometimes, red meat also comes in processed forms — smoked, hot dog and bacon. These variants tend to have greater negative health impacts.

Why excessive consumptions of red meat may be harmful

Some health experts say that saturated fats are much higher in red meats than in chicken, fish, or plant-based protein sources. They suggest that eating high amounts of saturated fats can raise cholesterol levels and increase their risk of heart disease. They therefore recommend that the amount of red meat that people eat should be limited.

Some also believe that excessive consumption can increase the risk of cancer. They say red meat is carcinogenic as well as its variants, processed red meat particularly when smoked.

Huge consumers of red meat are more at risk of developing some forms of cancer, including; stomach cancer, pancreatic cancer, colorectal cancer, breast cancer and even prostate cancer. The risks are greater if they were involved in large consumptions of processed red meat.

Cooking Red Meat

Cooking meat at high temperatures, either by prolonged frying or grilling over direct fire puts it at risk of gaining certain chemicals. Heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons may get into meat cooked in this way, and may be causes of changes in DNA that may lead to cancer.

Using different cooking techniques can help reduce the levels of cancer-causing chemicals in red meat or any other type of meat. Next time try these methods:

Do not grill meats over direct fire

Do not grill meats over a very hot metal shape

Precook meat in a microwave so as to cut down on the time you would cook it over high heat

Flip meats to every side while cooking so as not to have any side charred, and avoid eating charred portions of meats.

How much red meat is too much?

The risk of developing health challenges as a result of red meat consumption depends on a number of other considerations like; genetics, body type, age, environment, health history, stress levels, sleep quality and immune system. This question has different answers when thrown at different health experts, however, the World Cancer Research Fund and American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recommends no more than 3 servings per week (1 serving = 3 oz).

We advise everyone to familiarise themselves with their health by having regular routine health check-ups. Wazima Health gives you easy access to reputable healthcare providers and early diagnosis and health management, register now to begin to benefit.

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