Why is Red Meat Bad for You?
There are many different answers to this question, because there are many ways that red meat can be bad for you. However, red meat also has many nutritional values, such as high amounts of iron, vitamin B12, zinc, protein and many others. Ounce for ounce, red beef is one of the most nutrient rich foods.
The main way is to examine the increase in the risk of heart disease by eating red meat. This is a very clear answer; red meat contains higher proportions of saturated fat than other meats and foods, which generally have more unsaturated fats. Higher proportions of saturated fats are indeed provide a higher risk of heart and other cardiovascular diseases.
The reason lies in the structure of the molecules of fat. Saturated fats mean that the molecule has as many atoms of hydrogen as it possibly can ‘š it is saturate with hydrogen ‘š imagine a totally straight line. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, have fewer total atoms of hydrogen than it can accept, effectively unsaturated, because of double bonds between carbon atoms throughout the molecule. Think of a straight line, but add shape-changing kinks all along its surface, effectively making it not straight any more.
The straighter, non-kinked chains of carbon atoms of the saturated fats can line up together very easily, and stick quite close together, so at room temperature, they are solids. Unsaturated fats on the other hand, because of their kinks, cannot settle together easily, and thus are liquid at room temperature. This is the difference between butter and vegetable oil. Now let us transpose these into your cardiovascular system. Unsaturated fats cannot settle out in the bloodstreams. But because saturated fats can settle out, they will do so, creating plaques on the inside of arteries, which narrow the vessel, increasing blood pressure. These can also lead to blockages, which can cause heart attacks and strokes ‘š in short, cardiovascular disease.
There have been studies showing that higher levels of red meat consumption can lead to cancer, but there are few definite studies as the level of carcinogenicity also depends on the methods of cooking the meat. Saturated fat itself has also been linked to causing cancer.