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meat eating and health

5 Healthy Ways to Enjoy Eating Meat

Eating meat can be bad for your health and hard on the environment, but you may not have to give it up.

By Amy Ahlberg


RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Studies have linked meat, especially red meat, to a higher risk of death from heart disease and cancer, and to other health problems. Current research also shows that consumption of meat takes a heavy toll on the environment, as well: A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that nonvegetarian diets use 2.9 times more water, 2.5 times more energy, 13 times more fertilizer, and 1.4 times more pesticides than vegetarian diets do. Switching to an all-vegetarian diet is one way to avoid those consequences, but what if you really like hamburgers? Fortunately, you don't have to give up meat entirely to improve your own well-being and safeguard the health of the planet. Read on for five suggestions for being a healthier carnivore.

#1: Chase healthier food. "Remember that what your meat eats matters," says family physician Daphne Miller, MD, who’s also an associate professor of nutrition and integrative medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and the author of The Jungle Effect: A Doctor Discovers the Healthiest Diets from Around the World (Collins, 2008). She advises choosing meat that has been produced in a healthy, sustainable way, like free-range chicken and pork, and grass-fed beef. If the animals have eaten a diet that is nutrient-rich (as well as hormone-, antibiotic- and pesticide-free), they will pass these nutrients on to you. These choices are better for the environment, as well, than large factory-farm operations that are overcrowded with animals (and their waste).
#2: Look beyond beef. Limit your beef intake to once or twice a week. Don't neglect other sources of animal protein, such as eggs, poultry, and pork. The greenhouse-gas impact of beef has been found to be much greater than that of eggs and poultry. And a recent Swedish study found that cattle production creates almost five times more greenhouse gases than hog farming.
#3: Make room for sides. Think of meat more as a condiment, rather than the centerpiece of a meal. According to Dr. Miller, "Cooking small amounts of meat along with vegetables, grains and legumes, rather than dining on a big hunk of meat, is likely to be better for your health and certainly better on your wallet and the environment." Bonus: When you don't use as much meat in a meal, you can afford to buy higher-quality cuts.
#4: Avoid processed meat altogether. A recent study in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine found that eating any processed meat, as well as eating large amounts of red meat, increases your overall mortality risk and your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or cancer. Why consider a total ban? The American Institute of Cancer Research is unable to determine any safe exposure level to chemical-laden processed meat. The preservatives most often blamed for the cancer link are nitrates and nitrites, named probable human carcinogens by several government agencies and health organizations. Choose nonprocessed meats like organic and humanely raised chicken and ground beef, instead of highly processed hotdogs.
#5: Don't overcook. When you’re firing up the grill, avoid burning your meat, as this causes cancer-causing by-products to be released into the food. "Marinating in a thick sauce or mixing your meat with antioxidant-rich fruits or vegetables may also help prevent these substances from forming," says Dr. Miller. "I personally think hamburger patties with blueberries in them taste really good!" she adds.

More healthy options for meat lovers:

Easy pot pie recipes: 5 Savory Meat Pie Recipes, and Vegetarian Alternatives

Beware of lead in game meat: Lead in Game Meat Threatens Hunters and Other Game Eaters

Watch out for enhanced meat: How to Spot the Hidden Hazard in Your T-Bone Steak

Cook properly to avoid illness: Whole Cuts of Meat Can Hide Salmonella

Filed Under: MEAT, RECIPES

Published on: August 18, 2009



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bad for the environment

Ed, if you do a little research you'll understand that a oil based agricultural economy focused on grains to feed cattle use fuel, pesticides, and herbicides that does take a toll on the environment vs just letting them graze on pasture the way they are supposed to. In which case you lower the cost to the farmer, avoid hazardous chemicals, decrease pollution and produce healthier cows and meat.

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Eating Meat

Everything in moderation, folks. Humans are omnivores. There is nothing wrong with eating meat. I like that this article points out how to choose and prepare meat in a healthier way. Sure, vegetarians may live longer, but there is quality of life to consider as well. Strict vegetarians have a really hard time getting sufficient quality protein, sufficient vitamins and nutrients (B vitamins and calcium, in particular) and sufficient calories for daily functioning. It's just really hard to eat enough oats and hay! Maybe their arteries are more clear, but that isn't everything. So, if you enjoy eating meat, don't feel like you have to deprive yourself. Your body was designed to handle it!

Eating meat

Actually, we've increased the amount of red meat we eat and are healthier than ever, plus we've lost a lot of weight. The answer is Piedmontese beef, a 25,000-year-old breed of cattle from the mountains of Northern Italy, now raised on grass in Montana and neighboring states and available from several places on line, including www.blackwing.com where we get most of ours. It has less fat and calories than skinless chicken plus it's tender as all get out. So don't give up red meat--insist on organically raised, grass fed Pietmontese beef.

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