Watching your diet is important, and if you are a meat-eater, this list will help you pick the healthiest alternative.
While veganism is gaining popularity, the old-fashioned habit of meat-eating is not going away anytime soon. People have been consuming meat for years but most are not bothered about the nutritional value of the different types of meat.
There is only a vague awareness that fish is better than red meat, but beyond that, the lines are blurred. New research suggests that in terms of cholesterol, eating white meat of chicken is as bad as eating beef. There is a generally agreed upon hierarchy of the healthy to unhealthy meats. Each kind of meat has a different nutritional value and even minor shifts in your diet can have great effects on your health.
“It’s important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all healthier diet or meat per se,” said Janese Laster, a physician nutrition specialist. Different farming processes determine the risks and benefits people are getting from each category of meat. Here is a list of meats ranked according to the order of their healthiness, as compiled by The Washington Post.
Fish and poultry- the healthiest
These are the best kind of meats you can load your diet with. They contain important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin D, selenium and protein. It is important to include a variety of fish I your diet rather than have the same ones every day. Try to avoid swordfish and king mackerals they can contain mercury and try to have cod or salmon instead.
Chicken and turkey are great sources of proteins. The breast meat is leaner than that of the thigh; it is essential to eat the right cuts from the right meats as well. Having just two-three servings of fish are more than enough to get the benefits from it, said a research paper.
Red meat- less is more
Red meats are great sources of iron and also pack a punch of vitamin B12, zinc and protein, all of which are important nutrients for our body. But red meat consumption has some alarming cons as well. It can promote certain cancers like colorectal cancer as they have higher saturation of fats.
Processed meats should be eaten on very rare occasions, or best, done away with entirely. Bacon, bologna, pepperoni, beef jerky, sausage and deli meats fall in this category as they have been cured and preserved using preservatives and chemicals.
Saturated fats like lamb should be had in small quantities as it increases the risk of cholesterol. Some cuts of beef are also bad for cardiovascular diseases. Among the red meats, pork has the lowest calories and saturated fats. Restrict your red meat consumption to not more than 12 to 18 ounces of red meat each week.
A good route to a healthier diet is switching up daily meat consumption with other sources of protein. Occasionally swap up the red meats for vegetarian alternatives of protein like legumes, tofu, grains, and vegetables for a more well-rounded diet. Cutting back on animal products can help with weight loss, improving diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol.