Since prehistoric times humans have been hunting and killing animals for their meat, skin and other essential body parts. Meat is animal flesh that is mainly composed of water, proteins, and fat. It is edible raw but is consumed after cooking and processing in different ways. Unprocessed food will rot within a few hours due to infection and decomposed by bacteria and fungi. Regular consumption of these meat is very harmful for human health.
Types of Meat Consumed
Meat Consumption can be classified into three types
- Red Meat: All livestock are red meat. It includes lamb, goat, beef, and pork. It is very risky to have red meat in our regular diet as it leads to many diseases.
- Poultry Meat: It is White meat. It includes meat from poultry like chicken and turkey. It is not as risky as red meat but if regular consumption takes place it may cause some heart diseases.
- Seafood: It includes fish and all crustaceans like crab, lobsters, oysters, mussels, etc. Certain seafood should be present in the diet as it contains a lot of vitamins and cod liver oil.
Healthy Amount of Meat Consumption – Benefits
Meat is unhealthy if consumption takes place regularly in a very high quantity. It benefits when consumed in small quantities by giving a certain amount of protein to the body. It also provides vitamins like B12, B6, E, K and also nourishes a certain amount of iron and zinc to the body. Seafood like Salmon, Tuna, and Sardines are very helpful in increasing Omega-3 fatty acids which are very important for our body.
The Bone marrow of certain meat can be a part of the diet in terms of soup and various meat dishes. It provides a good amount of calories, vitamin B, thiamine, and biotin which is important for body processes and energy production.
Meat consumption in cold areas is very useful as it increases the amount of body heat and the proteins in it increase the calories.
Risk In Meat Consumption
Some of us may love the taste of red meat, but maybe our carnivore cravings are killing us. After tracking the food choices of many people Harvard researchers have found that people who eat around 85 grams of red meat every day are more likely to die due to heart disease or cancer. Daily consumption of processed meat such as bacon has also raised early death by 20 percent.
The meat diet has dangers like fat and cholesterol which coagulates inside the artery and blocks it which leads to higher chances of a heart attack. Loads of iron which is present in meat can threaten the heart. Sodium and nitrates which are present in processed meat are even worse for the heart. The consumption of processed meat also leads to an increased risk of coronary heart disease, cardiovascular problems, and heart failure. Its regular consumption increases the risk of death by 3 -7 percent. It is also important to keep proper hygiene during meat cutting and processing. If the meat is not properly cleaned or half-cooked then it can cause different health issues.
Various Health Problems
- E.coli from ground beef – A bacterial worm found growing in the intestine due to consumption of contaminated food.
- Trichinosis from half-cooked pork – Intestinal worms and roundworms due to under-cooked or raw pork consumption.
- Salmonella from poultry – Pathogen generated due to internal cavity in chicken or turkey.
- Scrapie from mutton – A disease that affects the Central Nervous System of sheep and goats and infects the consumer.
In addition to this various other bacteria, viruses, mold, and yeast can be developed in our body due to the consumption of unhygienic meat.
Therefore to safeguard ourselves from all kinds of health problems we need to maintain good hygiene while meat cutting and processing. We need to cook the meat at a very high temperature to ensure that there are no bacteria and other infectious virus in it. The food can also be refrigerated for quite some time to delay the reproduction of pathogen in the food. This will help in preserving the food for a longer period of time.
So What About Meat Lovers
For meat consumers the only solution to stay safe and healthy is to eat less meat and keep a balanced diet. The perfect meat portion that can be used in a fit diet is about 85 grams. Regular consumption of meat and processed meat like bacon and sausage must be completely avoided. With meat even fruits, vegetables and whole grain intake helps in digestion. Regular walking and exercising habits helps us to decrease the fat in the body and decrease the cholesterol level in the body.
Therefore we realize that moderate consumption of meat can feed the body with all the essential nutrients. It also keeps a maintained trans- fat and limited cholesterol level which not considered harmful.