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6 myths about meat

Busting the Myths: A Guide to the Truth About Meat

Meat, with its richness of flavors and nutrients, has been at the center of our table for centuries. However, over time, many misconceptions have spread about this nutritious and essential food. In this article, we'll debunk six common myths about meat, revealing the truth behind each claim.

Myth 1: Red meat is always harmful

One of the most widespread beliefs is that red meat is intrinsically harmful to health. In reality, the key lies in the type of meat and quantities consumed.

Lean red meat, such as beef tenderloin, is rich in protein, iron and other essential nutrients. Moderation is the key word; balanced consumption can be part of a healthy diet.

Myth 2: All processed meats are harmful

Not all processed meats are created equal. Of course, some contain additives and preservatives that are best limited, but this does not mean that all processed meats are harmful.

For example, cooked ham or smoked salmon can be part of a balanced diet when consumed in moderation.

A different story applies to ultra-processed foods and their proven damage to our health; For further information, read our article " The myth revealed about ultra-processed foods ".

Myth 3: White meat is always healthier than red meat

The distinction between white and red meat often oversimplifies things. Skinless chicken breast may be a leaner choice than certain cuts of red meat, but not all cuts of red meat are high in fat.

The key is to choose lean cuts and prepare them in healthy ways, such as grilling or steaming.

Myth 3.1: Eat spinach to get more iron

Wrestler also told us that spinach is a good source of iron, but he didn't tell us that its absorption rate in our body is 1.7% (0.04 mg net).

Conversely, red meat is a better source of iron because the absorption rate of the iron it contains by our body is 20% (0.5 mg net).

Maybe a good steak would have made our cartoon friend even stronger.

Myth 4: Meat is the main cause of heart disease

The role of meat in heart disease is often exaggerated. Research shows that heart health is influenced by a combination of factors, including the type of fat consumed, overall lifestyle (often sedentary), and the total amount of calories consumed.

A balanced diet, which includes lean meat and other nutritious foods, can be part of a healthy lifestyle.

Myth 5: Meat consumption significantly contributes to environmental impact

While the meat industry impacts the environment, not all meat consumption is created equal. Sustainable meat production and conscious consumption, such as preferring meat from responsible farms, can reduce environmental impact.

Would you like to know more? Here are some of our articles that delve deeper into the topic of sustainable meat:

Myth 6: Red meat causes cancer

Contrary to popular belief, the claim that red meat causes cancer is more of a "half-truth" than an accurate statement. In 2016, the World Health Organization examined the risk of developing some forms of cancer, taking into account an extremely high consumption of meat, well above the Italian average.

While his study prompted alarming headlines, the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer), responsible for classifying carcinogenic substances, subsequently evaluated and categorized some red meats as "possibly carcinogenic" and some processed meats as "carcinogenic ".

It should be emphasized that this is a half-truth because the associated risk mainly concerns a disproportionate consumption of some types of processed meat, not red meat consumed in a balanced and moderate way. In particular, reference is made to an increased risk for cancer of the intestinal tract due to "excess consumption", not to normal, controlled domestic consumption.

It is essential to note that, according to the IARC study, the risk factors associated with meat do not only derive from the meat itself but also from storage, distribution, preparation and cooking practices, which can influence the beneficial properties of the meat and, in some cases , favor bacteriological alterations.

Myths and legends to dispel about meat

Debunking these myths helps us better understand the role of meat in a balanced diet. The key is awareness, moderation and choosing lean, sustainable meat options.

Meat, when part of a balanced diet, can offer a valuable source of nutrients and culinary delights without compromising your health.