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How much meat is too much meat? Why you should eat less than 500g of meat per week


meat and health risks

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Consuming large intakes of meat, especially processed meat such as sausages, hot dogs, bacon and salami will increase your risk of rectal and colon cancer by 18%. Further, cooking meat under high temperatures like grilling and pan frying generates compounds that can be harmful to the body, some are also thought to increase the risk of cancer. Cooking using gentler methods that take shorter time with minimal heat such as steaming or stewing are much healthier.

Meat including lean meats, poultry, fish and sea food can be part of a healthy balanced diet. It provides the body with vital nutrients some which are easily absorbed in the body compared to those from plant sources. Meat is rich in protein, zinc, iron, selenium and vitamin B. It also contains all amino acids required to manufacture proteins in the body unlike plant proteins. Depending on the type, cooked meat contains approximately 27 to 32grams of protein per every 100grams of highly digestible protein.

Pork, beef and lamb are high in saturated fat which can increase the level of bad cholesterol in the body, increasing the risk of heart diseases, high blood pressure and diabetes. White meats like chicken and fish are lower in saturated fats. To reduce the amount of saturated fats in meat, trim­ any visible fats, skin the chicken before cooking and choose free range chicken instead of broilers. Meat is nutritious and it is okay to eat as long as you limit the amount. Red meat should be eaten in moderation. Intake should be limited to about 65 grams per meal and shouldn’t exceed 500grams per week. White meats, especially oily fish, and vegetables provide a much better nutritious option.

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