The studies are now crystal clear - if you choose Vegetarian and Flexitarian…you’ll live longer if you limit your red meat intake. Studies have shown that regularly eating red and processed meats increases the development of heart disease and cancer, (partly because of the high saturated fat and cholesterol content). This week Archives of Internal Medicine linked the amount of red meat you eat, to your actual risk of death. It found that replacing just one red meat dish a day with a healthier protein choice like fish, legumes, or poultry reduces your risk of dying early by seven to 19 percent. http://www.cnn.com/2012/03/12/health/red-meat-shorten-lifespan/index.html
you’ll crave healthier foods because when meat’s the superstar, the focus on the plate your side dishes can be a mere afterthought. However, when you’re not highlighting a big juicy sizzling steak, you may find that you’ll reach for more nutritious sides instead of fries.
you’ll enjoy anti-aging bennies if you eat more fish. Besides all those healthy vegetable-based sides – choosing a healthier meat like seafood or poultry, helps you get the nutrients your body needs. For example, this latest study found that eating fish helps protect your brain from aging. (Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD; Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco and Dorothy Caputo, MA, RN, BC-ADM, CDE, Nurse Planner)
it’s better for the environment as red meat isn’t the only villian when it comes to your diet and the detrimental effects on the environment. In general, cutting back on all your meat consumption can have a marked effect on our ecosystem, since meat production requires a large amount of energy, food and water resources.
So how much red meat can I eat then? Experts recommend you lay off the processed meats since products like bacon and sausage are linked to the highest risk of premature death (20 percent, according to the most recent study). Try going semivegetarian, or flexitarian, by making sure the majority of your meals are vegetarian (maybe hearty hummus, legumes, soy, etc). This will allow you to enjoy the sweet benefits of healthy choices, while still being eating the occasional meat made dish.