The Science of Meat
Meat is an important source of nutrients and a bioavailable protein that helps the body repair and build tissue, generate energy and maintain healthy skin and hair. However, eating too much highly processed meat can lead to health problems such as heart disease and cancer. Organic meat has a much healthier nutrient profile. In this blog, we'll explore the different health benefits of different types of meat.
Chicken contains all types of B vitamins which help to form red blood cells, produce energy and strengthen the nervous system. Chicken can be split up into dark and light meat – with the dark meat containing huge amounts of zinc and iron giving it immune-boosting properties, in contrast to light meat which is higher in potassium and phosphorus which helps to build strong bones, teeth and tissues.
Beef is also full of B vitamins which help energy production. The iron in beef helps to produce more red blood cells to carry oxygen around the body, whilst the meats high zinc content aids cell division and helps in the formation of protein.
Lamb is particularly rich in B12 and B9. These vitamins are necessary for a healthy central nervous system and aid the prevention of heart disease, mood disorders and vascular dementia. Lamb is actually one of the few types of mass-market meats which is still pasture-fed (mostly). This makes it naturally lower in cholesterol compared to many other meats.
Pork is unique in that it contains more monosaturated and polyunsaturated fats than saturated fat. Therefore, this means it also has benefits in lowering cholesterol. Unlike beef and lamb, it is not a source of vitamin A but does contain useful amounts of Zinc and Iron.
Our final meat is Venison - a deer meat that is very low in fat like other red meats but high in protein and iron. It is also rich in potassium, phosphorous and zinc. Many chefs recommend long and slow cooking for Venison, although we think it is probably best-served medium-rare.
Although meats have great benefits, we should always eat in moderation and with other components to maintain a healthy diet. For example, eating meat with anti-oxidant rich green vegetables as opposed to starchy ones can help prevent the free-radical damage to cholesterol that is associated with heart disease. If you enjoyed reading this blog and would like us to publish future blogs around the science of food, let us know!
(Source: Healing Foods - DK)