Thursday, November 05, 2015

Eat meat safely....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 11-5-2015

Just recently the information that a high intake of processed meats including bacon can cause health problems showed up again in the news.

The initial one said that eating lots of processed meats as in every day boosted heart disease risk.

The current one said eating lots of processed meats as in every day boosted the risk of colon cancer.

But eating meat with its high protein is helpful with fat loss or keeping off excess fat because your body will let you get away with fewer calories when you get plenty of protein AND you get less hungry besides.

AND, it’s also easier to lose all fat when you are doing that and no muscle or less muscle if in addition to strength training to eat plenty of protein.

Meats like bacon and sausage and pepperoni taste good enough that eating plenty of protein is easier to sustain long term.

So, Last week we posted on how to eat bacon and get those benefits without the health harms.

NOTE though that this more recent news was that while the first research said foods like bacon were more likely to do you harm, this one said that other kinds of meat were almost as risky to eat as the processed meats.

And, just since last week I got a health information email pointing out that almost all meats you are likely to get at a supermarket contain a likely carcinogen too!

To put it bluntly, there are several ways the all meats you are likely to get at a supermarket are likely to harm you and cause cancer in particular.

Though this next reason may change soon, the factory farms where this meat is raised overcrowd their animals and underclean the resulting mess.  When they found that animals raised this way put on weight better when they routinely fed them antibiotics they did so.

But this has resulted in bacteria that are dangerously resistant to antibiotics.  So if you eat such meat and poultry, your gut likely has these bacteria if you eat these foods.

The reasons meat and poultry from factory farms are likely to cause cancer is from what they are fed.  Instead of their natural foods such as many kinds of grasses for cattle and where the animals move freely, the animals are fed grains such as corn or soy instead and are often penned up to help make them fatter and heavier.

This means that the fat on these animals is very high in omega 6 oils from the grains they eat.

This causes chronic high inflammation in people who eat this fat which you do if you don’t take steps to remove most of it before you eat the meat or poultry.

High chronic inflammation helps cause cancer.  (See the book, Anticancer for a more detailed description of this.)  But what makes this scary is that high chronic inflammation also helps cause heart disease and osteoarthritis and Alzheimer’s disease.)

These grains are heavily sprayed with pesticides and herbicide and the animals that eat them then bioconcentrate them in their fat!

(The new information I got recently is that since most of these grains are GMO, they contain glyphosate also which is now considered a carcinogen..)

So even if the meat part is OK or close to it, the fat from factory fed animals is probably NOT.

So getting lean cuts of meat and skinless poultry and using cooking techniques that remove most of the remaining fat and adding olive oil to replace it can minimize this effect.

(We once got a large ham for Christmas from my wife’s employer and I literally removed most of the fat in something like six stages before we ate any.  We started with something like 14 pounds of ham and wound up with something like two pounds of actual meat!

It was labor intensive.  The first day, I cut off and discarded all the visible fat. I did that and then took what was left and did it a second time.  Then I took what was left and did it a third time.

Then I boiled what was left; let it cool and then refrigerated it overnight.  Then I skimmed off the fat layer at the top; poured the water through a sieve and only removed the meat and discarded the bits of fat.

Then I did that two or three more days!  Finally what I had left was ninety percent of the actual meat and something like 5 % of the initial fat!

Buying skinless and boneless chicken breasts is a LOT easier!)

Oddly, eating super low fat meat and poultry was once though a good idea to reduce the intake of saturated fat.  The saturated fat from animals fed their natural diets it turns out is OK to eat in moderation.  These other things are NOT.

A.  For factory farmed meat and poultry:

I.  So the first three things to do to eat meat and poultry from factor farms without harm are these:

a) Slash the fat and only eat the meat or poultry with as little fat as possible.

 b) Eat them once or twice a month instead of two or three times a day.

c) And, cook them at low temperatures to avoid causing the herbicides and pesticides in them to interact with the rest of the food.

II. The alternative is to only get meat or poultry if it’s naturally fed.  There are now enough other health OK protein sources and naturally fed meats, this is the one I recommend.

100 % grass fed beef and 100% grass fed lamb is available now.  Eggs from pasture fed chickens are available now.  Soon poultry from pasture fed chickens and turkeys not routinely given antibiotics may be eventually be available as well as ham and bacon from pigs that are only naturally fed.

Such foods cost more; but since the factory farmed version is so bad for you, you can actually wind up saving money by going from eating meat two or three times a day to once or twice a month.

The really nice thing about the naturally fed versions is you can safely eat the fat!

B.  Other ways to get enough protein including some meat and poultry and avoid cancer, etc!

There are abundant other sources of high quality protein besides factory farmed meat that you can eat the rest of the time.  (This repeats much of the information from last week but is included here in case you only are seeing this post.)

Getting protein from whey from grass fed cows – Jarrow sells it -- and cheese from cows fed only grass and from wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils and from whole eggs from hens fed only their natural diet on pasture and from beans and lentils and organic vegetables, you can eat a high protein diet the rest of the time with far less risk.

And there are even more ways to make eating meat and poultry safer.

C.  Here’s a list:

1.  Most factory farmed meat and poultry in stores today is from cattle chickens and turkeys fed corn and soy instead of their natural diet so the fat is high in omega 6 oils which are relatively fragile and produce cancer causing and extra oxidized breakdown products when heated on a high setting.

So, cook them by boiling them or using a slow cooker etc. 

(Since super lean meat and meat from grass fed cows is much tougher than the fatty factory farmed version, it also helps to used one of the two multi-needle style tenderizers before cooking.  Chef Narsai David on his cooking broadcast raved about how well the one he used worked.  Look up the one by Butchers Kitchen and the one by Jaccard.  From the Amazon reviews I once saw they both seem to work well.)

3.  Onions have anti-cancer effects.  So if you eat some sautéed onion slices with factory farmed meat or poultry that helps. Minced garlic also works and is even heart healthy. You can add that in a salad or put it directly on the meat or poultry.

4.  If you also take steps to prevent heart disease such as never drinking soft drinks, staying away 100 % of the time from tobacco smoke, never eating high fructose corn sryup, never eating wheat, and never eating ANY hydrogenated oils, you can eat more meat and poultry without causing heart disease.

It also helps to take curcumin and DHA and omega 3 for their heart protective effects and exercise regularly.

5.  If you do those things – particularly staying away 100 % of the time from tobacco smoke --and taking curcumin AND add drinking green tea and or taking green tea extract and other anticancer supplements, you can eat more factory farmed meat and poultry without causing cancer.

So between the strategies it IS possible to continue to eat factory farmed meat and poultry and avoid heart disease and avoid cancer anyway!

That said, it’s even safer to only eat meat and poultry from naturally fed animals NOT raised on factory farms and NOT routinely given antibiotics.  

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