While most people love to eat a nice, juicy steak or hamburger now and then, studies increasingly show the importance of cutting down on red meat in favor of a diet rich in vegetables, nuts and fish. The excessive consumption of red meat (eating it twice per day or more) has been linked on numerous occasions to a 30% or more increased risk of heart disease when compared to people with low red meat intakes in their diets. 

fish market

Types of red meat include beef, lamb, venison, and bison. While these meats are rich in certain healthy elements, such as iron, vitamins B and E, and protein, the negative health effects of the excessive fat, high levels of Omega 6 fatty acids, and LDL cholesterol render red meat in sum more harmful than healthful. In contrast, a diet high in vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and fish provides an individual with complex proteins, complete vitamins, heart-healthy Omega 3 fatty acids, and an overall better chance of avoiding common ailments and thus living longer. Those that practice this type of diet, such as people from Japan, India, and the Mediterranean generally exhibit much lower rates of heart disease and cancer than those found in other cultures, and tend to lead longer lives.

However, health experts acknowledge that kicking the red meat habit is easier said than done. In countries such as the U.S., eating large portions of red meat on a daily basis is traditional for many families. The good news is that, as with any other culinary vice, red meat does not have to be given up altogether. For example, an increasingly varied and delicious range of red meat substitutes can be found made of tofu, tempeh, and other nutritious substances that possess a similar flavor to red meat. These options are not only more nutritious, but also much more environmentally responsible than red meat or even fish alternatives (as many fish populations are endangered or on the brink due to over-fishing). In addition, limiting consumption of red meat to a few times per week and, even more importantly, controlling portion size and pairing portions with heart-healthy sides can help put an individual’s health back on track while still allowing for the enjoyment of red meat in moderation.

Some recipes ideas: 

Tea Smoke Salmon with Seaweed Yoghurt Sauce

Italian Seafood Soup Recipe - Zuppa Di Pesce

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