Health Benefits of Meat And Protein


It is an essential component of the diet because when it is digested it produces amino acids, which are the building blocks of cells and tissues; carbohydrates and fats cannot produce amino acids. Red meat is a good source of iron, in a form which is more easily available to the body than iron from other sources, such as vegetables. Fatty meat though can be higher in calories and also in saturated fat. Protein- rich foods also provide other important nutrients such as B vitamins, zinc and magnesium. Oily fish , such as mackerel, sardines and salmon, are a good source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, which are beneficial to heart health because they can help reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood, and may also protect against strokes.

Meat, Fish, and Proteins For Weight Loss

Like carbohydrates, proteins are also low in energy density, with 4 calories per gram. Protein is very satiating, which means it is a filling food and therefore a good choice for weight loss. Some people find that protein-rich foods, such as a lean steak or piece of fresh tuna, are more satisfying than carbohydrates and make a filling, tasty meal with plenty of green vegetables instead of potatoes or bread. Lean cuts of meat, game and offal are low in fat, and so is fish, with the exception of oily fish, which is relatively high in fat and calories. However, it is important to eat this once a week because it contains omega 3 essential fatty acids. Nuts and seeds, while rich in many vitamins, minerals and beneficial plant compounds, are high in calories. (For example, a 50g bag of salted peanuts has around 300 calories and 40g of fat, and it’s really easy to finish an entire bag).

Key Points

In order to enjoy meat, fish and protein foods in a weight loss diet, follow these simple guidelines:

* Remove all visible fat from meat and poultry before cooking, including poultry skin.

* Choose lower-fat versions of processed meats, such as sausages, bacon and burgers, and do not eat these every day.

* Avoid meat and fish dishes that are deep-fried, coated in breadcrumbs or in creamy sauces.

* Experiment with no-fat cooking methods for meat and fish such as braising, baking, grilling, poaching, barbecuing and steaming.

* Choose the leanest cuts of meat, including extra-lean mince.