So according to the much-hyped study I mentioned yesterday, eating one additional serving of red meat per day caused a 10% increased risk of death from cancer. It also apparently led to a 16% increased risk of death from heart disease. (Which, by the way, is still significantly less than the 20% increased risk of death from diabetes and heart disease from drinking soda.)
But all the headlines and news stories failed to mention a couple of important details… The highest-risk people in this study were more likely to be overweight smokers.
Hmmmmm… Aren’t those independent risk factors for cancer, heart disease, and death in and of themselves?
But hey, red meat has been a villain for a long time, so why stop now?
Since that seems to be the mainstream mindset, let me remind you of all the health benefits of eating meat–starting with the most obvious. Lean beef is a complete protein source. It contains all the essential amino acids necessary for building and maintaining lean muscle. Just 3 oz. a T-bone, for example, gives you 22 grams of protein. Three ounces!
So, if you’re trying to shed a few pounds, just a small portion of beef can help you feel full longer. Plus, according to a study from Australia’s national science agency, a high-protein diet that included lean red meats reduced abdominal fat better than a high carbohydrate diet.
But beef’s health benefits go way beyond protein. If you think about it, beef is nature’s best tasting multivitamin. It’s loaded with 10 essential nutrients, including zinc, B vitamins, and iron.
In fact, according to the NIH, red meat provides most of the zinc in an average American’s diet. And zinc is responsible for a healthy testosterone level, which helps boost sex drive in both men and women. It’s also a great source of B12 in particular. Vitamin B12 helps keep nerve and red blood cells healthy.
Plus, beef is the only natural source of one important cancer-fighting nutrient called conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).
So there is no way I am giving up lean beef based on one overhyped study. And you shouldn’t either!