As reported recently by the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune and other national news outlets, long term study results are providing new information about what red meat does to our bodies…. And the news isn’t good.
According to data gathered across a broad population and controlled for other lifestyle factors, the consumption of beef and pork appears to provide very few health benefits, and may actually increase our risk of several life threatening diseases. Rates of heart disease and certain types of cancer rise dramatically among those who consume 3 ounces of red meat a day or more, an amount about the size of a deck of cards.
What does this mean for your workout plans? And more important, what does it mean for your overall health? We all know that protein is necessary for complete nutrition and can help support muscle recovery after strenuous weight training. But it may be time to let go of the red and high fat animal protein sources and embrace lean proteins and the amino acid compounds found in plants.
Before your workout, load up on whole grain carbs, which provide a healthy, clean-burning source of energy. After your workout is over, reach for lean protein sources like poultry, fish, nuts and legumes. If you can’t cut beef and pork from your diet completely, try adopting a “meatless Monday” routine once a week. If you start feeling better, continue cutting back on the red meat as often as possible.
Your body will thank you, and the less fat you bring in with your eating habits, the less you’ll need to burn off at the gym. Remember, a healthy diet is built on a foundation of variety. Choose fresh, unprocessed foods, green vegetables, colorful fruits, and whole grain carbs. Limit your intake of fatty meats, corn syrup, and processed snacks.