Red meat? I see Red!

Sometimes on my laptop, I open windows that I want to look at at a later date. Sometimes those windows stay open for a week or longer. It’s true, I don’t close my windows enough. Currently, I have 20 tabs open on my Google Chrome. So I was just going to close some of them when I saw an article that I had obviously left open for me to read when I had more time, like right now. This article is titled “Why Cyclists Should Eat Red Meat” from Active.com.

Firstly, the title is very off-putting in my opinion. I’m not a big fan of anyone telling me I “should” do anything, especially when it is something like eat red meat. It’s also strange to me that they would target cyclists – do runners, swimmers, tennis players, and/or any other athletes not “need” to eat red meat? After reading the article, this question was not answered. In fact, the article really does not make a case specifically for cyclists. Maybe cyclists just don’t eat a lot of red meat? It seems like this would be difficult to prove and my experience with cyclists does not support this either.

In the article, they go through and “clarify” some “myths” that people have around red meat. I will get to that part. *start rant* But first I would like to point out that while I believe every person has a right to choose his or her diet, I am avidly against the eating of lamb and veal. It is completely unnecessary, completely wasteful, and is possibly the worst meat that a meat eater could eat. Seriously, look into the conditions that the calves and lambs have to endure in order to be so “tender” in your mouth. It’s awful.¬†*end rant*

I’m going to pick a couple of myths and answers to rant about, instead of deconstructing the whole thing, which would take a lot of time and I need to get some training done.

Their answer to the “myth” that red meat causes heart disease was: Not necessarily.¬†Harvard researchers recently found that processed meats such as bacon, sausage and cold cuts can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease by 42 percent. Yet they didn’t find an increased risk in those who eat unprocessed beef, pork and lamb.”
My question is: How many people actually eat unprocessed meat? It seems to me that a lot of people don’t even know where to get unprocessed meat. Also, there should be a clarification of what it means to be “unprocessed” instead of picking the obvious answers like cold cuts. What about hamburger meat, etc.? Oh yeah, and lamb… *shudder*

The “myth” that it makes cyclists feel sluggish when they eat red meat was answered with:
Reduce your portion size. Overconsuming¬†protein can cause bloating and constipation, Anding says, so stick to a three- to four-ounce serving. A larger serving won’t result in more muscle, anyway: A 2009 study from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston found that a four-ounce serving of lean beef synthesizes new muscle as effectively as 12 ounces does.”
This seems like it is actually the opposite of what the title of the article is. This says to eat less amounts of red meat, no? Maybe I’m a skeptic and think that most cyclists actually eat red meat and that the title of this article will merely support and justify their eating of the meat. And of course, they stick this one at the very end, the one that says to eat LESS red meat because eating too much protein is hard on the body and wasteful.

I know that magazine articles and Active.com are not places to get in-depth about, well, anything. They want to give the readers a brief overview of something and most people only remember the title. It really irritates me when they put titles like “Eating Red Meat is Good For You,” is used just to catch people’s attention instead of accurately reflecting what the article is saying and IT IS NOT EVEN TRUE! How about a title like “Red Meat Isn’t that Bad, But Portion Size is Important” – way less interesting, I’ll admit. The current title seems like it is basically a tool to take away any guilt about something that I think most people are going to do anyway. I’ve been to many pre-race meals where red meat is served. Trust me, most people are not afraid of the red meat, even the night before a race.

Also, I completely acknowledge that I am biased. As someone who does not eat meat, I obviously have a bias against anything that encourages people to eat it without really thinking and questioning it.

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One Response to Red meat? I see Red!

  1. Ann-Drea says:

    Great post. I’m not vegan, but I’m looking into eating more strict vegeterian-like to improve my triathlete training. The myths about meat for athletes are almost as bad as the myths for dairy! I’m glad to see a blog devoted to this and look forward to reading more.

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