In Sunday Leader
Cutting Down On Meat Means Cutting Down On Unhealthy Fat
By Dr Harold Gunatillake
The most damaging fats in meat are saturated fats, mainly found in animal products such as red meat. Trans-fat created by adding hydrogen is also found in cooked meat products.
You don’t have to cut down red meat totally and become a vegetarian, but consume meat in reduced quantities to cut the bad effects of eating meat.
Keep consuming meat to a minimum. Try to keep the total amount of meat in your diet to no more than fifteen percent of your total calories. Ten percent is even better.
Eat red meat only occasionally. Red meat is high in saturated fat, so eat it sparingly.
Reduce the portion size of meat in each meal. The portion should be able to fit in the palm of your hand. Trim the fat off of meat when you do eat it, and avoid eating the skin of the chicken. Use meat as a flavoring or a side, not the entrée. You can use a little bit of meat to add flavor or texture to your food, rather than using it as the main element.
Add beans and other plant-based protein sources to your meals.
Choose leaner meats, such as fish, chicken, or turkey. If possible, buy organic.
Avoid processed meats such as hotdogs, sausage, deli meats, and salami.
Fats in meat increase cancer risk
Studies have shown that eating red meat and saturated fats frequently, increases the chance of your getting cancer. The fat in animal foods can increase hormone levels in the blood, and the pesticides and hormones found in some of these foods may also fuel cancer growth. Animal foods are also devoid of fibre, and low-fibre diets are associated with a higher risk of cancer.
Saturated fats linked to heart disease
Eating saturated fat raises the cholesterol level in your blood and also your calorie intake is also increased.Eating foods with high cholesterol and low saturated fat like eggs do not raise the cholesterol level in the blood.
Eating food with high saturated fat like meat raises the cholesterol level in the blood, because the liver converts the saturated fat into cholesterol.
Saturated fats occur naturally in many foods. The majority come mainly from animal sources, including meat and dairy products.The American Heart Association recommends consuming 5% to 6% of calories from saturated fat. That means, for example, if you need about 2,000 calories a day, no more than 120 of them should come from saturated fats. That’s about 13 grams of saturated fats a day.
Some researchers hold the view that saturated fats do not cause heart disease, although most in the mainstream medical communities hold that saturated fat is a risk factor for CVD, some hold contrary beliefs
Fats that decrease cancer risk
The best fats are unsaturated fats, which come from plant sources and are liquid at room temperature. Primary sources include olive oil, canola oil, nuts, and avocados. Also focus on omega-3 fatty acids, which fight inflammation and support brain and heart health. Good sources include salmon, tuna, and flaxseeds.
Coconut fat though saturated is quite safe and healthy.
Limit fast food, fried foods, and packaged foods, which tend to be high in Trans fats. This includes foods like potato chips, cookies, crackers, French fries, and doughnuts.Eat fish more often than red meat It is wise to eat a balanced diet with low meat consumption like in the Mediterranean type of diet.