To build muscle mass we need to consume protein. Our muscles can only grow and expand when they receive enough protein.
However, protein cannot be stored in the body and any excess protein will simply be flushed out of our system. So we should eat at least 2 servings of protein a day in order for our muscles to benefit.
Protein comes from a wide variety of foods and despite popular myths; we do not need to eat chicken breast on the hour, every hour, in order to consume enough protein for proper muscle growth.
An even better source of protein than chicken can be found in red meat – especially steak, lamb, pork, burgers, sausages and bacon. These are all popular meats that are regularly consumed and enjoyed.
Too much of a Good Thing
Although protein-rich, there is a concern that consuming excessive amounts of red meat can lead to various health problems.
Red meat contains high levels of saturated fat and LDL cholesterol, and eating too much can potentially lead to cardiovascular disease.
There is also evidence that suggests a high intake of red meat can lead to an increased risk of colon cancer.
It is not surprising to know that people, who replaced red meat with fish and lean poultry, lowered their risk of developing cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.
A Healthier Way to Eat Red Meat
It is not necessary to eliminate red meat altogether from your diet, but it might be a good idea to eat less of it and choose the leanest cuts possible.
The way you prepare and eat red meat can also help to reduce the levels of saturated fat. Here are a few recommendations:
- Buy the leanest cut of meat possible.
- Trim off any visible fat from the meat before cooking it.
- Grill whenever possible. The fat will drip off into the pan and can be discarded.
- If you do fry, use just a little brush or spray of oil in a non-stick pan.
- Chop up red meat into strips and add it to vegetables or stir fry. This will make the meat go longer and you will use less. A beef stir-fry makes a delicious and healthy low-fat meal.
- Cut down on portion sizes and add plenty of vegetables or salads. This is especially important when eating out. You could even share a meat dish if it is a large portion.
Fresh is Best
Like most foods, fresh meat is better to eat than preserved and processed meats. These red, processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages, salami and gammon contain a lot of salt as well as being high in saturated fat.
Red meat is a delicious and rich source of protein that will benefit you in building muscle mass. But be aware of the potential dangers in eating too much of it.
Follow the tips above and you will reap the rewards.