“Which type of meat is the most wholesome? I ask because I like meat but I avoid chicken because of hormones and antibiotics, doctors say pork is fat, and there are studies beef may increase the risk of cancer. Well then, what to cook with?! Is there a reason in the statements that many of the benefits from the meat are lost in long boiling, steaming, baking – I like the meat to be tender?” Dancho
Meat is an excellent source of protein and other important nutrients, but is also rich in unhealthy fats and cholesterol.
Iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin D and B are just some of the nutrients found in beef, pork and poultry. Red meats are good source of easily absorbed iron, and vitamin C that is found in the vegetables helps for better absorption of the meat’s iron. Thus, the combination of meat with vegetables is extremely healthy. The different types of meat possess different qualities. That’s why it is good not to limit yourselves in eating only one of them.
Chicken meat has 14-15% protein and is low in fat, but rich in fat-soluble vitamins A, D and E. It is easily digestible and is prepared relatively fast. A well-known fact is that antibiotics and stimulants of various kinds are put in the birds’ food to prevent diseases and to speed up mass gain but they accumulate in the meat afterwards. The consumption of such type of meat leads to overloading of the human immune system and the negative effects can be quite various. Antibiotics are usually given only in the first 4 days of the bird’s life in our country, but this is regulated and is not dangerous. In this train of thought, I advise you to buy chicken meat from small Bulgarian producers and poultry farms that guarantee for its quality. A suitable substitute for chicken meat is turkey. It is quite easily absorbed by the organism and so far there is no data about the use of harmful substances in raising turkeys. Ostrich meat is also particularly healthy. It is difficult to find, but that’s why it is a delicacy, without impurities, low in fat – only 0.03% and at the same time the protein is 22%.
I want also to pay attention to the game meat and the rabbit one in particular, which is considered a record-holder among the meats for content of easily absorbable protein and poor in fat at the same time. Due to the low cholesterol content, rabbit meat is recommended for consumption by people with cardiovascular and gastrointestinal problems and the accompanying diseases.
The excessive consumption of red meat, high-calorie food, alcohol, fat and grill are all considered risk factors for the development of many cancer diseases, as numerous carcinogenic compounds are formed during meat processing. This, of course, should not stop us from its consumption. It’s only necessary to choose “leaner” meat and to be careful with the amount – no more than 500 g per week. It is desirable to avoid smoked sausages, frankfurters and bacons. Prefer fresh meat (loin, shoulder and the upper part of the leg) because the frozen ready-to-cook food contains a lot of fat.
Pork is considered to be significantly fattier than beef as a whole, but the pure meat, such as sirloin and tenderloin, contains only 3.4% fat. Its moderate consumption within a balanced diet is not harmful to our health.
Here are several ways to reduce the carcinogenic compounds in meat in its selection and culinary processing:
- Choose meat without fat, which prevents the melting of the fat and its burning (a main source of carcinogens).
- When roasting use fire of an average or low heat so the meat is not burnt, as this is also harmful.
- You should not overdo the meat – the temperature should be up to 71o
- Marinating the meat before roasting softens it and keeps the moisture. Moreover it reduces the heterocyclic amines. It is important marinates no to be too greasy – it is best to choose a mix of spices and herbs with wine, soy sauce and lemon juice. Do not add sugar in them.
- Turn often the meat, without pressing it so that it is burnt.
- Cut out all fatty parts before baking and cut the burnt parts before eating.
- Be careful with the portions – the reduction in their size decreases the fat intake. The optimal amount per one serving is 85 g or approximately the size of a deck of cards.