I don’t think anyone is going to be shocked when I say I love red meat. Nor will it come as a surprise if I say it’s a healthy, nutritious food, and should be included in everyone’s diet, especially those wishing to build muscle.
Here are 5 reasons to include some delicious red meat in your diet:
1) Protein. You get a high quality, complete protein to supply your hungry muscles with the fuel they need to recover and grow! Meat is typically 20-25% protein, so for every 100g you chow down, you get about 25g protein.
2) B Vitamins. Red meat is rich in B vitamins, including vitamin B12. These are needed for supporting a healthy metabolic rate, immune function, and good skin and hair among others. B vitamins are important for emotional as well as physical well-being with a deficiency being linked to depression.
3) CLA (Conjugated Linoleic Acid). Animal and human studies have shown CLA to be beneficial in regards to combating various cancers, heart disease, inflammation, hypertension and more. Try to get grass-fed beef if possible. (UK CLA supplement | US CLA supplement).
4) Stearic Acid. You would think from what some people say that the fat in red meat is 100% saturated. In fact, you’ll find sites on net that say just that! (Be careful where you get your info)
Beef fat is about 50% monounsaturated fat, 90 percent of which is oleic acid. This is the same healthy fat found in olive oil and will typically contribute to a lower LDL and higher HDL cholesterol.
About a third of the saturated fat in red meat is stearic acid, which also increases HDL cholesterol but typically has no effect on LDL.
There is also about 4% polyunsaturated fat, which typically lowers LDL and has zero effect on HDL cholesterol.
Lowering LDL (more specifically the VLDL) and raising HDL cholesterol is the ideal scenario for heart health. People on low-carb diets, which include red meat consumption, often experience this. Additionally, their triglyceride levels plummet. For a more in-depth discussion of this see my other articles on dietary fat and heart health including, “Saturated Fat, Not Guilty As Charged!“.
5) Testosterone Production. Fat is needed for the production of testosterone. Don’t be surprised to see people on low-fat diets walking around with low-levels of enthusiasm, vitality, and all-round “spunk”. And what better way to ensure that you are getting enough fat in your diet than eating a nice juicy steak?
I could go on here by the way; there’s creatine, iron, ALA, and zinc to mention but a few further benefits. But you guys know the drill by now, eat your meat! 🙂
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