By TRAVIS WADE
Today’s Question: Is Red Meat Good for You?
The term “red meat” has a very simple definition: Flesh from a mammal that is red when it is raw. Examples include beef, pork, lamb, venison, moose, elk, goat, and buffalo.
White meat, which contains less myoglobin (a red protein which binds to iron and stores oxygen in the blood), turns a lighter colour as you cook it. The most well-known examples of white meat are poultry and fish.
Four groups determine the classification of meats as white or red: the USDA, gastronomists, experts in the culinary arts, and nutritionists. It’s not all that surprising, but these groups do not always agree whether a meat fits into the red or white category. It is for that reason that some meats – like pork, veal, duck, goose, rabbit, tuna, and salmon – have come to be known as “pink.”
We know how vegans feel about red meat. We also know how vegetarians feel about it. (Vegans eat no meat, while vegetarians won’t eat animals, but they will eat products from animals like eggs or milk.) Paleo dieters like it and obviously the carnivore dieters love it. So, is red meat good or bad for you?
What’s Bad About Red Meats?
I don’t know what most local meat producers are up to because I have only interviewed a couple who qualify for that definition. Therefore, most of the information in this article has been gathered from articles written by research scientists. I would just say, be skeptical of all producers because, in big business or small, everyone wants to cut costs.
There are many reasons why red meat is bad for you. Wait! Let me rephrase that. There are many reasons why commercially raised red meat is bad for you.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, every study indicating that red meat is bad for you has used commercially raised red meat. Let me tell you some of the main reasons why commercially raised meat is causing North Americans problems.
I start with Glyphosate because it has given me nightmares as a health advocate since I was first introduced to it. Glyphosate was originally patented as an antibiotic. I will get back to antibiotics a little later in this article, but keep in mind that glyphosate is an antibiotic.
Glyphosate is also a great “chelator,” which means it binds to minerals. If you were to spray glyphosate on the inside of a vessel, it would bind to the minerals inside and you could wipe them right off. Glyphosate does the same thing inside your body: it binds to your minerals, depleting your system of its much-needed nutrients.
Glyphosate breaks down the lining of your gut, allowing molecules much larger than normal to leak out. This is referred to as Leaky Gut Syndrome. It is your body’s natural defence to attack these larger molecules, which ultimately creates chronic inflammation.
Antigens and inflammation attacking your body is known as an autoimmune disease. A few examples would be Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Restless Leg Syndrome, and psoriasis, but there are many others. Glyphosate has also been linked to many other diseases, evidenced by the numerous lawsuits against Bayer/Monsanto company.
Glyphosate is found in the product called Round-Up. Genetically modified grains sprayed with Round-Up are fed to commercially raised animals; therefore, glyphosate would be found in the commercially raised red meat you ingest.
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)
That brings me to GMOs. Glyphosate and GMOs cause all kinds of diseases and present a huge problem to anyone looking to improve health and fitness. A complete discussion of GMOs is too extensive to add to this blog, so please read my article on GMOs. However, to summarize, you don’t want your red meat eating it!
Do the Red Meats You Consume Eat Grains?
I also mentioned grains. They are fed to animals because they gain weight quickly; however, they provide little or no nutrients. If you have just lost all your nutrients to these chemically modified foods, you need all the nutrients you can get. Grains provide very little.
At one time red meat producers had no understanding why antibiotics worked to fatten up their animals; they just knew they worked. Today, we know how it works. To clarify, the two main types of bacteria in the gut are called firmicutes and Bacteroidetes. Firmicutes create fat storage and Bacteroidetes make people skinny. Bacteroidetes survive on all the antioxidants you get from healthy foods. Conversely, firmicutes survive on things like sugar and flour. When antibiotics are ingested, they kill off Bacteroidetes; firmicutes then get the opportunity to take over. Remarkably, 80% of the antibiotics we ingest come from the meat we eat. Similarly, antibiotics cause humans to gain weight as well.
Another little trick red meat producers use is a fugal estrogen called zeranol. Placed in the ear of the animal, estrogen causes the animal to retain fat. Studies show it takes 30% less feed to fatten up an animal on estrogen. We eat that meat, the toxic estrogen gets into our system, and it takes 30% less food to fatten us up as well. THAT’S REALLY SIGNIFICANT. It is also important to note, zeranol is a mycotoxin, and mycotoxins are neurotoxins.
As a side note, there is estrogen in plastic in the form of phthalates. Estrogen in also found in soy, most lotions, paint, and beauty products. Xenoestrogens aren’t real estrogens. They just mimic estrogen in the body. In the same way, the estrogen in plants isn’t real estrogen either. Phytoestrogen is plant estrogen, and it just acts like estrogen as well. It’s a plant’s protective mechanism in the same way some plants are poisonous.
What’s Good About Red Meats?
So, why bother eating red meat at all? Like I said before, the number one thing you are trying to accomplish by eating is to get nutrients into your body. High quality grass-fed meat is loaded with nutrients. Wild meat will be the best source.
Iron, zinc, ubiquinol, collagen, protein or certain amino acids, and Vitamin B12 are very difficult for vegans to get from their diet. It is very important to note that a lack of these nutrients causes very significant consequences. Therefore, I will start with iron:
I always ask a little trivia question to my clients, “Do you know what is in red meat that makes it red?”
They say, “Blood?”
“Yes, that’s correct. What’s in the blood that makes it red?” They say, “Hemoglobin?”
I say, “Yes, that’s correct. What’s in the hemoglobin that makes it red?”
They say, “I don’t know.”
The answer is iron. Iron is one of the top nutrient deficiencies in North America. Without iron you don’t produce red blood cells. Red blood cells control your oxygen carrying capacity; and when that goes down, energy goes down with it. This causes many problems because all your systems use oxygen and need it for energy. I hope it’s obvious that we need iron.
Red Meat Is Also High in Zinc
Got dry skin or dandruff? Do you know what the active ingredient is in dandruff shampoo? The answer is zinc – or zinc should be the answer. Without zinc you will have dry skin and won’t be able to build up your connective tissue. Your skin, bones, muscles, blood vessels, and gut lining are all connective tissues, to name a few. Red meat is one of the best sources of zinc.
Ubiquinol is the active ingredient in co-enzyme-q-10. One of the main purposes of ubiquinol is to help with energy production in mitochondria and to clean up the by-products of energy production. It is important to know that without it you will have less energy and the by-products of energy production will cause damage to cells. Red meat is an excellent source of ubiquinol.
Red Meat and Collagen
Collagen is an epic concern these days, and animal products are the only source. Your connective tissue (skin, facia of the muscles, bones, and gut lining, to name a few) is made up of collagen. How are you adding collagen to your diet? Bone broth and red meat are full of collagen. Not only that, but zinc, magnesium, calcium, L-glutamine, proline, and glycine, required to heal and grow connective tissue, are all found in bone broth and red meat. Regretfully, Leaky Gut Syndrome is something we all must combat these days; and if you are not using bone broth, you will be losing the battle.
Vitamin B12 is the fifth leading nutrient deficiency in North America, and it is required for every system of the body. For example, vitamin B12 is required for energy production, blood formation, DNA synthesis, and support for your nervous and immune systems.
To keep it short, following are just a few of the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency: weakness, decreased energy, tingling in your extremities, brain fog, memory problems, sleep problems, mood swings, and lack of motivation. Likewise, some of the diseases associated with vitamin B12 deficiency are depression, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular disease, anemia, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and brain damage. Eat red meat and get vitamin B12.
High Quality Grass-Finished Red Meat
Some of the above nutrients are found in plants but at a much lower concentration than you would find in grass finished red meat. It would take a whole lot of food to get all the nutrients you could get from a small piece of meat and some of those plant products are much more harmful then they are beneficial. Bread comes to mind.
In conclusion, high quality grass finished meat is a staple to a healthy diet which will provide the proper levels of the above nutrients in a reasonable portion of food. Conversely, a lack of high-quality grass finished meat will lead to all kinds of health issues.
I have personally seen some of my own clients that suffered from issues get better. One had allergy-like symptoms and syncope (fainting). She had been a vegetarian her whole life and, after addressing nutrient deficiencies and introducing goat meat to her diet, her symptoms went away. She’s doing great now! This is a very common story that I have heard from many health care practitioners.
Following are a few good sources for grass fed, hormone-, antibiotic-, glyphosate-free, and nongrain-fed meats:
These are all grass-fed beef farms located in Alberta. If you aren’t from Alberta, you can go to eatwild.com to find a Canadian farmer close to you who provides quality grass-fed red meat with none of the hormones, antibiotics, or grains.
Plan to Achieve Your Fitness Goals
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