Meat is a major part of most people’s diets. Packed with protein, flavor, and other helpful nutrients, meats are featured in many meals. People eat meat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner on some days. One of the most popular and beloved meats is beef. Whether packed in a juicy hamburger or served as a whole steak, beef is versatile and delicious. The problem is that beef might not be that good for people to eat.
Research suggests beef’s benefits do not outweigh its disadvantages. Since beef can easily be replaced by other, healthier meats, it is recommended that some people find alternatives and avoid beef as much as possible for their health’s sake. 7 reasons why some people should stop eating beef include:
1. Beef is Fatty
Although each cut of meat is unique, beef cuts tend to be fattier than other kinds of meat, like fish or poultry. Cuts range from being slightly fatty to very fatty. The leanest cut of beef is generally sirloin tip side steak. Prime rib and rib eye cuts of steak tend to be the fattiest, including around 10-15grams of fat on average.
The fattiness of each piece of red meat that a person consumes also depends on how it was prepared. A rib eye cut that is grilled, for instance, loses some of its fattiness. If the same cut is cooked in a slow cooker, however, much of the fat will remain for consumption.
2. Beef Affects Cholesterol Levels
On many lists of foods to avoid if a person needs to lower their cholesterol, beef is one of the top picks. Red meat is known for raising cholesterol. High cholesterol levels are dangerous –especially when it hardens and narrows the arteries. People with high cholesterol levels are at greater risk of problems like stroke or heart attacks.
3. Beef Increases Your Risk of a Shorter Lifespan
It should be specified that in most studies regarding how good or bad beef is for the body, unprocessed and processed meats yield different results. Unprocessed meat, for example, is not strongly associated with risks of disease or shorter lifespans. Processed red meat is often associated with such risks, though. Beef that has been processed particularly increases a person’s risk of experiencing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and related causes of death. The risk percent for death can actually increase by 13 percent.
Eating processed beef can also increase the risk of a person getting colorectal cancer. Studies have shown that the increased risk is consistent. This may be due to the carcinogens in beef when it is cooked or to the Heme iron in the meat that can be damaging to cells. Other types of cancer associated with processed beef consumption include pancreatic and stomach cancers as well.
4. Beef Affects the Blood
Largely because of the high amount of saturated fat in many cuts of beef, eating red meat can bad for the blood. Saturated fat contributes to clogged arteries and even the narrowing of blood vessels.
People who eat a significant amount of fatty cuts of red meat are also at higher risk of getting diabetes, which can lead to complications like blood flow issues in the extremities and major organs. On top of affecting blood sugar and vessels, red beef can contribute to raising the blood pressure as well.
5. Beef Can Be Risky To Consume
Perhaps one of the strongest reasons for avoiding the consumption of processed red meat is that it can be risky as a food. Besides contributing to a number of diseases and risk factors, the meat itself is easily and commonly mishandled, resulting in a number of tragic consequences.
Processed beef can be risky when the cows it comes from are treated with hormones or consume vegetation that is affected by pollution. During the process of harvesting and manufacturing the meat, cross-contamination and exposure to unsanitary surfaces and bacteria can easily occur. While being prepared for consumption, beef can also harbor dangerous diseases like E.coli.
Although there are measures in place (and continually being added) to help make the production of beef safer, it is no surprise that beef recalls are relatively commonplace. Certain cuts of meat are more dangerous, as is the case with ground beef because it is handled extensively for processing.
6. Beef Can Be Overloaded With Hormones
In some regions of the world, like Europe, American beef is actually banned. There’s a reason for that. Cattle raised in the United States (and other regions and countries as well) are frequently treated with synthetic hormones. There are many potential dangers as these hormones are then consumed by those eating beef from treated cows. Some have suggested, for instance, that the hormones consumed by people through beef can affect fertility as well as the risk of cancer.
7. Beef Can Increase Your Risk of Memory Problems
The excess levels of iron consumed when red meat is eaten regularly can affect the brain. High levels of iron are associated in particular with Alzheimer’s disease. Excess iron is known for stripping nerve pathways down, resulting in diminished brain communications.
Avoiding beef completely is not necessary. Beef does, after all, offer many benefits. It is actually highly nutritious. However, beef is obviously risky. When people choose to partake in the consumption of beef, they should do so wisely and with caution.
For instance, red meat should be eaten in moderation. Certain cuts are safer choices than others. For instance, people should seek to consume leaner beef, like flank steak. It is best for the meat to be unprocessed as much as possible as well. The less processed the beef is, the safer it is to consume.
When people choose to eat red beef, regardless of the cut, it should be cooked to remove fat. Avoid adding butter or other fattening foods to the meal. Pair beef with foods that aid digestion and cleanse the body of fat, like certain types of tea. Through such wise and sparing consumption, people can enjoy beef occasionally and otherwise avoid it successfully.