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Protein, vitamin and mineral effect of consuming Meat

What is meat?

Meat is the flesh of animals that humans prepare and consume as food.

Different types

Types of meat are categorized by their animal source and how they are prepared.

Red meat

This comes from mammals and contains more of the iron-rich protein myoglobin in its tissue than white meat. Examples include:

* beef (cattle)

* pork (pigs and hogs)

* lamb

* veal (calves)

* goat

White meat

This is generally lighter in color than red meat and comes from birds and small game. Examples include:

* chicken

* turkey

* duck

* goose

* wild birds, such as quail and pheasant

Processed meat

Processed meat has been modified through salting, curing, smoking, drying, or other processes to preserve it or enhance flavor. Examples include:

* hot dogs

* sausage

* bacon

* luncheon meats, such as bologna, salami, and pastrami

Nutrients in meat

Calories 143% Daily Value

Total Fat 3.5 g 5%

Saturated fat 1.2 g 6%

Polyunsaturated fat 0.5 g

Monounsaturated fat 1.3 g

Trans fat 0 g

Cholesterol 73 mg 24%

Sodium 57 mg 2%

Potassium 421 mg 12%

Total Carbohydrate 0 g 0%

Dietary fiber 0 g 0%

Sugar 0 g

Protein 26 g 52%

Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%

Calcium 0% Iron 6%

Vitamin D 2% Vitamin B-6 35%

Cobalamin 10% Magnesium 7%

*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Lean meat is considered an excellent protein source. It contains about 25–30% protein by weight after cooking.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of cooked chicken breast contains about 31 grams of protein. The same serving of lean beef contains about 27 grams.

Animal protein is a complete protein, meaning it provides all nine essential amino acids.

A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of lean beef provides:

* Calories: 205

* Protein: About 27 grams

* Riboflavin: 15%

* Niacin: 24%

* Vitamin B6: 19%

* Vitamin B12: 158%

* Niacin: 24%

* Phosphorus: 19%

* Zinc: 68%

* Selenium: 36%

  The nutrient profiles of other muscle meats are similar, although they contain less zinc. Interestingly, pork is especially high in the vitamin thiamine. Pork chops provide 78% of the DV for thiamine per 5.5-ounce (157-gram) serving (4Trusted Source).

Liver and other organs are also high in vitamin A, vitamin B12, iron, and selenium. They're also an excellent source of choline, an important nutrient for brain, muscle, and liver health 

Importance of Meat and Poultry

Men are eating too much red meat, while children and women aren’t eating enough. What impact is this having on us?

This food group is highly regarded as being a rich source of protein, as well as being filled with an abundance of: iodine, zinc, iron, vitamin B12 and essential fatty acids. Red meats in particular are a wonderful source of iron, zinc and vitamin B12, and are easily absorbed by the body. Iron is a mineral that is very important during infancy, for menstruating women, adolescent girls, pregnant women, as well as endurance athletes. The iron that is found in animal sources is more readily absorbed by the body compared to plant foods. However, Vitamin C assists with the absorption of iron, so it should be eaten in conjunction with iron in order to maximise this absorbency potential.

This food group is an important aspect of the Australian culture and lifestyle, including a variety of different foods:

* Lean meats: beef, lamb, veal, pork, kangaroo, lean (lower salt) sausages

* Poultry: chicken, turkey, duck, emu, goose, bush birds * Fish and seafood: fish, prawns, crab, lobster, mussels, oysters, scallops, clams

* Eggs: chicken eggs, duck eggs

Nuts and seeds: almonds, pine nuts, walnut, macadamia, hazelnut, cashew, peanut, nut spreads, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, brazil nuts

* Legumes and beans: all beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas.

  It is important to keep in mind that foods from this group that have been smoked, preserved or salted contain higher levels of saturated fat, salt, and other chemical properties that may be result in an increase of health risks. Majority of these options, such as ham, bacon and salami are listed within the discretionary food group.

For both sexes, the quantity of the meats and poultry food group increases during periods of rapid growth and development (childhood and adolescence), as our bodies require increased levels of protein. However, as we get older, protein is still an important aspect of our diet, as it helps to maintain muscle mass and normal bodily functions.

Meat consumption role of meat in the diets

Meat consumption

Meat consumption is based largely on availability, price and tradition. Meat production is a very complex operation depending not only on demand (which is usually based on price and income) but on many social and economic influences such as official policy, price support mechanisms, and interrelations such as the interaction between beef and milk production, the availability of animal feedstuffs and competition for food between man and animals.

It is difficult to make accurate comparisons of meat consumption between countries because different methods are used to estimate consumption. Figures may be derived from total supplies available at wholesale level, or from records of household purchases, with or without estimates of what is consumed away from home; the estimate of waste, both in preparation of the food and by the individual adds to the uncertainty. Some national estimates fail to include imports, and some surveys include the weight of non-meat components of the products (for example the amount of meat in a product can range between 100% in some burgers to 10% in some pizzas). 

Meat as a source of vitamins and minerals

Meat and meat products are important sources of all the B-complex vitamins including thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, biotin, vitamins B6 and B12, pantothenic acid and folacin. The last two are especially abundant in liver which, together with certain other organs is rich in vitamin A and supplies appreciable amounts of vitamins D, E and K.

Meats are excellent sources of some of the minerals, such as iron, copper, zinc and manganese, and play an important role in the prevention of zinc deficiency, and particularly of iron deficiency which is widespread.

Meat Iron

The amount of iron absorbed from the diet depends on a variety of factors including its chemical form, the simultaneous presence of other food ingredients that can enhance or inhibit absorption, and various physiological factors of the individual including his/her iron status. Overall, in setting Recommended Daily Intakes of nutrients the proportion of iron absorbed from a mixed diet is usually taken as 10%.

Half of the iron in meat is present as haeme iron (in haemoglobin). This is well absorbed, about 15-35%, a figure that can be contrasted with other forms of iron, such as that from plant foods, at 1-10%.

Not only is the iron of meat well absorbed but it enhances the absorption of iron from other sources - e.g. the addition of meat to a legume/cereal diet can double the amount of iron absorbed and so contribute significantly to the prevention of anaemia, which is so widespread in developing countries.

Meat as a source of protein

Human Protein Requirements

Human requirements for protein have been thoroughly investigated over the years (FAD/WHO 1985) and are currently estimated to be 55 g per day for adult man and 45 g for woman. (There is a higher requirement in various disease states and conditions of stress).

These amounts refer to protein of what is termed "good quality" and highly digestible, otherwise the amount ingested must be increased proportionately to compensate for lower quality and lower digestibility.

Protein Quality

The quality of a protein is a measure of its ability to satisfy human requirements for the amino acids. All proteins, both dietary and tissue proteins, consist of two groups of amino acids - those that must be ingested ready-made, i.e. are essential in the diet, and those that can be synthesised in the body in adequate amounts from the essential amino acids. Eight of the 20 food amino acids are essential for adults and ten for children.

Role of meat in the diet of developed and developing countries

Meat is held in high esteem in most communities. It has prestige value, it is often regarded as the central food round which meals are planned, various types of meat are sometimes made the basis of festive and celebratory occasions, and from the popular as well as the scientific point of view, it is regarded as a food of high nutritive value.

While it is clear that meat is not essential in the diet, as witness the large number of vegetarians who have a nutritionally adequate diet, the inclusion of animal products makes it easier to ensure a good diet.

There is a marked difference at the present time in attitudes towards meat between the people of the developing and industrialised communities In the former where meat is in short supply it can be taken as a measure of the nutritional quality of the diet as a whole. Where a typical diet is heavily dependent on one type of cereal or root crop, meat, even in small amounts, complements the staple food. It provides a relatively rich source of wellabsorbed iron and also improves the absorption of iron from other foods, its amino acid composition complements that of many plant foods, and it is a concentrated source of B vitamins, including vitamin B12 which is absent from plant foods. Consequently there is pressure to increase the availability of meat products.

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