Significant source of iron
Meat is the main source of iron and zinc and iron from meat is better absorbed, much better than the iron from the plants that we consume.
Due to its high nutritional value, meat forms a vital part of a high quality and balanced diet. Apart from iron, the meat contains B-group vitamins: thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2) and nicotinic acid which is necessary for the organism to release the energy from the food consumed for the purpose of performing the everyday activities. Meat is such a valuable source of biological proteins necessary for the growth, regeneration and development of the organism and no other foodstuff could compare with it in this regard. It is a very important source of vitamin B12 which is not present in vegetables and is necessary for the formation of red blood cells and normal functioning of the nervous system.
The differences in the nutritional value of different types of meat are insignificant since every meat contains high value proteins. For example, veal contains more iron and vitamin B12.
Meat as first complementary food
Meat is the first non-milk food that is being introduced in the diet of infants as a complementary food towards the end of the sixth month after birth. In that period, the quantity of milk is reduced by introducing non-milk food in the diet. Important nutrients that the baby should supplement its diet with include proteins, iron and vitamin B.
Veal is introduced in the diet of little babies at the end of the 6 months after birth, thus, satisfying the child’s needs for iron and zinc.
Meat is an excellent source of such nutrients and therefore, it plays a significant role in the diet of the infants in that period of life. In order to make swallowing much easier, meat should be given to the children together with vegetables. At first it should be blended, and later as the child grows it could be crushed and sliced.
After meat, egg yolk should be introduced in the diet of infants. It is recommended to be hard boiled and in combination with vegetables to be eaten up to three times a week. The egg white should be introduced in the diet after one year of the birth in order to avoid any allergic reactions.
Meat and body weight maintenance
The claim that body weight can be reduced by decreasing the carbohydrate intake and increasing the protein intake has been supported by medical experts. In recent years, research studies were conducted for making a comparison between high protein diets with low carbohydrate intake and low carbohydrate diets with low fat food. Some results show that low carbohydrate diets can help people lose weight much quickly than low fat diets.
Why studies show that high protein diets yield better results? Firstly, chicken, beef and fish as high protein food moves more slowly from the stomach to the intestines. If the stomach is emptied slowly, it means that the organism would feel full much longer and it would delay hunger for longer periods. Secondly, proteins have mild and moderate impact on blood sugar levels, thus avoiding fast and sharp increase in blood sugar levels, as well as avoiding the feeling of hunger which develops after eating easily digestible carbohydrates, such as white bread and baked potato. Thirdly, the body uses much more energy in digesting proteins than in digesting fats or carbohydrates.
Meat against anaemia
Meat contains iron in the form of heme iron which is absorbed more easily than the non-heme iron which can be found in fruits, vegetables, cereals and dairy products.
By introducing meat in the diet of infants, their biological needs for iron and zinc can be satisfied. Latest research studies show that children who eat meat at least four times a week reduce the risk of being anaemic.
It is recommended that meat should be eaten three to four times a week:
- gives more energy;
- prevents anaemia (iron);
- enables growth and development (proteins);
- controls the appetite (proteins);
- provides healthy immune system (zinc);
- provides a well-developed nervous system (vitamin B12).
Which meat to choose?
Veal is considered to be a concentrated food since it contains many essential nutrients. Beef is reach in cholesterol and it also has two to three times more calcium than veal and pork. Lamb’s meat is finely textured and full flavoured. It contains several important vitamins and minerals. Goat’s meat is similar to lamb and mutton.
Horse meat is similar to beef, but it is leaner and has less calories. Foal meat is softer and brighter than horse meat. Pork is concentrated food, which means that it is rich in nutrients in comparison with the caloric value and provides a large amount of proteins. In order to reduce fat, pork should be prepared by adding herbs and spices, instead of sauce. Chicken meat is a source of complete proteins, calcium, phosphorus, iron and B-group vitamins. It has fewer calories than veal and is more easily digestible.
No matter which meat you choose for your lunch, it will be delicious. However, it is important that you cook it properly and get rid of the extra fat.
Calories in meat and processed meat products
Chicken is the best choice for meat
Chicken meat contains less fat and calories than any other type of meat. It is good for the health because it contains vitamins B3 and B5, as well as selenium. Why is it recommendable to eat chicken meat?
· It gives energy
Chicken meat is an excellent source of vitamin B3 which is necessary for transforming proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy. It contains B6, which has a positive impact on the nervous system, as well as selenium. The deficiency of this mineral in men causes formation of sperm with low motility.
All parts of the chicken do not have the same composition, so the white meat (breast) of the chicken has 20% less calories and two times less fat than the legs and thighs.
If you have a cold, the chances of recovering more quickly are 30% higher if you eat chicken soup, thanks to the amino acid cysteine.
· It gives you a slim figure
Choose chicken meat because it contains less fat and less calories than any other type of meat, provided that you remove the skin. The white meat (breasts) is the leanest, whereas the wings are the fattiest part.
· It is low in calories
Chicken with skin 189 kcal in 100g
Boiled chicken 170 kcal in 100g
Boiled chicken breast 155 kcal in 100g
Baked chicken 196 kcal in 100g