Which type of pork is the healthiest?

Meat: How healthy is beef, pork, etc.?

We know that we eat too much meat. Otherwise, however, many questions arise when it comes to carnal pleasures: How much meat should it be? Is white meat really healthier than red? What is in meat and can you replace it with fish? For MEDIZIN popular, the nutritionist Mag. Alexandra Kreißl from the Univ. Prof. Dr. Kurt Widhalm at the Department of Nutritional Medicine at the University Children's Clinic of the General Hospital in Vienna, ten questions about meat. By Mag. Sabine Stehrer

How much meat does a person need?

"The recommended amount is 450 grams of meat per week," says Mag. Alexandra Kreißl. "Ideally, you eat 150 grams of meat three times a week, which corresponds to a palm-sized portion." B. from beef and pork, should be no more than 300 grams according to the recommendations of the "World Cancer Research Fund" (WCRF). However, Austrians eat a lot more: In total, an average of 1.3 kilos of meat per person per week is consumed in this country, almost half of the amount, 600 grams, makes up pork. Beef and veal follow in second place on the popularity scale, poultry in third place, lamb in fourth place, the rest is split between other types of meat.

Does too much meat damage your health?

Kreißl: “Consuming too much meat generally increases the intake of fat, saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, table salt and food energy, which also increases the risk of a wide range of diseases.” These include diseases of the cardiovascular system, including high blood pressure and diabetes and lipid metabolic diseases. “The fact that eating a lot, i.e. more than 300 grams of red meat per week, also increases the risk of developing colon and stomach cancer is shown by the results of scientific studies,” says Kreißl. “However, the causes are not yet unequivocally clarified. ”Due to the high iron content, roasting red meat is likely to produce more carcinogenic substances than roasting white meat.

Is white meat healthier than red?

"Whether meat is healthy or not depends on the amount consumed and the method of preparation, but also on the type of cut or the amount of fat," says Kreißl. Have a low fat content, for. B. pork sirloin or pork loin. Kreißl: "Depending on the part of the body, beef is also subject to large fluctuations in terms of body fat." The nutritionist's tip: Use lean cuts of beef too and z. B. Prepare fillet of beef or boiled beef. Veal, chicken and turkey are generally very low in fat.
The meat of beef, veal, pork, sheep, lamb, goat, horse, rabbit and game (deer, roe deer, wild boar, hare) is classified as red, while the meat of poultry (chicken, turkey or turkey, goose) is classified as white , Duck, pigeon) and wild fowl (wild duck, pheasant, partridge, ostrich, guinea fowl, quail).

What is the best way to prepare meat?

"When cooking, that is, when cooking in boiling water, the valuable nutrients contained in the meat are most likely to be retained," says Kreißl. Recommended alternatives: steaming, stewing and preparation in a pressure cooker. With longer cooking times and when roasting, the B-group vitamins contained in all types of meat disappear more or less, and the proportions of minerals such as potassium and magnesium, iron and zinc also decrease. When deep-frying, the meat is completely covered in fat. Kreißl: "This leads to the absorption of many trans fatty acids, which are unfavorable for your health." When grilling, you should make sure that the fat does not drip onto the food to be grilled. "As the smoke drips off, so-called heterocyclic aromatic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are carcinogenic, rise with the smoke and stick to the food." Keep the loss of valuable nutrients to a minimum.

Is organic meat healthier?

“You can't say whether organic meat is healthier than other meat,” says Kreißl. “But it has some advantages over meat from conventionally bred animals.” These include the fact that when the animals are raised, the use of genetically modified feed is stopped as well as the administration of antibiotics, which are used to increase weight gain Shorten fattening times. Neither growth and performance enhancers such as anabolic steroids nor hormones are used. Kreißl: "The residues of these substances in meat can have unfavorable effects on the human hormone balance."

Why is cured meat considered harmful to health?

"When curing, the meat is preserved using nitrite curing salt, potassium nitrite or table salt," says Kreißl. "In the human organism, the conversion of nitrate to nitrite takes place in an uncontrolled manner, and so-called nitrosamines can arise as a by-product of curing, which can change the genetic make-up and cause cancer." However, the effect of the nitrite is inhibited if vitamin C is added at the same time, which is why vitamin C is added to the curing salt. "If the effect of the nitrite is inhibited, that does not mean that the reaction is 100 percent prevented," explains Kreißl.

Which pathogens can meat contain?

Most often, according to Kreißl, salmonella is found in meat: putrefactive agents that can lead to vomiting, diarrhea and fever. Listeria can be found in raw or insufficiently heated meat. Consumption of these can also lead to diarrhea and abdominal pain, drowsiness, and paralysis and inflammation of the brain, even death. An infestation with Clostridium botulinum, i.e. with bacteria that, when consumed, can cause nausea, cramps, diarrhea and even signs of paralysis and, in the worst case, respiratory paralysis, is rather rare. Kreißl: "An infestation of the meat with pathogens can be recognized by greenish, bluish or even black discolouration, an infestation with Clostridium botulinum also on so-called bombages, ie bloated cans, or on glass cans that hiss when opened."

What should you look out for when buying meat?

Kreißl: "Essentially, as a consumer, you can only pay attention to whether the color of the meat is noticeable or whether it smells bad." If the meat is packaged, you should of course look at the expiration date.

Can fish be substituted for meat?

Kreißl: "No, what is important is a combination of both groups, whereby you should choose low-fat pieces for meat, and more high-fat types for fish, which contain a particularly high amount of unsaturated omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial to health." B. Herring, salmon, mackerel and sardines. From the nutritionist's point of view, the consumption of meat and fish is important because of the high biological value of the protein they contain. The biological value is a measure of how well the food protein can be converted into the body's own protein. Along with carbohydrates and fats, protein is one of our most important sources of energy. "A similarly high biological value as meat has not only the protein in fish, but also the protein in milk, Emmentaler, chicken eggs or soybeans," says Kreißl.

Is meat an essential part of a healthy diet?

Kreißl: "Meat is a particularly good supplier of protein and other valuable nutrients such as iron, zinc and vitamins of the B group." If you don't like meat, the nutritionist goes on to say, you can also meet the relevant nutritional requirements with other foods.