Red meat is perhaps the most misunderstood food out there.

Red meat increases your cholesterol.”  “Red meat makes you gain weight.”  “Red meat is bad for your digestion.”  “I’m eating so bad this week. (ME: ‘what are you eating?’) Red meat.”  

Here’s the true facts about beef (and buffalo and lamb):

Quality Matters

Not all red meat is made the same.  Conventional feeding organizations (CFO), where most of the meat in the US is from, (98.5% of it to be exact) unfortunately, is not the same as the grass-fed beef from your local farmer’s market.  CFO cows are usually fed corn and soy, which makes the animal fatter, and, therefore, more toxic.  The vitamin content in the meat is less than it is from healthy cows.  Cows in nature, AKA healthy cows, eat grass.  The beef has more omega 3s and typically doesn’t have added chemicals like hormones and antibiotics that many CFOs use on their animals.

Find What Works For Your Body Type

Rather than blindly agreeing to the latest food documentary, book, or even what I say, try it yourself.  If you’re tired, anemic, or have “O” blood type, try incorporating a small amount of good quality red meat into your diet one or two times a week.  Pay attention to how you feel afterward.  

Some people do have food allergies, which may include beef.  If you feel terrible after eating it, you should seek the help of a clinical nutritionist who can direct you to other options for optimizing your diet, and possibly use NAET or food enzymes to improve your body’s reactions to food.  

If you feel energized after eating red meat, aim to eat beef, lamb, or buffalo 2 – 3 times a week.  3 – 6 ounces is plenty for one serving size, depending on your body-type and activity level.

MYTH:  Red Meat Is Not Digested Well

So will all the red meat pile up in your intestines a la John Wayne and Elvis Presley?  No; these are internet lies.    

In fact, if you have signs of “blood deficiency” (Chinese medicine talk for low B-12 or iron, which doesn’t always show up in blood testing), red meat will actually help your digestion!

Signs of blood deficiency include pale nail beds, pale tongue, or pale lips.  Women after childbirth are almost always blood deficient.  This is what leads to postpartum depression.  When your Liver becomes blood deficient, you are unhappy and tired.  You get dizzy easily and may develop eye weakness.  When your intestines are blood deficient, well, let’s just say it’s like trying to move a boat down a river that has no water.  

Red meat digests perfectly fine, but do aim to pair it with twice as many vegetables as meat:  leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, and a small portion of root vegetables with your red meat make a nice meal.

Contrary to what the vegan documentarists want you to believe, humans have evolved eating just that:  red meat and lots of animal dietary fats!  Our hearts work quite well eating this type of diet.

The Cholesterol / Fat Myth

You may ask, “Ok, then why did my cholesterol – LDL or triglycerides – go down when I stopped eating red meat?”

Yes, but what else did you stop eating then?  I’m willing to bet you also took out refined grains and sugars from your diet at the same time.  Most people do this when they “clean up their diet.”  

Dietary fats, like those found in red meat, do not make you fat!  They do not “give you cholesterol.”  Usually, weight gain is, similar to high cholesterol, from too many carbohydrates in the diet.  

Small portions of good quality meat ideal.  

Reducing the amount of sugars, natural and refined, and carbohydrates, in particular white processed grains, is something we should all aim for in our eating habits.  That, combined with a balance of healthy proteins that work for your body is a good foundation for health.  

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