The No Red Meat Diet
As its name suggests, the no red meat diet excludes all types of red meat, including pork, beef and lamb, though it isn't an officially-named diet. These meats have a reddish color because they contain higher amounts of a protein called myoglobin than white meats, according to the USDA. Abstaining from red meats may have several positive effects on your health.
Because a no red meat diet excludes lamb, pork and beef, it focuses on other foods as protein sources. Other meats, such as white-meat chicken and turkey, fish and wild game meats may serve as alternate sources of protein. Plant-based foods may also provide protein in the no red meat diet. These foods include seeds, nuts, legumes, soymilk and meat replacements such as seitan, tempeh, textured vegetable protein and tofu.
Reduced Heart Disease Risk
Red meats are higher in saturated fats than white meats and plant-based proteins, according to Phyllis Balch, C.N.C., author of "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Saturated fats may elevate triglycerides and low-density lipoproteins -- the bad components of cholesterol. Elevated levels of low-density lipoproteins and triglycerides contribute to lipid blockages in your arteries, which restrict blood flow and increase your risk of heart disease. A no red meat diet may help prevent arterial blockages that lead to stroke, heart attack and coronary artery disease.
Reduced Cancer Risk
Eliminating red meats from your diet may lower your risk of cancer, according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. Frequent consumption of red meats is linked to the development of several types of cancer, including cancer of the colon, rectum, stomach, prostate, bladder and lungs.
Although red meats are among the most well-known sources of protein in the United States, a no red meat diet does not pose a risk of protein deficiency. White-meat and plant-based foods can easily provide sufficient protein to maintain energy levels and facilitate cellular repair. Although red meat is a rich source of iron, which is necessary for the production of red blood cells and hemoglobin, dietary iron can be consumed from poultry, fish, legumes, kale and spinach if you opt to eliminate red meat from your diet.
- USDA: The Color of Meat and Poultry
- American Institute for Cancer Research: Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity, and the Prevention of Cancer: a Global Perspective
- "Prescription for Nutritional Healing"; Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.; 2010
- raw red beef meat image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com