Red Meat & Weight Loss: What you need to know
There is a reason omnivores face an ongoing dilemma. Meat plays a big role in our diets. According to the Wall Street Journal, the average American eats more than 50 pounds of poultry in a year, and more than 70 pounds of red meat. While meat presents us with a consistent source of protein, there are some negative health consequences that come with eating meat, especially in high quantities. One particular area of contention is in regards to how much red meat it is okay to consume.
Health Concerns after Weight Loss Surgery
Prior to having weight loss surgery, you’ll be presented with a nutrition guide and will have the chance to review the dietary changes that you’ll be encouraged to make after surgery. Protein consumption is heavily emphasized after weight loss surgery, and red meat is represented as one of the best foods to eat when you are looking for protein. The issue with many red meat foods is that the meat itself is high in calorie and fat content, so while it is delivering some positive nutrition, it is doing so at a great cost to your overall health.
Regular consumption of red meat has been linked to several negative health consequences in multiple studies. These findings include:
- Eating red meat increases and individual’s chance of heart attack, according to a recent study by the National Institute for Health
- Regular consumption of processed red meats, including cold cuts, bacon or hot dogs is correlated to 20% higher chance of premature death.
There are additional studies published which indicate a connection between red meat consumption and chronic diseases, include diabetes and cancer.
Red Meat Alternatives
One of the biggest issues to do with red meat consumption is the fact that most people eat too much of it. Limiting red meat consumption and reducing portion sizes will reduce your risk of experiencing the potential health consequences listed above. Since red meat is such a calorie and fat laden food, you may have difficulty eating it after weight loss surgery, especially as you limit portions. There are plenty of red meat alternatives that pack just as much protein, but without the connected consequences.
These solutions include:
- White meats and fish
- Leafy greens
While red meat isn’t looked at as being strictly bad, it isn’t the healthiest option on any menu. Following a plant based diet can offer significant health improvements. You can easily incorporate these alternatives into your diet by swapping out red meat in your favorite recipes. Try a veggie burger or a turkey dog at your next barbeque and avoid the steak and beef burger. There are also protein supplements to help you reach your nutrient goals as you make changes to your eating habits.