•It Is A Silent & Slow Killer
When the aroma of red meat being boiled or fried hits your nose or you sniff the aroma when you walk past the suya (grilled meat) stand, sometimes we do not plan to eat suya, but when the aroma sneaks into our nostrils, we make a reverse and end up buying meat suya, sometimes asking the seller to add tozo, fuku, shaki, roundabout and the likes. Some other time we just might be watching a movie, and see the actor about to guzzle a sizzling steak with outpouring savory juices or a beef burger with melted cheese peeking out, it’s hard not to salivate.
Red meat is generally meat derived from mammals such as:
Pork, ham and other cuts from pig
In Nutrition Science, red meat is any meat that has more myoglobin than white meat; white meat is the non dark meat from chicken (excluding the leg and thigh) or fish. Red meat in its pure form is a good source of protein and B vitamins and has been a key part of the human diet age long.
BAD NEWS FOR RED MEAT LOVERS
Red meat is often rich in fat and cholesterol and an increase in consumption of both has been linked to numerous health conditions like cancer and diabetes,
As tasty as red meat is, when prepared in a number of way, grilled, boiled, fried, pan seared, you just name it, some love it rare, some medium and others well cooked, red meat is high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Even if you choose to eat smart by limiting the intake of unhealthy fats by choosing lean cuts of meat and trimming every single trace of fat off, it does not help other health concerns, for instance, when red meat is cooked in a high temperature it produces substances that can increase your risk of cancer.
Now it is important to know that we have raw meat and processed meat, raw meat is meat in its pure form while processed red meats undergo various treatments like curing, fermentation, smoking etc to enhance their flavor and give them a longer shelf life, processed meats are corned beef, some sausages, salami, hot dogs, ham, beef jerky, kilishi, pepperoni, polony, burgers.
The health effect of meat is based on fat content, processing and preparation, processed red meats contain nitrates and nitrites which when consumed can be converted in the human body into nitrosamines that can be carcinogenic, cause tumor genesis , which in the long run leads to cancer, so if you have a history of cancer in your family, you best run away from red meat.
Processed red meat is linked to high death rate due to cardiovascular diseases and cancer….yes you read that right…..mortality, cardiovascular diseases and cancer are the some of the health effects of red meat consumption. On the other hand, unprocessed red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of Type 2 diabetes.
10 REASONS TO STOP EATING RED MEAT
1. Regular consumption of red meat hardens the blood vessels and arteries, red meat contains carnitine which has been found to cause atherosclerosis, atherosclerosis is the hardening or clogging of the arteries, when this condition sets in, your heart works harder to pump blood through the narrowed blood vessels , increasing your chance of a heart attack, also the fats in red meat add cholesterol and saturated fats to your diet which can increase the accumulation of a fatty substance called plaque to the walls lining your arteries, this also leads to arthrosclerosis, the fat in red meat can cause you to put on extra weight , a risk factor for high blood pressure which is also risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and can lead to coronary artery disease(CAD), heart attack, stroke or even transient Ischemic attack (TIA).
2. Eating healthier protein sources like fish, nuts, legumes and poultry can lower risk of mortality.
3. Eating red meat in pure or processed form ups your risk of type 2 diabetes. Eating red meat can, over time can increase the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, diets rich in animal products; contribute to the increased risk incidence of Type 2 diabetes and obesity. Processed red meat (steak, hot dog, sausage) contains preservatives such as nitrosamines that are toxic to the pancreatic cells that produce insulin, insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas, insulin regulates the amount of glucose in the blood, and lack of insulin causes a form of diabetes. So you just have to cut meat out from the menu.
4. Red meat affects your liver, the liver is the processing plant of the body, excess protein and far in the diet can harm the liver, causing a slowdown in the organ’s processing output, if you consume a greater than manageable amount of red meat, the waste products can build up (toxins). These toxins can affect your brain functioning, contributing to a condition known as hepatic encephalopathy. Each person may react differently to red meat consumption, so pay attention to your body for signs like mental confusion, fatigue, dizziness when you eat red meat in excess.
5. Meat contains harmful hormones, the hormones added to red meet boost breast cancer risk. Research showed the hormones (hormone-like compounds) in red meat increases cancer risk by attaching to specific hormone receptors on the tumors.
6. Red meat puts your brain at risk, red meat contains a lot of iron which when eaten in excess , can raise level of iron in the brain and may increase risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease (according to recent study from UCLA). When iron accumulates in the brain, myelin, a fatty tissue that coats the nerve fibers is destroyed, this disrupts brain communication and signs of Alzheimer’s appear.
7. Red meat increases the risk cancer; colorectal cancer in people with a genetic predisposition, affecting one in three individuals, the gene plays a role in the immune system, if you have this gene, eating and digesting red meat may trigger an immune or inflammatory response. Red meat and cancer, the iron in red meat is contained in a protein called ‘heme’ and this protein can easily undergo a chemical change in your gut to form carcinogenic N-nitroso compounds . The fat content of red meat might be a contributing factor in the incidence of estrogen and progesterone-sensitive breast cancer, also hormones used in production of red meat can exhibit estrogenic activity and might boost breast cancer risk.
CHANGES THAT OCCUR IN YOUR BODY WHEN U BOOT RED MEAT FROM YOUR MENU
I would say a typical Nigerian child starts eating meat even before 12 months of age, mothers would chew a small piece of meat to breakdown the fibers and soften it up and then transfer this to the mouth of infants from 8 month, some earlier, as soon as the child starts growing milk teeth.
For someone who has been consuming a good amount of red meat from the early stage of life, to boot out meat at the adult stage, there will definitely be changes within short period of time, some of this changes are:
1. Weight loss: You may weigh less on the scale; this means you may shed some pounds, so cutting out meat from your diet will make the scale reading drop.
2. You will be less acidic: The human body has a pH of 7.4, for our body to be healthy we need a good pH balance, most of our diet today comprises of acid-forming foods including red meat, red meat together with white flour, coffee and soda. Side effects associated with consuming foods that are too acidic include listlessness, depression, headaches, acne, dry skin, mood swings, poor digestion, brittle nails and hair, and sensitive gums. A mild case of acidosis can increase free radicals in your body, decreasing your cellular energy. Bacteria and viruses thrive in an acidic environment, and any state of acidosis will make you body more susceptible to bacterial and viral infections.
3. You will feel less bloated: Red meat is digested more slowly than other foods, some people suffer constipation, abdominal pain and increased gas after consuming a large quantity of meat, by the time you give red meat a good booting out and introduce healthy , fiber-rich foods, you will not feel bloated.
4. Your skin might improve: Skin clear begins on the insides, so increasing your fruits and veggies which are packed with vitamins A,C,E that are known to combat blemish causing free radicals is one way to improve and maintain a good skin…….Ladies…..gerrin hia (get in here).…..did you read that, maybe you should go back and read again…….out with the red meat and in with the fruits and veggies, some foods that have high levels of antioxidant activity includes berries, cherries, citrus, prunes and olives.
5. Drop in cholesterol levels: Cutting out red meat reduces the amount of saturated fats in the diet which has been linked to high cholesterol levels.
6. Increased energy: You may have more energy, this is because eating red meat can raise estrogen levels, causing hormone imbalance that leads to decreased energy, we need a healthy heart, digestive system and body for good energy, red meat takes longer to fully digest, this slows energy release and requires time for the body to rest during digestion.
7. Regulates blood sugar: Animal foods increase blood sugar and are responsible for increased anxiety
In a nut shell, the under listed are health effects and risks of red meat consumption:
All of the above and even more are the reasons why you should boot red meat from your diet; red meat is a silent and slow killer. You can start by reducing your daily red meat intake or just cut it out entirely and get your protein from fish as the body does need proteins for repair of worn out tissues, muscle building etc, and for those of us who have elderly ones in our fold, by buying lots of red meat, assorted parts , different cuts of red meat and taking it to them when we visit, we are causing more harm than good. Let us help them eat right; give them an adequate diet, rich in vitamins and fibers and protein source should be fish especially for the elderly ones, there is dietary requirement for all age(s).
FOOD 4 THOUGHT
Do you know it takes 24-72 hours to digest meat?
This depends on the type of meat. Red meat takes 1-3 days to complete digestion because of the fat content and high protein content. Red meat is a slow digesting food.