If you enjoy eating meat, there is a high chance you enjoy a type of meat more than others. All around the world, meat makes up a significant part of people's diets. However, the demand for poultry meat is skyrocketing in many countries. For example, 21.9 kg of poultry meat were eaten per capita in Germany in 2021 as compared to 13.8 kg in 2011.
Unfortunately, far too many people select the wrong type of meat for consumption. You know what? Choosing the right kind of meat can be just as beneficial to your health as choosing the wrong kind can be harmful to it.
The main purpose of this guide is to help you make the right decisions about buying meat. It will also inform you about some meat benefits you may not be aware of.
Without much ado, let's get started!
The Benefits of Eating Meat
There's no point in human history where the debate about whether it is ethical to eat meat or not has been more popular than now. Vegetarians believe it is morally wrong to slaughter animals for food.
The point is that folks who consume meat don't feel guilty or see a big deal about it. Whether people believe it's ethical to consume meat or not, there are proven nutritional benefits to eating it. For example, you can only get vitamin B12 from animal protein, not anywhere else.
Furthermore, a research done by Danny Kim and Sunyee Yoon in 2021 shows that consumers of meat often use the health benefits of meat as an excuse in the face of animal anthropomorphism. So in other words, they know it may not be morally right to kill animals for food, but the guilt they feel often dissipates by meat's nutritional value.
Some people eat raw or nearly raw meats today. If you belong to the category of people who do this, you may want to stop doing it. Raw meat harbours some dangerous pathogens. Cooking your meat for a few minutes can make a whole lot of difference. Examples of common pathogens found in meat include the following:
- E. Coli
- Listeria monocytogenes
However, while meat is beneficial to the human body, overconsumption of it can have some serious consequences. For example, in a study of over 8000 people, subjects who consume meat once or more every week were 29 percent likely to come down with diabetes.
Additionally, studies show that washing meat with plain running water is ineffective in removing pathogens. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warns that washing meat with plain water may be a way of spreading harmful pathogens to other foods and surfaces.
As against using water, acidic solution like vinegar is more effective. A study that was done shows that the combination vinegar and lemon juice have the ability of reducing bacteria growing on raw meat.
But you may wonder: is bacon healthy for consumption? The fact is that bacon comes with some nutritional benefits, but it's not the healthiest meat to eat due to the high fat content. A recent study indicates the link between cancer and this tasty red meat.
What about steak—is steak healthy for you? Unlike bacon, steak is fairly healthy for consumption. It contains creatine, which is good for our muscles. However, consume only in moderation. Consuming excess red meat is a risk factor for heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
To get the best out of meat, we recommend buying animal meat that was not raised with hormones and antibiotics. However, getting grass-fed meat to buy isn't an easy task.
This is where Farmlovers online farmers market comes in; the website connects you with sellers of high quality meat devoid of hormones and antibiotics.
How To Choose Healthy Meat
When searching for farm food offers in the grocery store or farmers market, choosing healthy meat to eat should be your ultimate goal. But how can you do this? It's quite simple; nutrition experts suggest buying more lean meat than red meat. Lean meats such as turkey, chicken, and fish are beneficial.
However, red meat poses danger to the body if consumed in excess. Meat such as pork chops and beef jerky should be consumed only in moderation.
When you go to the grocery store or the farmers market, trust your sense of touch, sight, and smell. When your intuition tells you the meat you are about to buy isn't healthy, it is most likely not.
The information label is another important thing you must pay close attention to. It tells you the basics, such as the type of meat, price, expiration date, and safe handling instructions.
Furthermore, raw meats that are healthy for consumption shouldn't be too soft. So take the effort to touch it and make sure it is considered firm. In addition, fresh and healthy meat must not smell of rot.
Another sign to watch out for is excessive liquid, it's not uncommon for rotten and spoiled meat to contain excess water. Remember, when it's watery, it's likely rotten.
The Best Way To Prepare Meat For Optimal Health
Buying good meat is not enough, you must also learn how to prepare it for optimal health. Evidence has shown that there is no benefit in overcooking your meat. In fact, tender cooking methods make your meat tastier than aggressive cooking.
Methods such as steaming, boiling, and stewing are good methods to employ in preparing your meat. However, high-heat cooking such as grilling or deep frying is not a good way of preparing it.
When meat is prepared at a high temperature, some complex compounds begin to form. A good example of such compounds is heterocyclic amines. If you choose to cook it at a low temperature, there is little to no chance such a compound will form.
To prevent these dangerous compounds from forming, marinating the meat in olive oil and maybe red wine is a good option. In addition, while preparing your meat, turn and flip it regularly to prevent one part from overheating.
The complex compounds that form as a result of the high heating of meat have been known to cause certain types of cancer. So always remember this when you want to prepare meat: The lower the heat, the safer it becomes.
Photo by Wilfredor - Commons.Wikimedia (the meat shop photo)