Over the years, red meat has gained a bad rap. This negative reputation is primarily due to concerns about saturated fat and cholesterol contributing to heart disease. But like most controversial food groups out there, the benefits and potential drawbacks are far from black and white. In fact, not only is red meat an innocent addition to a healthy diet in moderation, but there are several exclusive benefits that eating beef can provide.
Need proof? Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t give up red meat in the new year:
1. Lean red meat is packed with essential nutrients
Lean cuts of beef, like top sirloin or filet mignon, are low in saturated fat and full of nutrients, such as iron, zinc, phosphorous, selenium and vitamin B12. These nutrients are called “essential” for good reason — our bodies need them to function at their optimal level. Even just a small serving of lean red meat provides a substantial percentage of the recommended daily value of these key nutrients. If red meat is typically part of your diet, cutting it out altogether could create gaps in your nutrition needs, negatively affecting your health and energy levels.
2. Protein-rich meals help prevent overeating
Because it takes more energy for your body to digest protein than simple carbohydrates, eating protein-rich meals can help you feel fuller longer. This added satiety can help prevent overeating, which can help you manage your weight better without feeling deprived. Protein has even been shown to be beneficial to long-term bone and muscle health, so making sure you’re getting enough in your diet is extra important as you age. While you can get protein from other foods, the easiest way to get enough in your diet is by having a serving or two of meat each day. For reference, a four-ounce boneless pork chop has nearly 30 grams of protein, which is roughly 60 percent of the recommended intake for an average-sized sedentary man.
3. Quality is more important than quantity
Much of the negativity around eating red meat comes from eating 1) too much red meat, and 2) eating poor quality red meat. By maintaining adequate portion sizes and sourcing out high quality cuts, you can avoid many of the reasons that caused red meat to be so demonized. Look for organic, grass-fed beef or USDA-certified beef to know you’re getting cuts that were responsibly-raised and sustainably-sourced. Plus, the quality of your meat can even influence the nutrition profile — with studies showing grass-fed beef is lower in total fat and richer in omega-3 than other beef.
4. Eating beef doesn’t have to be bad for the environment
You may have heard that giving up eating beef can have a positive impact on the environment, but this is another case of the headlines not telling the full story. While many practices in the beef industry are worthy of criticism for their environmental impact, there are also numerous farms and retailers prioritizing sustainability (psst…we’re one of them). You can lessen your own footprint by simply purchasing sustainably-sourced red meat — without the need to give up eating beef altogether.
5. Restrictive resolutions rarely last
New year’s resolutions are statistically difficult to keep, but research shows that negative resolutions that take something away are much more challenging to stick to than positive resolutions that add something in. For example, if you’re concerned about the environmental impact of your meat consumption, consider resolving to only eat the highest quality meat, rather than becoming a full-fledged vegetarian. Or, if you’re trying to lose weight, make a goal to eat more vegetables and smaller portions, rather than eliminating whole food groups. By reframing your resolutions, you can alter your habits in a way that benefits your goals, but doesn’t require restriction.
Let's get to the meat of the matter...
Getting 2019 off to a good start doesn’t have to mean overhauling your lifestyle or surrendering something you love or enjoy. Instead, focus on loading up your diet with high-quality, nutritious foods—and we promise: your resolution will be much easier to keep.
Ready to stock up on premium meats and seafood for the new year? Shop our fresh cuts and catches now at www.markethouse.com.