If you want to lose weight and stay fit; if you want to live healthier and longer; you must pay attention to what you eat, and especially things like the meat you eat — the type of meat, the amount of meat, and the way you prepare the meat.
I won’t join all those internet arguments and academic debates of good meats versus bad meats, healthy meats versus unhealthy meats, red meats versus white meats, and so on. I will simply state some simple facts–facts you can apply; facts that will help you live long and strong.
TYPE OF MEATS
Based on the colors, there are two types of meats — white meats and red meats. White meats include meats like those of turkey, chicken, fish, duck, goose, quail, and (some would add) rabbit and pork. Red meats include meats from cows, goats, sheep, dogs, and so on. Truth is the list keeps changing — some meats might be called “red” today, here, and called “white” tomorrow, somewhere else. It’s confusing. Some insist on white meats alone; others point to the important nutrients in red meats. This is my take: Fish and chicken (and turkey) are the healthiest meats for you. Even though it is okay to eat other meats, like cow meat, sheep meat, and goat meat once in a while, it is better to emphasise more on fish and chicken as your primary sources of meats.
AMOUNT OF MEATS
It is a good health practice to eat meat in moderation. Eat for nourishment. Don’t eat too much of meats. Reduce the amount, and how frequent you eat meat. We may forgive growing children and menstruating females; but if you are above 35 years; if you are hypertensive or obese; if there’s a family history of heart disease, arthritis, cancer, or diabetes; if you want to lose weight; you MUST reduce the amount of meats you eat. A good piece of meat (or two pieces) per day is good enough. Don’t be greedy! Share!
HOW TO PREPARE
I don’t have much to say about this. Boneless and skinless meats are the best. Remove as much fat as possible before and after cooking. If you could do without frying, please do. Fried meats might taste better but they are not very healthy. Roasting and smoking are other bad ways to prepare meats for eating and storage. But, you see these are not rules written on tablets of stones; the point is to know what is healthier and emphasise on them. Eating fried and roasted meats shouldn’t be a habit; it should be a once-in-a-while thing.
Fortunately, Sallah and Easter celebrations are not everyday. So, eating fried beef won’t be too frequent. Indulge yourself these seasons. But, don’t make a habit of it. [I hope you got the message].
Dr. ‘Malik Haruna King