There’s a lot of misinformation online about the advantages and disadvantages of eating beef, and the lack of clear answers has led many people to ask the question, is beef bad for you? When the labels you find in the grocery store aren’t 100% reliable, and the internet gives you countless contradictory messages, how can you separate the meat myths from the actual truth?
The Augustus Ranch family has been raising cattle and producing high-quality meat products for five generations, so we’re no strangers to the age-old “is beef bad for you?” debate. Our experience has given us insight into the truth behind some of the industry’s more widespread meat myths.
Myth #1: Red Meat is Inherently Bad For You
For years, public health officials claimed that eating red meat (and processed meat) was linked to heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. Information like this used to be a foundational part of dietary guidelines across the country, but is it correct?
The short answer is no. The evidence to back these claims is weak, the correlations are low, and many studies have not been honest in how they evaluate people’s lifestyles. This points to the more convincing alternative that the other things in the modern American diet cause problems, mainly highly processed foods containing sugar and industrial seed oils. Chris Kresser, a functional medicine practitioner and health expert, debunks many of these claims in this article.
Additionally, in late 2019, the New York Times reported that an “international collaboration of researchers produced a series of analyses concluding that” the advice to avoid red meat was, quite simply, “not backed by good scientific evidence.” So, the next time someone asks you, “is beef bad for you?” feel free to share this with them!
Myth #2: Historically, People Did Not Eat Much Meat
We’ve only recently begun eating larger quantities of meat, right? Before that, the diet was more varied, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Meat has been a substantial staple of the human diet, even for the poor, going back centuries. In fact, vegetables were likely rare and not plentifully available like we see in stores today. While red meat consumption as a whole has been on the decline, chronic degenerative disease has been on the incline. In this Atlantic article, Nina Teicholz discusses the meat-eating habits of our ancestors going back 250 years.
Unfortunately, opportunistic business people and corporations created convincing arguments that led the American people to reduce meat consumption and replace it with cheap, highly processed industrial foods like Crisco and refined grain products. Steak for breakfast is, in fact, a much healthier alternative to cereal. The former is food; the latter is a food-like substance that leaves you hungry.
Myth #3: There Are No Health Benefits of Eating Beef
We’ve answered the question “is beef bad for you,” but can beef and other meats actually be good for you? Are there benefits of eating meat that go beyond the protein content it can provide? For years, red meat’s health qualities have been questioned and largely ignored, but that isn’t the real story.
While a diet that consists solely of meat might not be the most interesting, it’s a better option than one filled with cheaply made, processed foods devoid of nutrient density, which will likely lead to over-eating and a general lack of satiety. Eating beef means getting a regular intake of things like:
Amino acids like L-carnitine (involved in fat metabolism) and carnosine (which has anti-glycosylation properties and can help boost your immune system)
Powerful antioxidants like glutathione
Essential minerals like iron, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc
A range of B vitamins (B12, B3, B6, and others)
Creatine, which helps aid muscle growth and development and can improve exercise performance
If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits found from enjoying ranch-raised and grass-fed beef, get in touch with Augustus Ranch! We have an extensive catalog of chicken, beef, pork, and meat subscription offers to choose from, and we would love to help you take your next steak dinner to a whole new level!