Harmful Effects Of Eating Red Meat

1356 words - 6 pages

Roughly over 20% of 121,000 middle-aged men and women died over a period of 28 years during a study of red meat effects on the body (Harding). Beef, pork, lamb, mutton, and veal are all red meats. While these meats are rich in vitamins and protein, they can lose much of their benefits through cooking and processing. Limiting how much red meat an individual eats could add years to their life by avoiding heart disease, certain cancers, and diabetes. By simply replacing one meal weekly, that consists of red meat, for a meal that is poultry, fish, nuts, or vegetable based could reduce the risk of dying in middle aged years by 7 to 9% (Harding).

There are many different types of nutrients in red meat that usually work together to make the body healthy. Too much of certain nutrients can cause more harm to the body than good. The following vitamins are found in red meat:

· Vitamin A

· Vitamin B1

· Vitamin B2

· Vitamin B3

· Vitamin B4

· Vitamin B4

· Vitamin B5

· Vitamin B6

· Vitamin B12

· Vitamin D

Vitamin A and B1 through B6, which are found in most red meats, can cause harmful effects in the body. Vitamin A helps the development of healthy skin, bones, and eyes. If too much vitamin A is ingested, there is an increased risk of liver cancer and high cholesterol. Vitamins B1 through B6 helps the body produce energy and maintain heart health. However, an over abundance of these vitamins can cause high numbers of red blood cells and anemia. Vitamin B12 also helps with energy; however, when too much is ingested in the body an individual can develop a rare eye disease that causes blindness and severe amounts of blood clots throughout the body. Vitamin D is the last vitamin that red meat provides. Overconsumption of vitamin D can cause increased levels of calcium in the blood; which can cause nausea, loss of appetite, and weakness.

Red meat doesn’t just provide vitamins, it also provides various minerals. Much like vitamins, when too many minerals are ingested, complications can arise. Iron and zinc are two of the many minerals red meat contains. When too much iron is inside the body, severe stomach pains arise and higher is the occurrence of hematemesis;vomiting of blood. Large amounts of zinc can cause copper levels in blood to lower. Low copper levels can create low white blood cell levels, making the body more susceptible to infections.

Most red meats are high in saturated fat, which causes a variety of cardiovascular diseases. Beef, pork, lamb, and mutton are all known sources of red meat which cause diseases such as atherosclerosis, which is hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol (Roizen). While the high amounts of fat are only part of the problem, most of the problems dealing with red meat are from a compound called carnitine. Increased exposure to carnitine affects the stomach and the intestines by adjusting the...

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