There’s been a real push for people to adopt plant-based diets in recent years. It’s for a good reason. Higher intake of plant foods is associated with a host of health benefits while making a much smaller footprint for the environment.
But does that make meat bad?
While consumption and manufacturing patterns may be far less than ideal, meat is healthy. It is the best source of several essential nutrients that help optimize health.
But not all meat is created equal.
Processed meats like bacon, deli meats (cold cuts), hot dogs, and even the burgers from your favorite fast-food spot aren’t going to do much good for you. They are filled with sodium and other harmful additives that can lead to cell damage, inflammation, and chronic illness.
Fresh, unprocessed meat, however, offers plenty of value to a healthy diet. It contributes to healthy strong muscles by serving as the best dietary source of protein available.
Meat also provides reinforcements to your immune system and is a rich source of B-vitamins and iron.
It is also a great source of Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10.
CoQ10 is a valuable antioxidant, especially for older folks, who tend to have lower levels. CoQ10 deficiencies can contribute to cell damage, speed up aging, and increased risk of poor health.
Coenzyme Q10 may also help preserve valuable nitric oxide in your body.
Fresh poultry, beef, and fish are all excellent sources of CoQ10. Estimates suggest roughly 65% of dietary CoQ10 intake comes from these sources.
So, how do you include meat in a healthy diet? It’s pretty simple. The first is to make sure you’re buying fresh, unprocessed meat from your local grocer or butcher shop.
Next is to opt for leaner cuts, specifically with beef and chicken. As far as fish goes, fatty options like salmon are recommended because of high omega-3 content.
Watching serving size is also important. Instead of going in heavy one meal per day, like dinner, it might be better to have smaller servings at various meals throughout the week. Each serving should be about the size of your palm and served alongside colorful vegetables.
Shunning meat is not necessarily a healthy move. Finding ways to incorporate it while still eating plenty of plant-based foods may help you optimize overall health and slow down the aging process.