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Are there any benefits in eating red meat or is it better not eaten has been a long standing debate. Among the claims and counter claims made by people on either side of the debate, it is the common man who is left a confused soul. In this article, I have tried to incorporate both the advantages and the disadvantages of consuming red meat for the benefit of the readers.
Advantages of eating red meat
Let us first begin with the advantages of eating red meat since they are seldom highlighted.
- Red meat is a very good source of protein which is so essential for the building of bones and muscles.
- Red meat is an excellent source of heme iron. This form of iron is readily absorbed by the body and can be extremely good for patients suffering from iron deficiency anemia. Girls and women of child bearing age are often anemic because of loss of blood during menstrual cycles. Consumption of red meat loaded with heme iron may be of great help to them.
- Red meat is also rich in vitamin B12, a vitamin required for the production of DNA. Besides, vitamin B12 is also essential for maintaining the red blood cells in a good health.
- Red meat contains sufficient quantities of zinc which is so important for the proper working of the immune system.
If the red meat is so good then why do physicians discourage us from eating it on a regular basis? This is because red meat is loaded with saturated fats which increase the blood cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is the main reason behind multiple cardiovascular diseases.
Apart from diseases of the heart, red meat consumption has been associated with the development of many types of cancers. While its link with colorectal cancer has been established by many studies, there are evidences to show red meat being linked to lung, esophageal, pancreatic, stomach and endometrial cancers as well. After reviewing the results of multiple scientific studies, an expert panel comprising members from the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research came to a conclusion in 2007 that red meat or processed meats are convincing or probable sources of the above mentioned cancers.