SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT ON MEAT HEALTH
Ronnie P. Cons, Meat industry expert
Red meat is often wrongly portrayed as being unhealthy. Even chicken has been getting attacked by some in the media as being unhealthy or not environmentally friendly. Vegan, fish and other non-meat diets have been proposed as healthier alternatives. The result of this onslaught of negative meat messages has influenced many persons including moms and dads to drastically cut back on their meat and poultry purchases. Perceptions may be seen as reality, yet truth trumps non truths. Parents and other consumers want what is best for their health and that of their families. They are also aware that a lot of false information is out there and as such are open to scientific facts that can correct their misconceptions. Below are the facts:
A) LETS IRON OUT THE TRUTH ON MEAT!
1) "You would need to eat a massive amount of spinach to equal (the iron content) in a steak," says Christopher Golden, an ecologist and epidemiologist at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. (As quoted by nature.com in the article ‘Brain food- clever eating’.)
2) Let’s get precise. For a woman to receive her recommended daily intake of 18 mg of iron would need just 300 grams of cooked bovine liver, 625 grams of cooked beef or an astounding 2.4 kg of spinach!
3) In addition, the Iron found in vegetables is harder to absorb than the iron found in meat as it is attached to fibre which inhibits its absorption.
B) MEAT FOR A HEALTHIER BRAIN!
1) Being deficient in the micronutrients found in meat have been linked with low IQ, autism, depression and dementia says Dr. Charlotte Neumann, a paediatrician at the University of California, as quoted in the above article.
2) Zinc found in meat is crucial for learning and memory.
3) Vitamin B12 found in meat preserves the sheaths that protect nerves.
C) MEAT- BOOST YOUR IMMUNITY!
Due to its antioxidant powers, zinc is involved in creating antibodies to fight free radicals that increase our risk for chronic diseases.
D) MEAT- POWER YOUR MUSCLE GROWTH!
1) The protein in meat helps build and repair body tissues.
2) Muscles are made of protein. That is why athletes who are building muscle strength increase their meat protein consumption.
3) The protein and zinc found in meat are important for muscle growth and repair.
E) MEAT- THE COMPLETE PROTEIN!
Meat contains all of the nine essential amino acids that your body cannot make by itself. Say ‘hello’ to histidine, leucine, isoleucine, lycine, methionine, phenylalanine, tryptophan, threonine, and valine. Meat supplies all nine. That is why it is called a complete protein.
F) MEAT- FOR A HEALTHY HEART!
1) Meat contains lots of the B vitamins needed for the production of hormones, red blood cells and for the proper functioning of your nervous system.
2) Say ‘hello’ to niacin, folic acid, thiamine, biotin, panthothenic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. They are all found in meat.
So let’s counter those negative meat health myths, by setting the record straight.
Ronnie P. Cons is CEO of C&C Packing Inc., a leading distributor of meat and poultry. He can be reached at RCons@CCpacking.com.