Misleading information on red meat nutrition

As part of my health insurance through working at a Nebraska state government agency, I had to participate in a biometric screening to take my pulse, height, weight, blood pressure…yada yada. It took about 10 minutes out of my day and really wasn’t a big deal….until I had to wait to get my results and watched the film that was playing in the waiting room.

The lady started talking about nutrition and what foods were good for you. Then she said, “It’s healthier to eat less saturated fats (animal fats)” and had animal fats in parenthesis. I kind of looked around and no one really looked annoyed or probably weren’t even paying attention. I’m sure I looked annoyed! Mostly for the fact that not all saturated fats come from animal fats!

My co-worker noticed the same statement and even mentioned it to the nurse who didn’t seem to care. Thus, he drafted a letter to the state department expressing our concern of this misinformation.

Here is some information about nutrition in beef and pork. It’s important to know with meat consumption that there are several nutritional benefits of eating red meat. I learned the following information from completing the Master of Beef Advocacy program:

  • Beef is a naturally nutrient rich food and provides your body with many essential nutrients.
  • There are 29 cuts of beef that meet government guidelines for lean or extra lean. (Yes, government guidelines…and it was the government that was telling us to eat less meat!)
  • Of the nutrients available in beef, 98% of them are fully usable and digestible by the body.
  • A 3-ounce serving of lean beef contributes less than 10% of calories to a 2,000-calorie diet, yet it supplies more than 10 percent of the RDAs for protein, iron, zinc, niacin, Vitamins B6 and B12.
  • Beef is the third leading source of iron (behind fortified grains and cereals) and the best source of heme iron – the most absorbable type of iron.
  • Half of the fat in beef is monounsaturated – the heart healthy kind just like in olive oil – and a quarter of the remaining fat is stearic acid – which has no effect on cholesterol levels.

Studies show that when meat is part of the diet, overall diet quality improves because people meet more of their nutritional requirements. Eating pork also has great nutritional qualities.

  • Six common cuts of pork have, on average, 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat than 15 years ago.
  • Pork tenderloin contains only 2.98 grams of fat per 3-ounce cooked serving, the same fat content as a comparable serving of skinless chicken breast.
  • A 3-ounce serving of pork tenderloin is an “excellent” source of protein, thiamin, vitamin B6, phosphorus and niacin and a “good” source of riboflavin, potassium and zinc.
  • When consumed as part of a 2,000-calorie diet, a serving of pork tenderloin represents only 5% of the DV for saturated fat, 4.5% of the DV for total fat and 21% of the DV for cholesterol.

Please share this information with your anyone who is professing you should eat less meat for nutritional reasons!

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