Red Meat: Good or Bad


This series of lessons introduces students to various theories and admonitions by both doctors, and health professionals about what the best food choices might be.  Scientific information changes daily on exactly what is what concerning human diets.

One day there are Super Foods touted for optimum health; and then the same foods are disputed; vitamin deficiencies are discussed and recommendations made; then evidence comes out about such recommendations that is contrary to the previous information.  One day potato peelings are good to eat; the next day they have toxic carcinogens and shouldn’t be eaten.  How can anyone decide which is the right information?  Is there such a thing as truth in diets?

Education helps us make the right choices for our own bodies, lifestyles, and health concerns, but we  must sift through the many advertisements and admonitions to separate out what is accurate and what is simply trendy or pop culture frenzy.  The following article is from Status Fitness Magazine, which gives another point of view about eating meat.  There are plenty of vegetarian sites out there to guide you in that direction; but it is always good to get views that are somewhere in between two extremes.  This website does not promote Status Fitness Magazine, or any of its marketing strategies, but Rodney Jang’s article has some questions and answers that are worth considering.

The Article Follows

“Red Meat: Good or Bad”

By Rodney Jang

Should we, as bodybuilders and fitness fanatics, forgo one of nature’s more nutrient dense foods, red meat, for fear that it may cause serious health problems such as heart disease and cancer?


Following a systematic review of key scientific findings in relation to a possible link between red (and processed) meat consumption and cancer causation, an expert panel of the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research concluded, in 2007, that “red or processed meats are convincing or probable sources of some cancers.” Because of such findings, red meat has for many years received a bad rap. But don’t run off to join the Hare Krishnas just yet. While many medical experts concur with such studies while also regarding red meat consumption as one indicator of future cardiovascular disease in those who periodically partake in it, many who eat beef as part of a balanced diet know better.


Putting aside unsafe cooking practices and cuts with an excessively high saturated fat content, red meat could be considered a super food for athletic populations. As well as containing valuable heme iron to boost energy levels, creatine to enhance muscle building and protein to assist cell rebuilding, it has never been proven that its consumption among health conscious people will cause health problems (many of the people enlisted in the aforementioned studies may have had multiple non-associated health risk factors). “Calorie for calorie, beef is one of the most nutrient-rich foods,” says Shalene McNeil, PhD, executive director of nutrition research for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.


She adds that one 3-ounce serving of lean beef provides a mere 180 calories and, as a further bonus, 10 essential nutrients.  “People don’t need to give up red meat,” says Georgia State University nutrition professor Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD. “They need to make better selections in the type of meat they eat and the portions.”


The implication here for us health-focused Status readers is not so much to completely avoid red meat consumption, but to eat lean cuts of it in moderation as part of a sensible diet.

Translate »