Eating too much meat is a common dietary problem in American society. Most Americans don't realize that they're eating too much meat. The risks of eating excessive amounts of meat include heart disease, kidney disease, osteoporosis and cancer. Here's how to tell if you're eating too much meat.
Consequences of Eating Too Much Meat
Studies show that people who eat too much meat are 20 percent more likely to develop cancer, especially if they eat a lot of red meat. Pancreatic cancer, in particular, has been linked to heavy meat consumption. Meat also contains lots of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease.
Processed meats, such as hot dogs, often contain nitrate, a preservative that may become carcinogenic when heated to high temperatures during the cooking process. All meats may form carcinogenic heterocylic amines, or HCAs, during high-temperature cooking. Marinading meat in vinegar, or microwaving it before cooking, can help reduce the number of carcinogenic HCAs in meat. However, meat may also contain high levels of hormones, which can trigger reproductive problems and early-onset puberty in children.
Your kidneys work to remove excess protein from your body, so eating too much protein can stress them out, leading to kidney damage and even contributing to renal failure in some cases. High dietary protein levels cause your body to excrete more calcium, which can contribute to osteoporosis.
Eating Meat Safely
While eating too much meat can be dangerous, meat is a good source of complete proteins. Your body needs these proteins to maintain cellular tissue, so it's a good idea to eat some meat every day.W.H.O recommends that adults eat five to six ounces of meat per day.
Reducing Your Meat Consumption
If you're eating more than the recommended daily allowance of meat, you should probably consider lowering your meat consumption. Red meat carries the highest risks of heart disease and cancer, so eating more poultry and pork can help lower your risk. Serve smaller portions of meat at meals. Eating higher quality cuts of meat, in smaller portions, can help curb your meat cravings without putting your health at risk.
If you're eating too much meat, replace some of the meat in your diet with non-meat sources of protein. Beans, legumes, whole grains and dairy products all contain protein. Nuts, seeds, eggs and soy foods are good choices. While fish and seafood might technically be meats, they don't carry the same risks as do red meat, pork and poultry, because they are so low in saturated fats and cholesterol; fish and seafood can safely take the place of other meats in your diet.
Your body needs about eight grams of protein per 20
How much red meat should I eat?
Opinions differ here, too. Most nutritionists suggest focusing on sensible portion sizes and lean red meat cuts, for those who choose to eat it.
“People don’t need to give up red meat,” says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, a nutrition professor at Georgia State University. “They need to make better selections in the type of meat they eat and the portions.”
The American Institute for Cancer Research, a nonprofit that focuses on cancer prevention through diet and physical activity, advises no more than 18 ounces of cooked red meat a week. The group recommends avoiding all processed meats, such as sausage, deli meats, ham, bacon, hot dogs, and sausages, citing research that shows an increased risk of colon cancer.
Some surprising effects of eating too much meat include:
One study from the University of Connecticut found a that high-protein diet can cause the kidneys to produce more concentrated urine, causing dehydration. This can affect everything from your energy levels, to your skin, to increased food cravings and even muscle cramps, according to Everyday Health.
. Body Odor
Piling on the deodorant? You might be eating too much meat. "A study from the Journal Chemical Senses found that people who ate a non-meat diet had body odor that was judged as significantly more attractive, more pleasant, and less intense than the body odor of meat-eaters.
"Eating lots of meat in place of carbohydrates can lead to constipation, because meat provides no fiber," says Jenn LaVardera, MS RD over email. To alleviate any constipation, lower your intake of meat and up your intake of complex carbohydrates as well as fruits and vegetables.
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