Meat – can it really harm us?

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Meat is a food that has as many supporters as opponents. What are the pros and cons of a diet that includes meat dishes? Which meat products are better to avoid? Let us check!

Does meat harm your health? It depends

Yes and no – it all depends on its quality. Meat products stuffed with chemicals that are supposed to prolong their shelf life and make them look more appetising can undoubtedly affect your health. Artificial dyes, flavour enhancers, bulking agents or antibiotics make many people give up eating meat altogether. This step is also supported by the famous report of the World Health Organization (WHO), which recognized meat as a carcinogen. According to the WHO findings, it is enough to provide the body with 50 g of processed meat (e.g. sausage, bacon, pate) daily to increase the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. However, does it mean that each of us should eliminate every kind of meat from our diet? No!

Supermarket meat vs. meat from a small plant

If you can’t imagine life without meat products, buy those made according to traditional recipes, in small, family-run meat factories, where quality counts, not quantity (the daily production of products is limited). In such places work people with passion, who do not use harmful chemicals and try to provide customers with a high quality product (which of course translates into a higher price than in the case of meat available in the supermarket). However, out of concern for your health, it’s worth buying meat from proven, reliable sources that have enjoyed a reputation for years. Choose lean meats, and only eat black pudding, ribs and knuckle of pork only occasionally, or preferably give them up altogether (due to their high fat content).

Which meats are better to avoid, and which are worth eating?

We do not recommend buying highly processed meat (i.e. sausages, tinned meat, smoked ham) from the supermarket. Products available there are saturated with substances such as

  • monosodium glutamate (E621),
  • potassium nitrate,
  • sodium nitrite (E250),
  • sodium polyacrylate.

Instead of red meat (beef, pork), let’s reach for turkey, chicken, duck, goose or veal (from a trusted supplier). Remember that meat is a valuable source of B vitamins, iron, zinc and protein. It influences the proper functioning of the nervous system, strengthens the immune system, aids digestion and improves blood circulation. The advantages of meat do not end here – it also provides us with energy, which we can use for a long time

Is meat fattening?

Some people wonder whether meat can be the cause of overweight and obesity. This product is a basic source of animal fat, but consumed in reasonable amounts, it should not have a negative impact on our figure. In order to gain weight, we need to have an excess of calories in relation to our body’s needs, so meat itself is not fattening

To sum up, low-quality meat can indeed have a negative effect on our health. However, by buying meat products consciously and eating them in moderation, our body will only benefit.


Main photo: Andrew/

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