PART 3: Saturated Fats, Cholesterol and Red Meat
Let’s look specifically at Red Meat.
It is no secret that red meat has been negatively promoted in main stream media. But let’s look at the benefits of grass fed (GRASSFED) red meat.
Here are some great reasons why Red meat is a very nutrient dense and healthy choice of protein.
- Red meat is a rich source of Vitamin b12. B12 deficiency can play a role in everything from ageing, neurological disorders and mental illness, to cancer, cardiovascular disease and infertility. Red meat is one of the best ways to ensure adequate intake of all B vitamins.
- Vitamin D! For those who many not get adequate sun exposure or eat a lot of oily fish, red meat can contribute significantly to a persons overall Vitamin D level.
- Iron! This is an obvious benefits. Red meat contains primarily heme iron, a form that is absorbed and utilised far better than non-heme iron (found in plant foods)
- Zinc! Red meat is an especially important source of Zinc which is essential for many physiological functions. As with Vitamin D and iron, the zinc found in red meat is highly bioavailable.
Yes, we could get all of these from White meat, however, red meat does have significantly more B12, iron and zinc than white meat. The thing that makes red meat super nutrient dense is its fatty acid profile. I have touched on this in my past two post.
Grass Fed red meat is dense in equal parts of saturated and monounsaturated fat and even has some polyunsaturated fats.(please refer back to the first and second post of this series to understand the many benefits of these fats).
- 40-50% saturated fat
- 40-50% monounsaturated fat
- 10% polyunsaturated fats
It is this fatty acid profile that provide the very specific nutrient dense qualities of red meat that many other whole foods can’t match.
WHY CHOOSE GRASS FED?
Grass-fed meat are the BEST sources of Conjugated linoleic Acid (CLA). What are the benefits of CLA?
- Evidence to support that CLA reduces the risk of heart disease
- CLA may be helpful in preventing the development and management of Type 2 Diabetes
- CLA has been shown to reduce the risk of cancer
- CLA can help reduce body fat and promote weight loss.
100% grass fed animal products contain from 3-5 times more CLA than products from animal fed grain and since CLA is only found in the fat, the best sources will be fattier cuts of meat and bone marrow. This is why I am a very big promoter of cheaper, fattier cuts of grass fed red meat to slow cook.
Grass- fed beef also contains significantly more of the antioxidants which play a very important role in protecting our cells from oxidation:
- Vitamin E
- Beta-carotene (a precursor to Vitamin A)
Grass-fed beef also has higher levels of: