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The Risks of Eating Red Meat

by Gab Billones


There is indeed no doubt that a recipe of red meat makes a very fine cuisine. It’s a classic ingredient that brings everyone in the family seated at the table while sharing different kinds of talks along with its tenderness and juiciness, especially on Sundays. But despite its warm effect towards socialization and gatherings, this kind of meat poses a very cold risk that not all of us might find worth sharing.


Over the course of its lifetime, red meat has been linked to numerous diseases ranging from simple to severe types. As it is known for a fact that it contains massive amounts of fats and cholesterol, these meats were known to have helped in spiking the cases of people with heart diseases. But mind you, these are not the only risks that you might acquire if you consume too much of it.

To help you become aware of the different risks associated with it, we have gathered a handful list that can help you in reassessing your red meat intake.

Red meat and diabetes:

Eating sweets isn’t the only forerunner of diabetes. According to studies, an increase intake of red meat over time poses a higher risk of developing a type 2 diabetes. The research covers for the consumption of both processed and unprocessed meat.

According to the study conducted by Harvard University students, those who have increased their red meat intake to about as little as half serving a day ( about 1.5 ounces ) had a whopping 48% chance increased risk of developing in just a 4-year period compared to those who did not change their red meat intake. On the other hand, those who have reduced their intake to about half serving a day over 4 years didn’t show any significant decrease in the risk.

Based on the study, the high amount of sodium and nitrites in processed meats are the possible factors that contributes to diabetes. The heme iron in red meat is also considered as one of the cause.

Red meat and Alzheimer’s disease:

It seems though that you are  likely to forget how yummy a red meat cuisine is if you eat too much of it. According to studies, eating too much of it poses a higher risk of having an Alzheimer’s disease. According to the study conducted at Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior at UCLA, this risk is due to the raising level of iron in the brain.

Iron can accelerate the damaging reactions of free radicals. Over time, iron builds up in the brain mostly in those gray matter regions and may cause different types of age-related illness such as Alzheimer’s disease. With this, iron accumulation serves as the 3rd cause of the disease, together with the two proteins – Tau and Beta-amyloid.

Iron accumulation encourages oxidative damage which is something that the brain is very susceptible of. They also added that the iron build up could result to some modifying environmental factors that forces us to consume more red meat or their intake of iron dietary supplements.

Red meat and its lover – heart disease:

Well, it’s pretty clear that red meat and heart disease will be partners forever. This is mainly due to the fact that it contains a fair amount of saturated fat and cholesterol. But according to Dr. Stanley Hazen, he is pretty much convinced that these two aren’t the only causes of it. The presence of a third party is pretty much clear as what the research shows. The third culprit is the chemical found in red meat – carnitine.

As we all know, carnitine is present in almost all kinds of weight-loss drinks and supplements, but these fat-burning chemical plays a different role when it’s in our gut.

Based on the experiment, it was observed that bacteria in the gut could eat carnitine. After eating it, these bacteria breaks it into a gas and is converted in the liver to a chemical known as TMAO (Trimethylamine N-oxide). This chemical is strongly linked with the accumulation of fatty deposits in the blood vessels, which can lead to heart disease and even death.

Although TMAO was considered as a waste product before, the scientist in this study strongly agrees that it plays a significant role in the cholesterol metabolism and the net ffects leads to its accumulation.

And these are the risks attached if you aren’t cautious enough on your red meat consumption. As mentioned almost all the time, the key to prevent these diseases lies on your intake moderation. Don’t stuff too much in your mouth and if possible, cut down your dosage of this greasy treat.Just as eating much of it shows risks of acquiring these deadly diseases, cutting back the amount also shows to reduce the danger at the very least. Indeed, vegetarians, who have naturally lesser bacteria in their stomachs, are devoid of carnitine-related diseases because they don’t consume meat at all.  Always remember that you are what you eat and your health is a reflection of your lifestyle throughout the years.


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