Why you should go easy on red meat

August 24, 2011 , ,

Already criticised for its saturated fats and its impacts on cardiovascular health, red meat is also responsible for several types of cancers, especially colorectal. Processed meats, such as cured meats for example, also increase the risk of cancer.

Red meat includes beef, veal, pork, lamb, duck, goose, rabbit, horsemeat as well as giblets. Processed meats include meats that are cured, smoked, dried or salted or those with preservatives like nitrites.

Three elements are at stake here:

  • Firstly, when passing through the alimentary canal, iron from the red meat produces free radicals that can, in large quantities, harm your DNA and produce cancerous cells;
  • Secondly, preservation methods: Meats that are processed by smoking, drying or curing, normally contain nitrites. When these nitrites bind themselves to protein in the meat or to bacteria in the mouth or in the alimentary canal, they form carcinogenic substances that damage the cells;
  • Thirdly, cooking at high temperatures (grill, fryer, barbecue, etc.) can lead to the formation of carcinogenic molecules.

It should be noted that despite these drawbacks, red meats do have nutritional qualities and they are an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc and group B vitamins, which are important elements for the body. Once again, the secret lies in moderation!

As for the SOSCuisine meal plans, they contain 3 servings maximum of red meat per week. In case of any barbecuing, our recipes suggest that you marinate the meat before cooking, as this will neutralise the oxidising effect of cooking at high temperature. You should also use lean cuts of meat and remove the fat before cooking.

So what are you waiting for? Just follow our tips, go ahead and fire up the barbecue and enjoy the last few days of this wonderful summer.


Cinzia Cuneo
Cinzia Cuneo, founder of SOSCuisine.com, never wanted to neglect the quality of her food. She shares her special expertise to make good food quickly and without complications!

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