Meat is a nutritious and healthy option for most diets, but red meats have a bit of a bad reputation in the health community. There are a number of studies and campaigns out there highlighting the adverse health factors of red meat, but there are a lot of benefits and healthy ways to eat meat as well! Red meat is actually one of the most nutritionally dense foods compared to its calories, and it carries a host of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients the body requires to function. Think New York strip, tender sirloin, T-bone steak, tri-tip roast,…are you salivating yet?
Protein is a very satiating macronutrient – it simply fills you up better than carbohydrates. Meat is a low calorie way to get the most bioavailable source of protein for humans. It contains all of the amino acids we need to grow and thrive. Unless you are eating a LOT of vegan protein powders, an entirely “plant-based” diet, sourced from industrial agriculture is a sure way to keep you always hungry and you will have to consume a greater quantity of food to get the nutrients you need, including protein.
Meat is a particularly good source of vitamin E and B vitamins including B2, B6 and B12. Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties and helps reduce damage caused by oxygen to cells, allowing faster muscle repair and recovery. B2 is essential for the production of red blood cells, which then transport the oxygen through your body. B6 is vital for protein synthesis and B12 is imperative for good nerve functions. Omega-3 supports the prevention of cognitive impairments like dementia as the brain ages. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of only nutrients that are specifically found in brain tissue; they are an essential structural and functional component of the brain. These healthy fats boost blood flow to the brain and directly enhance your mental performance. Grass fed meat contains less total fat than conventionally raised meat, while providing much higher levels of omega-3’s.
The meat options we have in our valley are manifold. We have many local farmers that are raising livestock with the awareness that good farming practices enhance the quality of the meat while not depleting the resources of the land. For the most consciously raised meat products, look for a farmer who is a good steward of the land and the animals; visit the farm, ask questions, see how and where the animals live and how they meet their maker. This way you will create a connection with your food, and you’ll be able to enjoy a tasty, nourishing steak, bursting with flavor and nutrition!
Let our providers here at Siskiyou Vital Medicine help you if you’d like to incorporate more meat into your diet. We’d love to dispel some meat myths and help you eat a well balanced diet.