Red meat might deserve the green light.
Protein is very important to bodybuilding. This we know. In order to get protein, the most common philosophy is to eat animal products – fish, poultry, and yes – meat. Throughout the years red meat has gotten a bad rap. It is often considered to be an unhealthy option and avoided at all costs. Some people even make arguments that we are not designed to eat meat of any kind.
The guys over at Business Insider put together a great little video to clear the air – and help calm the seas of panic about red meat. The truth is that red meat can be a great food to eat (especially for bodybuilders) as long as you are smart about the consumption.
In order to help set the facts straight – Business Insider listed the top five myths about meat and debunked them using science. You can watch that video here. But if you don’t have time to watch a video – we’ve broken it down for you.
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Myth #1: Meat Causes Cancer
This is a very bold statement – and definitely one that induces panic amongst many people hesitant about the qualities of red meat. It’s true, overcooked meat may contain unhealthy compounds (like many other overcooked foods) but this can be easily avoided. All you have to do is be extra careful when cooking meat. Make sure it doesn’t burn and if it does, cut off the burnt parts. As a whole, there is very little evidence that links the consumption of meat to cancer. So don’t sweat it.
Myth #2: Meat Rots in Your Colon
Here’s another random one that can cause a lot of fear. Some people claim that meat just sits in your colon – rotting away and causing damage to you body. There is no scientific proof that this is true. Meat gets broken down in the stomach and small intestine – the rest gets absorbed into your bloodstream. Plant fiber is the only thing that sits in the colon. (And that’s supposed to happen).
Myth #3: Meat Causes Heart Disease
This is a myth that seems a little less crazy. The link between meat and heart disease has been widely discussed for some time now. But the truth is that meat has been consumed for millions of years before these heart diseases existed. Studies prove no link between the two.
What causes this misconception is that the consumption of processed meats, not red meats, can be associated with higher incidence of CHD and diabetes. The problem is that people put a blanket over that statement and apply it to red meat. Just pay attention to what kind of meat you are buying and you should be okay.
Myth #4: Meat Makes you Fat
Yes, meat is high in fat and calories. However – being as it is a great source of protein (as we all know so well) it also increases metabolism and can promote weight loss. Therefore, eating moderate levels of high quality meat can make it easier to lose weight.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you will lose weight – but proves that meat isn’t the big ball of fat that everyone makes it out to be. Make sure the meat you consume is lean and you should be A-okay.
Myth #5: Meat Damages the Body
Some people think protein in meat damages bone and kidneys. While short term studies have proven to lead to calcium loss – long term studies prove the opposite. High protein diet improves bone density. Furthermore, there is no proof of weakening kidneys. This is only proven in people with preexisting kidney problems. So the point is moot.
So fear not fellow bodybuilders! All of the huffing and puffing in the media and the mainstream is for nothing. Meat can still continue to be a great source of protein in your bodybuilding diet.
Photo courtesy of Alpha at Flickr.