Dt Health: All that one needs to know about meat and health
Red meat intake leads to raised blood cholesterol and this in turn increases heart attacks.
CHENNAI: The number of red meat consumers has steadily gone up, especially since the breakout of the pandemic. Red meat comes from mammals and is named so because it is red when raw. Mutton, beef, pork, lamb, venison (deer meat), and boar are a few examples of red meat. Chicken, turkey, fish, and other meats from birds are considered white meat.
However, there is a constant debate over the nutritional value that red meat holds. While it is proven that meat is rich in vitamins (B-12), minerals, and proteins, many studies have also shown that high consumption of red meat has been associated with a higher risk of heart disease, colorectal cancer, and diabetes and may lead to a higher risk of dying of those diseases.
Dr Thejaswi N Marla, Cardiothoracic and Vascular surgeon at Fortis Malar says that researchers found that greater intake of red and processed meat was associated with deteriorating health; particularly individuals who consume higher meat intake had smaller ventricles, stiffer arteries, and poorer heart function.
Red meat intake leads to raised blood cholesterol and this in turn increases heart attacks. Occurrence of heart attack due to genetic or environmental factors, or a combination of both will always be high among red meat eaters.
“Red meat may contain nutrients that are beneficial to health. The National Institute of Health (NIH) lists some types of red meat as good sources of bioavailable heme (iron) which the body can use easily. However, the study says high temperatures used to cook red meat, have linked to the formation of cancer-causing compounds. In this process, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are formed and PAHs are harmful to human health since they are carcinogens,” says Thejaswi. Doctors add that many of the same lifestyle habits that reduce the risk of heart disease also reduce the risk of a few cancer types. It is observed that there is often more risk with the meat that is processed than the one that is readily available.