Red meat is good for you, I’d steak my life on it
A controversial view on ‘bad’ foods
NUTRITION experts regularly warn us that fatty foods are bad for our health. But are they really?
While sausages, eggs, red meat and unskimmed milk have all been deemed potentially dangerous, award-winning food journalist and author Joanna Blythman believes that the opposite is true.
Here she says why.
FULL-FAT MILK (use daily): Blue-top cow’s milk usually contains around 3.7 to five per cent fat. Semi-skimmed and skimmed cow’s milk contains one to 1.5 per cent and 0.1 per cent fat respectively.
Unless you drink gallons, using lower-fat milk won’t make any great impact on your fat intake, and you’ll miss vitamins A, D, E and K skimmed off in the cream.
RED MEAT (eat two to three times a week): This provides protein to satisfy your appetite; B vitamins, which help brain function; iron, which helps prevent anaemia; and minerals, such as zinc and selenium that boost immunity and protect against cancer.
Government healthy-eating advice promotes poultry as it is lower in fat. But neither chicken nor turkey has the range of nutrients in red meat, and there’s no good evidence that fat in red meat is bad.
EGGS: (eat as many as you fancy): Eggs have been demonised because they contain cholesterol, which we’re told we should lower in our bodies. But cholesterol in egg yolks doesn’t affect the cholesterol levels in our blood. What’s more there’s no evidence that people who have high levels have worse health.
Actually, we need cholesterol for many physical processes, such as healing and making vitamin D.
NUTS (eat as many unsalted nuts as you like): People trying to lose weight have been told to avoid nuts because they are oily and clock up calories, but their mix of fat, protein and fibre means they keep blood sugar levels stable. Research suggests that eating them aids weight loss and stimulates the metabolism.
Nuts are rich in naturally occurring plant compounds thought to promote good health. Walnuts, for instance, have anti-cancer ellagic acid.
FULL-FAT YOGURT (eat daily): Being fermented, full-fat yoghurt contains live bacteria that are great for the gut and boost immunity.
There are lots of low-fat yogurt drinks that claim to be healthy, but often contain lots of sugar and/or sweeteners and additives. You’ll be healthier if you eat natural full-fat yogurt. Sweeten it with honey.
BUTTER (eat daily): Major studies have failed to find evidence that cutting your intake of natural saturated fats, such as butter, significantly reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer or weight gain. Butter is rich in short and medium-chain fatty acids that have anti-cancer properties.
Margarine and spreads are thoroughly unnatural and loaded with additives. We now know that old-style spreads with trans-fats caused heart disease. Why give the reformulated spreads a try?
SAUSAGES (eat fortnightly with lots of vegetables): Bangers make use of fatty cuts, but there is no good evidence to support the idea that saturated fat is harmful.
A main course of cheap, low-meat content sausages with heaps of stodgy mash potatoes and sugary ketchup, doesn’t have a lot to commend it nutritionally. But two sausages with a high meat content (65 per cent meat or more), with generous quantity of salads, cooked veg or beans and lentils, make a nutritious meal