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How to Cook & Eat Meat Safely, & What to Eat Instead

Meat's had such bad press becoming the public health enemy number one. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently announced that "eating some forms of meats can cause cancer and heart disease".  How worried should we be?.  Find out what's bad - what's good, how much should we all be eating, and what meats to avoid.





Most recent health statistics.Processed meats do cause cancer. * Health chiefs put processed meats at the same levels as cigarettes.* Eating one bacon roll with two rations of bacon can shorten your life expectancy by the same as smoking four cigarettes. *. Sausages are as bad for you as smoking. *
Processed meats linked to cancer. * More than 900 studies confirmed that processed meat is a definite cause of bowel cancer. * Over 16.000 people in the UK alone die of bowel cancer each year. * Eating 50 grams of processed meats every day increases your risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer by 18%.

98% of people are meat-eaters eating an average of 54 kilos a year.

What is processed Meat? and why is it so bad?. For meat to be called 'processed', it's had something added to it like flavour, salt, sugar and preservatives to extend its shelf life. The preservative called sodium nitrite is an effective way to kill the bacteria that can lead to botulism, a deadly form of food poisoning. It's also the ingredients that's one of the main health warnings about processed meats which include ham, sausages, salami and bacon.

What's the problem with sodium nitrite? Professor Gunter Kuhnle, a food scientist from.Reading University explained the problem with Nitrite. "Nitrites has a role in our food. They're there to preserve and make sure food is safe to eat. The problem is nitrite doesn't only protect us from spoilage meat but it also increases the risk for cancer. They can react with the stomach acids and all the things you find in meat to form compounds which are cancer causing".


How cooking meat affects the quality of its nutritional contentsMartin Rose. Food expert and contaminates explained. "A chemical called Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons  PAH. It's a class of chemical and is formed in smoke. It's present in soot. This was first discovered in the 18th century when chimney sweepers were getting an increased case of cancer.  Any cooking method where you burn the food and you see the bits of soot and carbon, you're likely to have some PAH''s there".

Barbecues provide the perfect conditions for these chemicals to form. First, high temperatures. The chemicals form as the food chars. Secondly, the fat dripping on to the embers burnt produces more of them and thirdly, the smoke, full of PAHs that coats the food during the cooking process.

Experimental tests on three cooked beef steaks. The first was cooked on a standard coal barbecue. The second using wood chips, the third was marinated with beer before being cooked using coal. The PAH was extracted from the three steaks. Under UV light the extracts become fluorescent. The whiter the tube, the higher the level of chemicals. As you can see, (image left), the meat which had been cooked with the marinated beer reduced the PAHs significantly.




How to cook meat with confidence. Don't char the meat too much. Smoke and flames are bad. Using a marinade protects the meat from the smoke. Beer works very well. Wood chips soak up the fat but ideally, use a gas barbecue and control the temperature.

Why is OK to eat a rare steak and not a rare burger? .That's down to where the bacteria lurks. They are generally on the outside of the meat so the 'searing' of the steak kills the bacteria and the inside is fine. The problem with processed meats like burgers is the meat has been minced together prior to cooking so all the bacteria has been distributed throughout the whole burger, so cook burgers and other processed meats like sausages thoroughly.

How much red and processed meat should we be eating? The UK government currently recommends we eat no more than 70 grams a day of either processed meat or fresh red meats like lamb, beef and pork. This is based on giving us the maximum nutritional benefit while limiting the risk of bowel cancer. There is no current limit for white meat (chicken / Turkey) consumption.

What is it about 'meat' that cause heart problems?. Andy Salter from the Nottingham University. explained, "meat is rich in saturated fat and a high saturated fat diet increases your cholesterol and is probably the major factor for having a heart attack and stroke". Tests performed on individuals showed that reducing your meat intake reduced their saturated intake and decreased their bad cholesterol. He concluded by saying "If you can consistently reduce meat intake over the years, then it will have an impact. The older you get the more meat to reduce which will make a health difference".

Every year in the UK we consume two and a half million Cows. 11 million pigs, 15 million Sheep and Lambs.

Meat - good or bad fats? One steak contains the three main classes of fats in different proportions.  1. Saturated fat which is solid at room temperature and is the fat which will raise your cholesterol. 2. mono-unsaturated fat which is the same fat as in olive oil and rape seed oil and is relatively healthy for you. 3. The polyunsaturated fat which is the really healthy fat to help reduce cholesterol levels.  Unfortunately, the good fats meat contains outweigh the benefits of the bad fats.

What happens to the body when you eat red meat?  A study performed by Toru Suzuki. Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine - Leicester University showed that when meat is broken down by digestion certain types of bacteria in our gut produce a harmful substance called Trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO). It's believed to contribute to the hardening of the arteries. The professor has found that "the gut bacteria of vegans do not produce TMAO, It's only found in meat eaters. If anyone has a heart condition, cutting down on red meat would help". Red meat consumption. An overview of the risks.

At Sterling University, Nutritionist Doctor Laura Eating "eating white meats (Chicken & Turkey) are low in fats and saturated fats and is a healthier lean meat to eat. For a low-fat diet, eat the breast, not thigh and remove the skin". My studies have shown that 'poaching' white meat such as a Chicken breast is healthier and safer than roasting or frying a Chicken piece.

What are the benefits of eating meat and what does meat do for us nutritionally?  Nutritionist expert Sue Byche explained - "All the good nutrients present in one piece of steak are  zinc, selenium, potassium,  vitamin D, proteins and mono-unsaturated fat"

How can I replace the nutrients found in meat?. A one oz ounce steak is the equivalent of eating seven eggs for the same equivalent of protein - one egg would match the vitamin D. A handful of Brazil Nuts or soya mince for the protein. Brazil nuts for the selenium for a healthy immune system. A bag of spinach for the Iron. One kilo of prawns for the zinc needed for energy and growth. Two - three bananas to get the potassium, and a whole bag of spinach to get all the.Iron required for red blood cells. Note: The iron in spinach is not easily absorbed by the body as the iron from meat, so added vitamin C (fruit - berries) helps.

An alternative and healthier choice to make. Offal is the most nutritional part of an animal. Heart, Kidneys and Liver are high in protein, low in saturated fats and packed with vitamin and minerals. Iron, copper, magnesium, selenium and Vitamins A, B. B12. D & E, and is a very tasty, healthy, and cheap meal. - If you do decide to continue eating meats, Eat less. Eat a better quality butchers prime cut meat preferably organic and wild game, and chewing thoroughly will help the body to digest much easier.  Nutritionist and Offal expert Carroll Lynch says consuming high doses of offal can actually be quite toxic, so the general advice is, not to have it more than once a week. .


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My organic Chicken liver recipe/technique.. Add a touch of your preferred cooking oil in a titanium or ceramic 'white' pan. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook 'one-side' at a low temperature until cooked through. Then move the liver to the other half of pan, and cook the other side in 'fresh' oil. Add red onions to compliment. This eliminates the soot and carbon. That's it. Simple, healthy and delicious.


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1 comment:

TOWP said...

I'd only eat meat rare, if I reared / farmed the animal myself, or I knew someone personally who had.
I'd never eat meat rare that's had a skewer or metal pin inserted in to it.

I never swallow the delicious fats on some meats, although I do give it a chew before spitting it out.