We can all agree that meat is a good source of protein. It’s also one of the proteins that use a lot of energy to digest, which might explain the phenomenon behind “meat sweats” – sweating profusely when eating meat. Red meat is a controversial category of the food protein. Enthusiasts will swear by eating steak on the regular while critics will insist that it’s an unhealthy choice. Regardless of the debate, red meat not only supplies a good amount of protein but is also full of essential vitamins and nutrients. But, as they say, too much of anything is poisonous, and in today’s post, we take a look at what eating red meat every day might do to your body.
You Build Up Your Iron Stores
Have you ever wondered why bodybuilders and athletes love red meat? It’s because of the steady energy it supplies in the form of calories. Red meat has a high-fat content that not only keeps you energized but also keeps hunger at bay for longer.
Iron is an important mineral required by our bodies to transport and store oxygen within the body. In the process, it helps in the formation of red blood cells and blood vessels, which in turn produce energy for workouts. According to Dr. Josh Axe, the founder of Ancient Nutrition and Dr. Axe, iron (the type found in red meat), is easily absorbed by our bodies than plant-based iron like that found in beans and leafy greens.
You Increase Risks of Developing Cancer
You’ve probably heard this a million times – that red meat can cause cancer. This is especially true if you don’t eat enough foods that are rich in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. The American Institute of Cancer Research says that “The risk of certain types of cancers increases when people eat over 12-18 ounces of red meat per week.” Instead, they recommend lean animal protein like poultry. The reason why eating too much red meat is linked to cancer is that the animals we eat are pumped full of hormones to make them grow bigger and faster. So, when you eat such meat, your body ingests the potentially cancer-causing chemicals.
Your Digestion Might Suffer
Like we mentioned above, the lack of diversifying your diet might lead to various digestive issues. You need a balanced diet, including whole grains and fresh produce to get all the nutrients needed by your body. When you eat too much meat, and fewer other foods, you are missing the most important nutrient – fiber, which is responsible for aiding in digestion and regulating your blood sugar. Without this vital nutrient, your digestive system will be stressed out, leading to unpleasant conditions like bloating, cramps, constipation, or diarrhea.
You May Suffer from Dehydration
A meat-rich diet can drain a lot of water from your body’s reservoir, leaving you dehydrated. All that protein in a diet full of meat will use up more fluids to flush out the excess nitrogen. If you don’t drink enough water to compensate for what you’ve lost, you may end up feeling light-headed, faint, or quite unpleasant.
You Increase Your Risk of Getting Kidney Stones
A Kidney stone is a hard mass of minerals and salts that usually forms in the kidneys. They can lead to a painful condition that may require a visit to the doctor. When you eat too much red meat, your body produces more uric acid. What’s more, it robs your system of citrate, a substance that helps to keep kidney stones away. If you take a lot of meat, remember to drink lots of water as well, as it’s said to prevent kidney stones from growing.
Your Cholesterol Levels May Go Up
Meat has been linked to increasing the levels of cholesterol (a waxy substance found in the blood) in our bodies. The body requires cholesterol in the building of healthy cells. But when it’s in excess, cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease.
While it may not be entirely possible to live without eating meat, it’s recommended that you minimize your intake. It’s important to note that meat, by itself, doesn’t necessarily cause strokes or other health conditions. It’s a combination of many things like lack of a balanced diet, lack of exercising and living an unhealthy lifestyle. And one more thing. If you really have to eat meat, try to avoid processed meats since they are full of chemicals.
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