Before we discuss the side effect of red meat, some important things to note are:

There’s no food that is entirely bad on its own. How you eat it as well the quantity you consume determines how it can affect.

The meat from now isn’t exactly the meat that always existed. Previously, cattle were fed grass and organic, natural foods. Now cattle are raised systematically and are exposed to chemicals so the quality of meat isn’t exactly as great as it used to be.

Now that we know these, here are some side effects:
● Iron overload
You should be familiar with the popular saying “too much of everything is not good”. In the consumption of meat, this saying applies. While animal sources such as meat are the best sources of iron, they can cause a problem when they are over consumed. A deficiency in the amount of iron consumed is bad, but an overconsumption of iron is also bad. It can cause a condition called hemochromatosis

● Red Meat and Infertility

Research has shown that red meat may play a role in infertility. They play a role that may impact embryo development and blastocyst formation. You’re probably considering that the iron source that is easily absorbed by the body is lost but in fertility, non heme iron and iron supplements may reduce the risk associated with ovulatory infertility.

The major culprit in red meat that affects fertility is the presence of saturated fats. Saturated fats which are present in red meat negatively affect fertility. This does not only apply to women as saturated fats present in red meat can cause lower semen concentration in males. A suitable alternative to red meats is salmon which doesn’t only serve as a great iron source, but also as a great source of omega 3 which plays an important role in fertility.

● Red Meat and Cardiovascular Disease
A link has been discovered between red meat and the risk of cardiovascular disease. It has
been found out that people who ate two servings per week of red meat or processed meat had a 3% to 7% higher risk (respectively) of cardiovascular disease, including heart attack and stroke, and a 3% higher risk of death from all causes. This is also due to the concentration of saturated fats present in red meat that raises cholesterol levels which in turn may cause heart disease.
In conclusion, as bad as you think red meat is, they are not the only foods that contain saturated fats. Packaged, processed, and fried foods tend to contain the most saturated fats. It is then generally healthier to avoid these foods and choose healthier alternatives. Don’t just think about food, think healthy food.


Article written by Oluwatoyosi Alajoke Ogunsola, a registered nutritionist and nutrition educator.

Edited by Sophia Jerome

You can also read the part 1 of this article


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