Beef: all the health benefits of this red meat

Beef: all the health benefits of this red meat

What are the properties of beef?

Beef has many nutritional qualities:

  • A source of iron
  • proteins

The nutritional values ​​of beef

Benefits: why eat beef? Is red meat good for health?

The National Nutrition and Health Program recommends limiting meat consumption and favoring poultry. 500 grams of meat (excluding poultry) per week corresponds to 3 or 4 steaks. “Prefer poultry such as skinless chicken, poultry cutlets… It is less fatty than other meats. If you eat other meats, also favor the least fatty cuts: veal cutlet, lean pork tenderloin, flank steak, minced steak with 5% fat…”, underlines the site Manger Bouger. An easy tip, the recommended portion is the amount of cooked meat the size of the palm of your hand.

Unsurprisingly beef is very rich in heme iron, the latter is present exclusively in foods of animal origin because it is associated with proteins such as hemoglobin. Why eat foods that are sources of iron? In the human body, iron is necessary for the transport and use of oxygen by red blood cells, as well as for the functioning of certain enzymes. “The balance between iron intake and iron loss is generally well regulated in healthy people. Indeed, there is an effective recycling of iron from red blood cells. A regular iron intake also helps maintain iron status. balanced iron”, details ANSES.

Before completing: “There are also some reserves in the liver, spleen and bone marrow that can be mobilized by the body to meet the increased needs in certain physiological situations such as pregnancy or growth. “.

Beef is an interesting source of protein of animal origin. In the human body, they play several essential roles. In fact, they have a structural function and “participate in the renewal of muscle tissue, appendages (hair, nails, body hair), bone matrix, skin, etc.”, underlines ANSES. And to add that proteins are also involved in many physiological processes, for example in the form of digestive enzymes, hemoglobin, hormones, receptors or immunoglobulins (antibodies). For example, a portion of 100 grams of meat covers 30% of the necessary daily protein intake.

Another advantage of red meat, it provides vitamin B12 to the body. Also called cobalamin, vitamin B12 is involved in the metabolism of propionate and vitamin B9. Vitamin B12 deficiency is more often noticed in people who follow a vegan diet because it is brought in by eggs but poorly absorbed, meat, dairy products, organ meats, etc. In the majority of cases, vitamin B12 deficiency results in anemia and is accompanied by “symptoms related to impaired oxygen transport, such as fatigue or dyspnoea”.

But, ANSES also reports other consequences of such a deficiency: “A vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to neurological damage with progressive demyelination in the brain and spinal cord, which is accompanied by motor disorders. and sensitivity. These attacks can also be associated with neuronal dysfunctions at the origin of certain mental disorders: irritability, memory and mood disorders”. Among group B vitaminsred meat also contains vitamin B2, B3 and B6.

This meat also brings antioxidant minerals such as copper and magnesium. As ANSES points out, in adulthood, the human body contains approximately 25 grams of magnesium, of which approximately 50 to 60% is located in the bones and 25% in the muscles. What is it used for ? Magnesium is involved in “energy production and reactions involving ATP (adenosine triphosphate), especially in the intermediate metabolisms of carbohydrates, lipids, nucleic acids and proteins”. It is also essential for the “maintenance of cell membrane potential, ion transport, regulation of potassium flow”. In addition, magnesium is involved in calcium metabolism.

It is also an excellent source of zinc, this essential trace element is involved in many cellular functions. It is involved in the activity of nearly 300 enzymes and that of more than 2500 transcription factors underlines the Health Agency.

Is beef a fatty meat? Why not eat too much beef?

Like pork and lamb, beef belongs to fatty meats. Obviously, everything depends on the part consumed. A rib of beef will be particularly fatty while a beef shank counts 161 calories for a portion of 100 grams. As part of a healthy and balanced diet, a portion of beef finds its place accompanied by vegetables.

For people who have cholesterol, red meats should be limited. They actually contain more saturated fat. This composition promotes the formation of atheroma plaques causing cardiovascular accidents. Consumed in excessive quantities, red meat can therefore harm the cardiovascular system.

Some recent studies point to the harmful effects of excessive consumption of red meat and, in particular, its possible role in the appearance of breast cancer, prostate cancer, etc. In 2021, a study published in the journal Nature Microbiology highlighted that the presence of the compound trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), produced by certain intestinal bacteria, could increase the risk of cardiovascular problems.

How to consume this red meat?

On the cooking side, it is important to cook red meat while avoiding the formation of potentially carcinogenic compounds. For this, it is recommended not to char the meat and not to overcook on the grill. Pregnant women should favor “medium” cooking to limit the risk of poisoning.

To reduce the risk of proliferation of bacteriait is recommended to chop the meat yourself just before consumption and to always take care of the hygiene and good maintenance of the kitchen utensils.

Red meat is used in many popular recipes in France: carpaccio (with olive oil and parmesan), tartare, hamburgers, beef bourguignon, minced steak, prime rib, etc. . You can also prepare a homemade marinade with lemon juice, olive oil, spices, etc. Depending on taste, also add the herbs of your choice: honey, soy sauce, etc.

For lovers of offal, the tongue, heart and liver can also be eaten.

How to store red meat?

For cut meats, it is advisable to keep them in the refrigerator for a maximum of four days in the original paper. For minced meat, it must be consumed within 12 hours of purchase. Tripe products can be kept for 24 hours.

For red meat, there is different types of cooking. The beef can be blue (with a barely warm and very red interior), rare (with a slightly less red interior), medium (with a more pinkish interior) or well cooked with complete cooking and uniform.


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