Meat lovers Alert

Meat lovers must be alert 

In ancient times, the man was happy to eat fresh roasted meat at jungle. Only a few herbs were supposed to be  suitable for eating. Latest research conducted at the University of Graz showed that people who eat too much meat (especially red meat) are 20 percent more at risk to develop cancer. Meat has high saturated fats, which are reported to be unsafe in large amounts especially for females to lesser the risk of breast cancer. The question arises that if the meat is too dangerous to eat then why old people lived longer happily without suffering from killing diseases. The answer might be this that in the modern era we are habitual of eating hundreds of fast foods from processed meats (like croquet, nuggets and chunks). Even now, these kind of food products are loved to take in the lunch boxes. These fast foods are the combination of processed meat. Consuming lot of meat or processed meat causing many problems that’s why the young generation is susceptible to various problems. The processed foods are never considered healthier because there obviously contain many preservative that may become carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures during the cooking process. All meats may form carcinogenic heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, during high-temperature cooking. The World Health Organization also reported this year that meat is a “carcinogen” especially processed meat. It increases our risk of colon or rectum cancer by 18 percent.  

Meat is rich in cholesterol and saturated fatty acids here is the comparison of cholesterol amount (in 3.5 ounces which we usually take in a meal) to help you understand: 

Lamb          Buffalo/Cow Goat Chicken 
106 mg.            82 mg.  64 mg. 85 mg. 


Food Poisoning  

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reports that 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by contaminated animal flesh. A  survey report declares that 325,000 are hospitalized  and 5,000 die each year in the united states because of food Poisoning or more clearly because of animal foods. 

Reproductive problems 

For rapid growth of animals (especially poultry), they are fed on a variety of artificial feeds which contain loads of hormones. These high levels of hormones can trigger reproductive problems and early-onset of puberty in children. So, this is more alarming for fast food lovers as fast foods are 95% containing Broilers.  

Excess protein. 

Kidneys work to remove excess protein from your body, so eating too much protein can exert stress over kidneys contributing to renal failure sometime. High dietary protein may also cause to excrete more calcium from our body, which can contribute, to osteoporosis and weak bones.  

Is Barbeque safer? 

Carcinogens may be produced in the body during barbecuing. The surface of the food become contaminated by smoke as fat drips from the meat or poultry on to the hot embers causes a chemical reaction. Cooking over natural gas or propane grills reduces the pollution emitted, so is much safer. However, of course, it does not give traditional smoky flavor to the food. When coal is smoldering at its hottest and we cook on it, the smoke emitted contains poisonous gases, such as carbon monoxide. 

  • Barbeque may be safer too…  
  • Use a smokeless BBQ with a built-in battery-powered fan  
  • Cut meat into smaller portions to reduce cooking time and flip food over and over frequently 
  • Remove maximum fat from the meat before grilling to help reduce the amount of fat dripping over coals 
  • you do nothing else, pick off or remove the burnt bits (dark brown or black portions) before eating , since the carcinogens concentrate in the blackened portions 
  • Partially cook the meat before grilling it, or cook smaller pieces of meat, which shortens your cooking time  
  • Clean your grill after use to avoid transferring leftover chemicals to other pieces 
  • Buy meat from local farmers or butchers to know what you are eating ???? 
  • Bank the fire onto the sides of the barbecue and place a drip pan under the cooking meat to keep the fat out of the fire. Don’t allow meat to become heavily charred 

Should we stop eating meat? 

No because by nature, humans are meat eaters, and our bodies are designed for it. We are gifted with incisors teeth for tearing meat, and molars teeth for grinding it. The best source of protein is meat. Meat also contains vitamins and minerals that aid in muscle growth like zinc, which assists in muscle repair, and iron, which boosts energy levels and combats fatigue. Remember that meat is the only source of heme iron (the form of iron which is readily absorbed in the body) but vegetables contain non-heme iron. Meat also contains creatine, a nitrogen-containing compound that improves protein synthesis and provides ample supply of energy to the muscles. So, body builders are recommended with the creatine supplements to add muscles on. Although meat has all the nutrients but B vitamins are found in greater concentration in meats than in plant sources, and vitamin B-12 can only be found in animal sources. The B vitamins are critical to health, especially mental health. Deficiencies of these vitamins can cause loss of concentration, impaired senses, aggression, insomnia, weakness and dementia. 

According to research conducted at the University of Graz, Australia vegetarians experience three times more depression and anxiety than meat eaters also more eating disorders are observed in the vegetarians. 

Orexin cells. 

Orexin cells are found in the brain and make us energetic. Studies conducted at the University of Cambridge declared that amino acids play an important role in boosting orexin cells. Thus, consuming meat protein leads to burning more calories and more energy. Reduced activity in orexin cells has been linked to weight gain. So, for long lasting energy the runners love to take meat protein and conserve energy from meat sources.  

Be careful when Thawing is done 

Thawing is one the most critical step for eating safer meat during which you are responsible to make it healthier or harmful. Many microbes, which were made inactive during freezing they become active during long thawing process and even become more dangerous. 

Safe Thawing tips you must follow  

in the refrigerator or in cold water thawing is safe. For faster thawing, place food in a leak proof plastic bag and immerse it in cold water. (If the bag leaks, bacteria from the air or surrounding environment can enter into the food. Tissues can also absorb water like a sponge, resulting in a watery product. Change cold water with cold time to time. After thawing, cook the meat immediately.
When microwave-defrosting food, plan to cook it immediately after thawing because some areas of the food may become warm and begin to cook during microwaving.  

Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking,although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through thawing but still it is safer than you keep meat in normal air thaw it and again freezing it. 

Meat Storage 

Here is the time chart of meat freezing. Follow this chart to avoid engulf carcinogens. 

Storage of meat is thought to be ok for 3 to 4 months for uncooked meat and for cooked meat 2 months are enough for freezing not more. 

How much meat is enough for you 

the U.S department of agriculture recommends you consume no more than approximately 4 ounces of total meat per day help to meet your daily protein recommendations as, one ounce of meat is equivalent to 1 ounce of protein food. Remember, however, not all meat is created equal.  

1 ounce of meat 

  • the size of a small matchbook cover (yes, that small!)  
  • 1/4 cup beef  
  • 1/2 small chicken leg or thigh  
  • 1 slice of sandwich size meat  

          Substitutes for 1 ounce of meat 

If you want to replace meat with some other food then here are some substitutes 

  • 1/2 cup cooked lentils, peas or soup beans  
  • 1 egg (Remember egg protein is thought to be world’s best protein) 
  • 1/4 cup egg substitute  
  • 1/3 cup nuts  
  • 1 ounce hard cheese (about 1 3/4 tablespoons) 



Saba Chaudhry  

Research Assistant, HIS, UAF 



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