You’ve all been to those dinner parties in which the meats have been divided between the white and red meats. Or you’ve been to your local heart doctor at South Denver Cardiology or somewhere else in which you were instructed to cut down on the red meat. But why are doctors and health-conscious families so obsessed with this notion? Is red meat really so bad? Your favorite heart doctor at South Denver Cardiology is here to explain the reason for dividing red and white meats.
First of all, it’s important to understand what is classified as red vs. white. After all, a meat may look white or red, but that wouldn’t necessarily mean it falls under that category. The reasoning for the terms is because the majority of meats that fall under white meats are lighter in coloration, and the majority of meats that fall under red meats are darker. But there is some strange overlap. Take pork for instance, which is often considered a red meat despite looking particularly white after it’s cooked. On the other hand, there is salmon, which is typically red but is considered a very healthy white meat. According to nutritionists, the divide is as such: Any meat that comes from a mammal is a red meat, while all seafood is considered white. The divide is more blurred among poultry since all birds can contain both whiter and darker meat.
So what’s the nutritional difference? The answer is saturated fat content. White meats are typically leaner meats, which mean their saturated fat content is relatively low for a meat product. Red meats, which typically are fat-intensive, contain significant portions of saturated fat. Remember, saturated fat is a less than ideal fat as it raises both LDL and HDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol is the plaque that clogs up your arteries making you more susceptible to heart disease. You want that to be as low as possible, so eating something frequently that will significantly raise your LDL each time is not a good thing.
But that doesn’t mean that red meats are all bad. As Socrates once said: Everything in moderation. If your heart is in good health, it can be good if not beneficial to delve into the darker meats every once in a while. Meats from mammals typically consist of high portions of iron, creatine, zinc, phosphorous, B-12 vitamins, and lipoic acid, all necessary for a healthy lifestyle. But all of these nutrients are fat-soluble, which means a single serving can give you more than enough for days. So while eating red meat every once in a while (if your heart is healthy) is ok, eating it rapaciously can be a severe heart risk.
How To Use This Information
While red meat may taste as good as it does, it is a luxury that should be enjoyed sparingly, rather than a major staple of your diet. There are many white meats out there, so consider looking into them, and protect your heart today. To get your heart tested to see if you should cut down on the red meat, schedule an appointment with one of our heart doctors at South Denver Cardiology on our website, or call 303-744-1065