Q&A: Red Meat

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Q: My fiance eats red meat once a week, and I feel it’s terrible for his body. Am I right that our bodies aren’t made to eat it that often, that it doesn’t break it down?

A: Red meat by itself isn’t a big issue. After all, we are omnivores, meant to eat meats–beef, poultry, pork, fish–and vegetables (though many people choose not to eat meat and live perfectly healthy lives).

The downside to beef is (a) the saturated fat content and (b) all the hormones and antibiotics they inject into the steer. It’s bad enough that the medical profession overprescribes antibiotics and hormones. Why should they be in our food as well?

A small serving–about size of a deck of cards–of lean organic beef is a perfectly acceptable protein source, eaten once or twice a week. The same goes for organic chicken (most of the saturated fat is in the skin, so go easy on that).

To limit your saturated fat intake, make a conscious choice to avoid large portions of fatty beef–high-fat hamburger and steaks marbled with fat–and all nonorganic meat.

The overall recommendation? Eat meat moderately and organically.

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