Meat is animal flesh, though fish is conventionally excluded from the definition. Meat is mostly water and protein, along with fat amid muscle. Up to 77% of the calories in red meat come from its fat, most of it saturated.
The nutritional value of different meats varies widely. As meat is muscle, its protein is nutritionally balanced, and it contains vitamins and minerals that muscle tissue needs, notably vitamin B, iron, phosphorous, and zinc.
Don’t have a cow, man! ~ American cartoon character Bart Simpson
Modern production practices make an unhealthy food worse. Most beef cattle are given hormones to boost growth and build muscles. Most of these hormones remain in muscle tissue and are eaten by consumers.
Meat preparation presents a dilemma. Raw meat is a happy home for bacteria and other pathogens that can infect its consumer. Cooking meat, particularly at high temperatures, generates known carcinogens.
That eating red meat engenders cardiovascular disease is long known. The tasty fat marbled in the meat has long been pointed to as the villain, as has cholesterol. Those turn out be a subplot in the story, though consuming animal fat is unhealthy, and the wrong kind of cholesterol does damage.
Instead, carnitine is the culprit. The term carnitine derives from the Latin word carnis, meaning “the root of carnivore.” Red meat contains ample carnitine. Chicken, dairy products, fish, most body-building protein supplements, and energy drinks also have carnitine, albeit in smaller amounts.
Carnitine gets metabolized by the gut flora that perform most of human digestion. These bacteria burp a byproduct that turns into tmao (trimethylamine N-oxide) in the liver. tmao then travels through the circulatory system, facilitating cardiovascular disease. Elevated tmao levels correlate well with heart attack risk.
Vegans don’t have this problem. Their tmao levels are low. Even if they swallow pills with carnitine or have a steak (solely in the interest of research), their microbiota are healthier and so produce little to no tmao.
Current theory is that tmao enables cholesterol to wedge in artery walls, as well as preventing the body from properly regulating blood cholesterol level.
The liver is a vital organ for vertebrates, providing biochemicals for digestion and, along with kidneys, detoxifying the body. As a food source, an animal’s liver concentrates both nutrients and poisons. As such, whatever chemical bad to be had from meat is multiplied in liver. Eating liver is a wonderful way to get a dangerous dose of vitamin A, which invokes a lengthy list of symptoms, including headaches, dizziness, vision problems, vomiting, and liver damage.
Chickens raised for their meat are known as broilers. Heavy breasts and thighs characterize broilers, as these are the most desired cuts of meat.
Chickens are typically fed a mixture of ground corn, soy, animal by-products, and fishmeal waste. Roxarsone – an antimicrobial drug – is widely used in chicken feed. It increases weight gain and makes the meat pinker. In the US, the drug is also approved for pigs.
Roxarsone contains arsenic: a carcinogen that severely damages the intelligence system. Though there is no safe level for arsenic consumption, the FDA boasts that the arsenic in Roxarsone “does not pose a health risk.” Largely a captive agency of industry, the FDA has not banned Roxarsone.
Chicken meat has 2–3 as much polyunsaturated fat compared to mammalian meat. Besides of its overabundant protein content, chicken is high in calcium and potassium. Dark meat has more calories, fat, and nutritional value than white meat.
Grilling and baking are the decent ways to cook chicken. The tastiest way to change chicken into an unhealthy dietary option is to fry it.
Fried foods are a nutritional nightmare. Oil and high heat are a potent combination for chemical transformation; none of it in a wholesome vector.
While using healthier oils helps, there is no escaping that frying foods fix fats in a form that do the cardiovascular system no good. Innumerable studies have found fried foods detrimental. They only controversy left is how detrimental fried foods are, even if they are finger-lickin’ good.
Hens raised to produce eggs are known as layers. Commercially, male chicks are useless and are discarded. A layer lasts a year before its productivity dips and is slaughtered, whereupon its corpse turned into chicken stock or low-grade meat.