The MEAT of the Issue


When it comes to losing weight, red meat may not be the best item to feature on the menu.

There are plenty of foods out there that are not healthy. Processed foods, fatty foods, sugary foods and fried foods tend to top the list. Cutting a certain type of unhealthy food out of your diet can be a successful strategy to improve your health and even lose weight, but when you start cutting out foods you need to be smart about it. Cutting out fried foods or carbs, only to add in a lot more of other foods, like red meats, could actually hurt your diet rather than help it.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the average American eats more than 50 pounds of poultry in a year, and more than 70 pounds of red meat. While red meat provides us with a consistent source of protein, there are some negative health consequences that come with eating so much meat, especially red meats, and especially in large quantities.

Regular consumption of red meat has been linked to several negative health consequences in multiple studies. These findings include:

  • Eating red meat increases and individual’s chance of heart attack, according to a recent study by the National Institute for Health
  • Regular consumption of processed red meats, including cold cuts, bacon or hot dogs is correlated to 20% higher chance of premature death.

There are additional studies published which indicate a connection between red meat consumption and chronic diseases, include diabetes and cancer.

Making Different Choices

Simply cutting down your consumption of red meat could be a good enough strategy to improve your health, without cutting red meat out of your diet altogether. There are plenty of red meat alternatives that pack just as much protein, but without the connected consequences.

These solutions include:

  • White meats and fish
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • Leafy greens

While red meat isn’t looked at as being strictly bad, it isn’t the healthiest option on any menu. Following a plant based diet can offer significant health improvements. You can easily incorporate these alternatives into your diet by swapping out red meat in your favorite recipes. Try a veggie burger or a turkey dog at your next barbeque and avoid the steak and beef burger. There are also protein supplements to help you reach your nutrient goals as you make changes to your eating habits. Talk to your weight loss surgeon for more assistance making healthier goals for yourself and your diet.