There's a lot of conflicting information out there surrounding red meat. While some tout it as an essential source of iron, protein, zinc, and vitamin B12, others can't get past the alleged cancer risks associated with a diet rich in beef, lamb, pork, and the like. In fact, the World Health Organization called red meat a "probable carcinogenic" back in 2015.
So for the die-hard carnivores among us, how can you lower these risks and eat red meat in a way that is healthy? "A healthy diet can absolutely include moderate amounts of red meat," said Rachel Begun, a registered dietitian and nutritionist, to Fox News Lifestyle. "It's packed with protein (there are about 22 grams in a three-ounce portion), which plays a role in weight loss by inducing that feel-full sensation."
The key is to pay attention to portion sizes and learn how to select a healthy cut. The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating no more than 18 ounces of red meat per week, with a portion size clocking in around three to four ounces (about the size of a small iPhone). Unsurprisingly, restaurants are known to distort normal portion sizes, considering some serve up to 16 ounces in a typical dish.
When it comes to choosing the right cut, dietitian Robyn Kievit Kirkman suggests choosing a piece of meat with "round" or "loin" on the label in order to limit calories and fat. Always opt for organic grass-fed options when possible, as they have less fat and more antioxidants than grain-fed beef. And finally, try thinking of meat as "one ingredient in your dish rather than making it the star of your place," explains Begun. For example, try adding slices of beef to a dinner salad or a veggie stir-fry.
For more, read up on what happens to your body when you give up meat, and share your favorite healthy cut in the comments below!