There is some evidence to suggest that chemicals harmful for health from pesticides and hormones (used almost universally in conventional farming) concentrate in the fats of animals commonly consumed on a typical western diet.
Because of this, it is important to choose organic beef, pork and chicken and try to buy from a local farm you know and trust if possible. Bison and venison are even better choices because of the grass fed diets they consume and higher omega three content, and lower toxin loads.
Grain fed vs. Grass Fed–whats the big deal?
Grass fed animals have higher amounts of a powerful healthy compound called CLA or Conjugated Linoleic Acid.
Deli & Sandwich Meats
There is also strong evidence in the literature linking the intake of deli meats or processed meats (i.e. lunch meats, hot dogs, pastrami, sausages) with some forms of cancer because of the high nitrate content of these foods.
How to cook meats
- Avoid charring your meat (both on a barbecue or in the stove) to decrease the carcinogenic compounds that form in burned, charred, or seared animal meats with cooking.
- Slow roasting, stewing, and pan frying on lower heat settings are healthier ways to cook you favourite meat and reduce these harmful compounds! Instead of charring the meat for taste and flavour, marinate it in your favourite spices mixed with olive oil, lemon juice, or honey first!
Is It healthier to be Vegetarian?
That depends on the person and what their eating habits are. If you choose organic, local meats that are grass fed and eat them in moderation, for most people that is just as healthy as being a strict vegetarian.
There are many different philosophies about who should eat meat and who shouldn’t. I’m sometimes asked about my feelings on the blood type diet in relation to meat. While there are no large studies on eating for your blood type, I have found anecdotally that people who are O blood types do best eating a bit of meat vs. being strict vegetarians or vegans.