Red meat and Strength and Strength-Endurance

Post questions and tips on right foods and right balance of nutrients for combat sports and martial arts, individual encounter games (for example, tennis), and team games.

Red meat and Strength and Strength-Endurance

Postby mmeloon » Jun 16, 2005 15:01

Please note that this is a continuation of a discussion in this thread but placed here since the sub-topic is nutrition.

Felix wrote:I don't eat red meat, maybe that had something to do with my problems or maybe it was indeed my form.


If you don't eat red meat for personal reasons, then you'll have to get by without it. If you are avoiding red meat because you've heard it's not healthy, I would argue otherwise. Red meat contains valuable nutrition that for athletes that it is difficult to get otherwise. Make sure you get good quality cuts of beef but don't let what you hear in the mainstream media scare you off of beef. They use to say that about eggs as well. I eat a couple of steaks a week and my blood chemistry is fantastic. That's because I also eat lots of fresh, unprocessed vegetables and EFAs. The problem with red meat comes with eating too much of it, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and not eating enough of foods that counteract the few ill-effects of red meat. Since most people fall into that category, the talking heads who think they know what's best for everyone simply tell everyone to eat less red meat.

-Mark
Last edited by mmeloon on Jun 17, 2005 10:28, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby jrlefty » Jun 16, 2005 19:46

The problem with red meat comes with eating too much of it, leading a sedentary lifestyle, and not eating enough of foods that counteract the few ill-effects of red meat.


I want to start of by saying that I am not attacking you mmeloon. Its just I have no else to talk to about this. I gave up red meat a long time ago because I heard and seen many of the different types of heart problems and cancer that comes from eating red meat including colon cancer.

Don't you think this is to big of a risk to take for a food product that in actuallity the human body does not need and can be supplemented for other safer non cancerous foods?

Again not attacking you, just like to hear other people's opinions.

jrlefty
"If you love life do not waste time because time is what life is made of"-Bruce Lee
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Postby mmeloon » Jun 17, 2005 01:12

jrlefty, no offense taken. This is a board where we are all free to discuss and learn from each other. I made some provocative statements without backing up my words so it's very natural that someone should call me on it. Before I explain further, I just want to make sure that we all understand that I am talking about good quality cuts of beef. No cheeseburgers or junk like that.

You mention heart problems. I'm not sure exactly which you are talking about here. If you are referring to problems caused by atherosclerosis, these can usually be reduced by both choosing lower-fat beef (and beef with "better quality fat" -- the fat of wild game is healthier than sedentary cows) and making sure you eat enough fruits, vegetables, seeds, and healthy oils.

You also mention colon cancer. You should take a look at The World's Heathiest Foods page on beef where they specifically list colon cancer prevention is a benefit of eating lean cuts of organic beef. Now, it's important not to overcook/burn your beef. I know people like to cook their beef to a crisp. That's not recommended. Some research exists that the risk of stomach cancer is signficantly more for people who like well-done steaks as opposed to those who like them rare due to the formation of carcinogens during the cooking process.

But all this has been defending beef. Why should one even elect to eat beef? Couldn't one get by with fish and fowl? First, for what it's worth, I eat way more fish than beef so you'll get no argument from me on the benefits of fish and shellfish. But as I said in my earlier message, beef has some micronutrients that aren't so readily available in other protein sources, the most obvious being iron and zinc.

I'm not advocating that people eat steak everyday. And burgers don't belong in any athlete's diet, in my opinion. I eat anywhere from 1.5-3 lbs of beef a week which is much less than my 6-8 lbs of fish. And that beef is organic, grass-fed good-quality cuts. I'm not going to gripe out antibiotics and stuff like that since I think there isn't convincing evidence one way or the other regarding possible health effects. But I choose to be safe and eat organic beef. I think it's good to vary your food selection a bit as well. My personal opinion (I have no facts to back this up) is that those who eat chicken or tuna every day aren't getting enough variety in their diet. There's no perfect food so I try to eat a selection of healthful foods. But I believe that beef fits in there well and I think it has signficant benefits for athletes involved in strenuous sports and activities. And I think all of us fall into that category.

Hope that helps clarify my position,
-Mark
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Postby Felix » Jun 17, 2005 10:47

Thanks for opening this topic mmeloon. I appriciate your effort to help me.

I can see good points in both your and jrlefty's statements. Well in my case, it's more that I don't really have a choice, since I still live at home and I only get vegetarian food, except on the occassion when I get myself some fish for lunch for example. But actually I'm quite open minded on the topic.

A part of Chinese Medicine also looks a lot at food, as for your health, and what I have learned about that, is that it's good to have just a bit of meat, like 50 grams a week only. Maybe you have seen it also, that often they just put some small cuts of meat through their vegetables. But it's important that it is organic meat and indeed not processed. Also it seems that cheese and milk are actually not good replacements for meat, but instead it's better to use nuts and soy. Well there is a lot more to tell about this, but being vegeterian or not doesn't really matter to me. As soon as I move out I can also take more care of my own food.

What I've heard is the worst about red meat lately, however, is that it contains hormones and that if you eat meat, you should avoid eating it when going out. And one of the biggest problems is that it's often not fresh. Which in Chinese Medicine is also not considered very good.
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Postby mmeloon » Jun 17, 2005 11:01

Felix wrote:Thanks for opening this topic mmeloon. I appriciate your effort to help me.


You should thank Mr. Kurz. He's the one who split this topic into two. Sorry about hijacking your original thread. I hadn't meant to write that much.

I can see good points in both your and jrlefty's statements. Well in my case, it's more that I don't really have a choice, since I still live at home and I only get vegetarian food, except on the occassion when I get myself some fish for lunch for example. But actually I'm quite open minded on the topic.


I think you'll have to be a bit careful that you make sure you get enough nutrition to support your strenuous athletics. Since you mention that you "are still living at home", I'm a bit worried that you might be in your teens. That period of rapid growth and physical development is probably not the best time to be skipping out on nutrition sources, but, again, I'm not sure what else you can do about it.

A part of Chinese Medicine also looks a lot at food, as for your health, and what I have learned about that, is that it's good to have just a bit of meat, like 50 grams a week only. Maybe you have seen it also, that often they just put some small cuts of meat through their vegetables. But it's important that it is organic meat and indeed not processed. Also it seems that cheese and milk are actually not good replacements for meat, but instead it's better to use nuts and soy. Well there is a lot more to tell about this, but being vegeterian or not doesn't really matter to me. As soon as I move out I can also take more care of my own food.

What I've heard is the worst about red meat lately, however, is that it contains hormones and that if you eat meat, you should avoid eating it when going out. And one of the biggest problems is that it's often not fresh. Which in Chinese Medicine is also not considered very good.


The thing about hormones is what I was starting to address at the end of my last post. The beef that you get in the typical supermarket comes from cows pumped to the gills full of antibiotics and growth hormones. Living in California, I'm fortunate to be able to go to smaller supermarkets and buy grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free beef. Again, it's just a precaution that I take.

It's even better still if you eat red meat from wild game. In his famous book on nutrition, Fats That Heal, Fats That Kill, author Udo Erasmus explains that the fat in sedentary animals is less healthy for us to eat than the fat of active, wild animals. Their level of activity actually changes the composition of fat in their bodies, just as it does for us. But I haven't tried to track down any wild game. I believe you can buy frozen game over the Internet but I've settled into organic beef down at my local health-leaning market. I make sure to buy free-range poultry and eggs, however.

-Mark
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Postby mmeloon » Jul 23, 2005 14:56

I thought I'd post a follow-up to this thread after seeing the doctor for my annual physical yesterday (I turn 35 on Monday). I know some people have concerns about whether red meat fits into a healthy diet. In my posts above I tried to lay out some reasons for why I felt that it does. I eat a couple of pounds of red meat each weak but make sure to eat lots of vegetables and EFAs to offset the possible ill effects on blood serum cholesterol levels. Below are the thrilling results of my blood test:

LDL (bad) cholesterol: 114 (below 130 is ideal)
HDL (good) cholesterol: 84 (above 40 is ideal)
Total cholesterol/HDL ratio: 2.5 (below 4.8 is ideal)

My LDL is a little higher than I would have liked (it was 91 last year) but I haven't been careful with my diet as of late (long hours at work have given me the excuse to eat relatively poorly). Still, my "risk ratio" is exceptional and the main reason why is my HDL is so high.

You may wonder if I have good genetics and that's the reason why my numbers are so good (like that guy who eats nothing but Burger King Whoppers in the documentary "Super Size Me"). I had my doctor send me results from a few years ago when I wasn't so careful with my diet. My HDL was 54 and my ratio was 3.6. Still good but not in the same league as this year.

Anyhow, the point that I'm trying to get across with all of this is that you can include lots of red meat in a healthy diet provided you eat lots of vegetables, some fruits, and plenty of EFA-rich foods.

In other news, I'm testing for my second degree black belt in a week in front of Grandmaster Duk Sung Son, one of the "founding fathers" of tae kwon do back in Korea (do a google search for his name -- accounts differ on whether Son or General Choi coined the name tae kwon do). Wish me luck!

-Mark
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