ASK THE NUTRITIONIST: Is consuming meat good for well being?

In her weekly column, licensed orthomolecular nutritionist Nonie De Lengthy seems on the well being advantages of meat

Expensive Readers,

This week’s column options the seventh of the highest ten vitamin questions I get requested. Tune in over the next weeks for the rest. In the event you missed it, the primary week I lined soy merchandise and the controversy round whether or not they’re good or dangerous on your well being. Then, I lined whether or not or not we want dietary dietary supplements and natural meals. We additionally explored the well being advantages of dairy merchandise and why some folks flip to dairy alternate options. Then, we explored eggs and why they’re an excellent addition to a nutritious diet – even you probably have excessive ldl cholesterol!

As mentioned final week, a plant-based eating regimen has gained momentum as a well being pattern as a result of it’s believed to be extra moral, extra sustainable, and higher for our well being. We mentioned every of those and discovered why plant-based doesn’t essentially equate with wholesome. This week, we’re going to have a look at the well being impacts of consuming meat.

Nutrient Density:

When deciding which meals to incorporate and which to get rid of from our diets, I feel crucial rubric to make use of is nutrient density. That’s, what number of vitamins does the meals product comprise? After we take a look at meals on this method, as an alternative of taking a look at how “clear” or how “inexperienced” a meals is, we will discern how useful the meals is for human well being.

Let’s take a look at meat merchandise by this lens.


Crimson meat has been a lot maligned by mainstream dietetics, nonetheless, it’s nutritionally very wealthy. Beef incorporates a number of important vitamins. It’s an entire protein, which implies it has all of the important amino acids. Keep in mind, amino acids are the constructing blocks of the buildings and tissues in our our bodies, and they’re important for neurotransmitter, enzyme, and cell operate. This interprets to the mind and nervous system well being, digestive well being, mobile well being, and muscle and tissue well being.

Moreover, beef incorporates heme iron, which is the type of iron most simply absorbed and utilized by the physique. It’s solely out there by consuming animal flesh. It’s additionally an excellent supply of many minerals, together with zinc, selenium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium and plenty of nutritional vitamins, together with B2, B3, B5, B6, and B12.

Other than D3, the commonest deficiencies I see clinically are the B’s and minerals. B12 and zinc deficiencies are notably prevalent (10-35 per cent of Canadians are recognized to have insufficient consumption), and many ladies (16-19 per cent) have inadequate iron consumption. (supply) Including a little bit of beef to a meal helps improve iron not solely through the iron within the beef however by rising the absorption of different iron within the meal. We additionally know that over 1/3 of all Canadians are poor in magnesium. Beef offers for all these wants.

In truth, in comparison with every other meals, beef liver is considered one of, if not essentially the most nutritionally dense meals on the planet. One serving has greater than 100 per cent of the advisable each day consumption of vitamin A within the fat-soluble and most simply absorbed type. Vitamin A is answerable for good imaginative and prescient, good pores and skin, and a wholesome immune system, amongst different issues. Beef liver can be stuffed with vitamin Okay, which is crucial for bone well being. Vitamin Okay helps maintain calcium within the bones and out of our arteries. Many individuals would profit from extra of this little-known vitamin.

Beef liver can be stuffed with iron and vitamin B12, each vital for anemia. The outdated customary medical remedy for pernicious anemia was to eat beef liver. When the guts well being speculation took maintain (excessive saturated fats consumption = coronary heart illness), liver consumption was now not advisable. However now we all know that speculation was incorrect. Outstanding useful medical practitioners have begun to advocate beef liver once more, even referring to it as nature’s most potent superfood.

The fats in beef consists of each saturated and unsaturated fat, relying on the way it’s raised. Grass-fed beef has a better ratio of omega-3 fatty acids, versus 6’s. That is preferable for lowering inflammatory circumstances within the physique. Including fish oils to the eating regimen may also help steadiness this in the event you don’t buy grass-fed.

Opposite to standard perception, Canadians don’t eat an excessive amount of purple meat. Current dietary proof confirmed that 48 per cent of Canadian girls ages 31-50, 69 per cent of girls aged 70 years and older, and 56 per cent of adolescent males don’t eat the advisable quantity (grams or servings) of meat and protein alternate options.” (supply)


Like beef, pork incorporates all of the important amino acids. Additionally, like beef, the fats content material depends upon the lower, and the fatty acid ratios rely upon how the pork is fed. It’s wealthy in selenium, iron, zinc, and phosphorus and in addition excessive in nutritional vitamins B1, B3, B6, and B12. If pork isn’t restricted as a consequence of spiritual causes, it’s a nutrient-dense meals to eat.


Poultry, like hen, incorporates all 9 important amino acids. They moreover comprise a spread of B nutritional vitamins, in addition to zinc, iron, and magnesium, in addition to some fat-soluble vitamin E. The quantities fluctuate by the hen, with turkey having greater quantities of tryptophan, for instance. They’re a superb supply of vitamins.


Mutton (meat from lamb/ sheep) additionally incorporates all of the important amino acids. In comparison with many different forms of meat, it’s excessive in fats, each saturated and unsaturated. It’s an excellent supply of nutritional vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12, and incorporates vitamin D, vitamin E, and an excellent quantity of vitamin Okay. It’s additionally an excellent supply of many minerals: potassium, phosphorus, zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron.


Goat meat is comparable in that it incorporates all of the important amino acids. It’s excessive in nutritional vitamins B1, B2, B3, and B12, with some vitamin E. It additionally incorporates phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and greater than 100 per cent of the advisable each day quantity of zinc, copper, and iron. It’s extra lean than mutton, with a better protein ratio.

Fish and Seafood:

Fish is one other supply of all important amino acids. Relying on the fish, it may be lean (tuna) or fatty (salmon) and may comprise quite a lot of omega-3 important fatty acids and vitamin D. Chilly water fish have extra vitamin D than heat water fish; salmon is the very best, adopted by halibut, sardine, tilapia, and flounder. Salmon are the very best in omega-3s, adopted by a sardine, Atlantic mackerel, cod, and herring. Fish are a superb supply of minerals, as nicely.

Seafood is understood to be excessive in protein, wholesome fat and vitamins.  Three oz of oysters has 100 per cent of the advisable each day worth of zinc.

There are lots of different forms of meat in the marketplace now, from ostrich to emu to bison to quail. There are ample choices not solely due to increasing international markets however due to meals intolerances and a resurgent curiosity in farming. In the event you haven’t already tried less-known meats, I encourage you to strive one thing new. In the event you’re feeling adventurous, strive organ meats, as they’re far more nutritionally dense than muscle tissue of the identical animal and assist to make sure your entire animal is used.

In abstract, meat is a extremely nutrient-dense meals. It’s a superior supply of protein and fats, with the fatty acid profile various relying on the way it’s farmed and lower. Meat is ample in minerals, usually the B nutritional vitamins, and infrequently incorporates some fat-soluble nutritional vitamins, which comprise the commonest deficiencies at the moment. Organ meat is particularly nutrient-dense, over and above different cuts.

I hope that is useful. As all the time, you probably have your personal nutrition-related query, ship me an electronic mail at In the event you’d prefer to learn extra articles like this, you could find me right here.


Nonie Nutritionista

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