5 Primal Tips For Optimizing Meat Consumption
Let's just start off with one of the most important item: ENJOY YOUR MEATS! Savor the juices dripping down your chin from a grilled burger. Relish the tenderness of slow roasted chicken. Sink your teeth into the creamy, flaky textures of a perfectly sautéed salmon fillet. In other words, embrace the gastronome experience for everything it can be.
Then check these FIVE tips next time you consume protein:
1. Go For Variety
Get the full range of nutrients available and minimize the possible risks of eating too much of any one thing. Eat a wide variety of sources, a move that ensures you're getting all the amino acids you need to perform basic physiological processes. A mussel might give you similar amino acids as a chicken thigh, but the similarities end there. The mussel provides manganese, selenium, a ton of B12, and some folate. The chicken thigh provides less B12, some niacin, a little more magnesium. Eat ruminants (beef, bison, lamb, pork). Eat birds such as turkey, chicken, duck. Get some fin fish like salmon, cod, halibut, sardines. Eat shellfish such as oysters, clams, mussels. Eat cephalopods like squid, cuttlefish, octopus. And, yes, even eat insects. After all, they aren't as bad as you imagine.
Eating a variety of meats, poultry and fish also minimizes the risk of excess iron-intake. Eating calcium-rich foods with your meat further reduces iron absorption and, in animal studies, reduces the carcinogenicity of dietary heme.
2. Eat Pastured/Wild When Ever Possible
Grass-fed and pasture-raised meat is better for you. And more nutrients from a varied, grazing diet as well as a better fatty acid profile. It's also better for the environment, and better for the animal. Choose it when you can, but know an otherwise nutrient-dense diet and wise supplementation can cover your bases regardless.
3. Slow Cook When You Can
Slow cooking (less than 375 ºF) minimizes the production of carcinogens associated with cooked meat. Studies show this is especially important for those with insulin resistance. Still, if you love grilled meat, don't give up your grilled steaks and chicken. But be more strategic about it. Slow cook much of your meat and use marinades with herbs like rosemary and thyme - the top two herbs for reducing heterocyclic amines.
4. Eat Vegetables (and Favor Prebiotic Fiber)
Variety matters for more than just meat. Vegetables and fruits are sources of vitamins and phytonutrients that meat just can't offer to the same degree. And then there's gut health. The oft-cited study used to criticize keto, for example, was a diet of cold cuts, bacon and cheese. In other words, a diet bereft of vegetables and gut-nourishing prebiotic fiber. Plus, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli counteract the formation of potentially harmful meaty compounds in the gut. By the way, coffee, tea, and red wine also have similar effects (although we don't often think of them as plants, these drinks are made from plants). Try to buy organic whenever possible!
5. Eat Collagen, Too
Meat is one of the richest sources of methionine, an essential amino acid. But there's evidence that excessive methionine can depress lifespan and that putting rats on a low-methionine diet extends their life. Collagen is the single best source of glycine, an amino acid that "balances" methionine. In those same rats, adding glycine to a methionine-rich diet restores longevity. You can accomplish this by eating collagenous cuts, like ears, feet, skin, tails, and shanks. You can do this by using supplementary collagen (or eating foods that contain it).