Well my crazy Summer is finally over. My son got married without any hitches, and of course we went on our vacation. Now, I just have to do my daughter’s homeschool evaluation and a dreaded mammogram for August. I am also planning grade 11 courses for my daughter, but that is fairly easy and I am used to doing it.
Today, I will discuss the next episode of Portion Distortion. This week it is red meat. First, even the definition of red meat can be somewhat confusing with several definitions. The Gastronomy definition of red meat, is any meat that is red when it is raw. That would leave people to think of beef. But, the nutritional definition of red meat is: any meat that has more of the protein myoglobin than white meat. So that opens up a lot more meats to being considered red meat such as pork, which is considered white meat under the Gastronomy definition but red meat under the nutritional definition. White meat by definition is any non dark meat from fish or chicken, excluding the legs and thighs.
Now, we will consider the nutritional definition of red meat as it relates to portion sizes. What is a portion size of read meat? 3 to 4 ounces after cooking, is the proper portion size of red meat. If you don’t have a food scale think of a deck of cards of the palm of your hand. Now, if you have an extremely large hand, the palm of your hand may not be very accurate. Most people who eat a Western Diet eat way more red meat than is recommended via portion size. Have you every ordered a steak when out? I can guarantee at the least it is 8 ounces and some as large as 16 ounces. That is way more than anyone should be eating in one portion of red meat. Along with that, red meat is only recommended to be eaten 2 to 3 times a week, with 2 being the preferable option.
To add even more to the confusion is the conversation about processed meats. What are processed meats? According to WCRF.org processed meats are Meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking or other processes to enhance flavor or improve preservation. Processed meat can include ham, salami, bacon and some sausages such as frankfurters and chorizo. Any process that enhances flavor, or improves preservation. If you have ever been in a grocery store you will know that this encompasses a lot of lunch meats, breakfast meats, and convenience foods, not to mention fast food.
If you have CKD, like me, limiting red meat, and processed meats, may help preserve and maintain kidney function. High protein diets may lead to over workload to the kidneys and may be a risk factor for getting kidney disease. Plus red meats, and processed meats, have been proven to increase the risk for Cancer.
This doesn’t mean you can never eat red meat. Red meats can be very healthy, and as long as proper portion sizes are followed, and only 2-3 times per week, can be beneficial to a diet. I probably eat red meat once a week, or less, but try to at least once a week. Red meat is rich in Protein, Iron and B12 and with CKD Anemia, and PEW can be a huge issue. Discuss with your doctor if red meat should be a part of your diet regime.
If you would like to learn more about proper portions, check out my available packages and then send me a message for a free meet and greet.
To see some images with portion sizes explained go here.