Red Meat and Your Health by Eddie Martinez

Red meat is one of the most talked foods in the history of nutrition. Although humans have been consuming red meat throughout evolution, maybe people believe it does more harm than good for our bodies. The controversy of meat nowadays is the difference in the actual meat itself. Back in the day, animals roamed free and ate grass or whatever was natural for them. In today’s world, animals live in a barn and are shot up with antibiotics, growth hormones and are fed grain-based feed. Even before the meat hits a grocery store, it can go through even more processing – like bring cured, smoked and treated with nitrates, preservatives and various chemicals. Though red meat is a good source of protein, you might want to reconsider how much you consume. Here are some long-term effects and precautions of heavy red meat eating.

E. coli Bacteria

When you don’t cook your meats thoroughly, you increase your chances to get E. coli bacteria that can cause serious medical problems. E. coli bacteria caused by red meat symptoms are: abdominal cramping, sudden, severe watery diarrhea that may change to bloody stools, gas, loss of appetite or nausea, vomiting (uncommon), fatigue, and fever.  It is also important to wash any utensils, plates, or cutting boards that have been in contact with raw meat.  Use warm soapy water to avoid cross-contamination of E.coli bacteria.


Eating red meat increases your risk of type 2 diabetes according to a study conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health.  The study showed that people who were eating red meat, roughly 3 ½ servings or more every week had an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes up to 50 percent within the next 4 years.  While these results are quite alarming, researchers did find that those who decreased their consumption of red meat, lowered their risk by 14 percent during their 10-year follow-up.


You absorb cholesterol from animal products that you eat, and consuming excess dietary cholesterol may add to elevated cholesterol levels in your body. Red meat, which includes beef, pork and lamb, provides more saturated fat and cholesterol per serving than poultry, fish or vegetable proteins. Eating too much red meat may increase your cholesterol levels, putting you at risk for heart disease, heart attack and stroke.


The World Health Organization (WHO) states that processed meat causes cancer and red meat probably does as well.  Examples of processed meats are: hot dogs, ham, sausages, bacon, pepperoni, and beef jerky.  The WHO does not prohibit these meats but warns people from consuming them.  If you do eat these meats, do so sparingly.  Remember – everything in moderation!



The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.


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