America is a meat-and-potatoes country. Yet, we hate on potatoes more than the meat. When it comes to weight loss or healthy eating, have you noticed that people are so quick to eliminate carbs but so resistant to reduce their meat intake? Meat is celebrated for its protein content and all the supposed advantages. I call bullshit here: meat is no better or worse than carbs. Plus, demonizing of any food is pretty darn silly.
So let’s take the arguments against grains and apply them to red meat:
Carbs red meat makes me gain weight.
- Excess ANYTHING can contribute to weight gain. It doesn’t matter what it is: extra protein, carbs, or fat. Truthfully, large portions of red meat are hard to escape. Eating more meat is actually celebrated! Most diets promote simple dishes like meat and veggies.
Argument #2: Carbs red meat is unhealthy.
- In October, the World Health Organization finally released a report that adds red and processed meats to a list of foods that may lead to cancer. Scary, right?
Argument #3: Carbs red meat is addictive.
- I once shared a 44-oz steak with a friend. Worst decision ever (although many would argue otherwise). Yet, it’s not uncommon. On average, Americans consume about 2.5-lbs. of meat each week. The recommended amount is just over 1-lb. each week.
The point isn’t to turn everyone into vegetarian or vegans. It’s to show how ridiculous it is to hate or fear carbs because the same arguments can be used against meat. We focus so much on food choices that we ignore the importance of healthy habits such as intuitive eating and variety.
Where do we go from here? Let’s start with adding whole fruits and vegetables. We’re trigger-happy to take things out of our diet, but so reluctant to incorporate small additions. Try it out. You’ll be surprised by what you will like and how these new foods will make you feel.
Happy New Year, friends!
Thomas Ngo, RD