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Why Is Meat Healthy?

by Lynne Sheldon

About Lynne Sheldon

Lynne Sheldon has over 12 years of dance experience, both in studios and performance groups. She is an avid runner and has studied several types of yoga. Sheldon now works as a freelance writer, editor and book reviewer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and art history from Boston University and recently completed her Master of Fine Arts in writing from Pacific University.


Meat might have a bad reputation, but it can have a place in a healthy diet as it is a good source of protein and other necessary nutrients. However, eating a large amount of meat can contribute to certain health conditions such as heart disease. Therefore, it is best to limit consumption, select lean sources and monitor your portions when you do consume it. Talk to your doctor about the most appropriate amount of meat in your diet.

Benefits of Meat

Meat is a good source of protein, which is an essential nutrient found in every cell of your body. Protein is needed for cell repair, as well as for normal growth and development. Meat is also a complete protein, which means it contains all of the essential amino acids you need. Additionally, meat is a good source of iron, which your body needs to regulate your red blood cells and carry oxygen to other cells. Not getting enough iron can result in anemia, and consuming lean red meat and poultry is a good way to prevent this.

Dangers of Too Much

While meat has its benefits, consuming too much has its drawbacks. A diet rich in meat might lead to the development of conditions such as high cholesterol and gout, and a diet rich in protein can put undue strain on your kidneys. While fatty cuts of meat might taste better, they can also contain a high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, which can lead to heart disease and obesity.

How to Incorporate It

You can make meat a part of a healthy diet by following a few simple rules. First, opt for lean cuts such as round, chuck, sirloin or tenderloin beef, or if you choose poultry, choose white breast meat without the skin. Always remove any visible fat from the meat or poultry before cooking it, then drain the fat after you cook it. You should also keep an eye on your serving sizes and not eat a portion larger than 3 ounces, which is the equivalent of half a skinless chicken breast or two thin slices of lean roast beef.

Additional Considerations

Going meatless can reduce your risk for heart disease and high cholesterol, according to the American Heart Association. You might try experimenting with pastas or other meatless dishes a few nights a week, or eat more fish and seafood instead of red meat or pork. If you are concerned about your intake of meat or need help designing a balanced diet, talk with your doctor or consult a licensed nutritionist for further assistance.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.