These days we’re all aware that one of the keys to staying healthy is to eat a balanced diet comprised of high-quality, unprocessed foods. For those of us who want to include meat in our menus even on an occasional basis, the question is: which are the healthiest meats? Here are a few suggestions, and some of them may surprise you!
Let’s start with the superstar of the beef world. Wagyu beef doesn’t come cheap, but there’s a good reason for that. If you’re concerned about animal welfare, you can be assured that Wagyu cattle are raised in a stress-free environment, receive optimum nutrition, and their well-being is prioritized.
Wagyu meat is not only delicious, it’s an important source of essential vitamins and nutrients. There’s no need to be concerned about the fat content, because it’s high in unsaturated (healthy) fats, such as Omega 3s. Wagyu beef also contains up to 30% more CLA, often associated with assisting weight loss and retaining lean muscle mass, than any other food. Make Kobe ribeye steaks are a fantasticly luxurious and healthy treat.
Lamb is a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc, and iron. When the leaner cuts are prepared with lots of vegetables which are also packed with vitamins, minerals and enzymes, you can create a wide range of nourishing and balanced meals.
This is one of the leanest red meats, which makes it healthier from the start. It’s lower in calories than beef. It’s also rich in iron, zinc, vitamin B12, omega 3-fats, and the antioxidant selenium. The only caveat is that, although in the US most bison are raised without the use of antibiotics or hormones, grass-fed meat is healthier and also more sustainable so check before buying.
Although this isn’t often seen as a natural choice in the USA, around 75% of the world’s population regularly eat goat. It has far less fat and fewer calories than other red meats and is packed with vitamins and nutrients. It also has even less saturated fat than chicken. Although it’s often thought to be tough, slow cooking can change all that, so try a Jamaican or Indian goat curry to get started.
We’ve left this until last, as it seems an obvious choice. But is chicken actually healthy? Well, yes, from the point of view of nutritional content. As it’s low in saturated fat, it’s often considered a healthy alternative to red meat. It also contains vitamins and minerals such as B6, B12, iron, zinc, and copper. However, it is important to consider how the birds are raised and processed- look for free-range chickens which have been allowed to roam outside, and an organic certification, which will show that they haven’t been routinely treated with antibiotics and other drugs.
Meat can be a delicious and healthy way to incorporate more protein into your diet. In the interests of animal welfare, maximum nutritional benefits, and of course the best taste, just ensure you opt for high-quality, grass-fed, and organic options whenever possible.