Most of us love red meat and enjoy a big juicy steak on the barbecue every weekend or so, but unfortunately, many contend that such a diet is a recipe for a disaster!
Does eating red meat increase the risk of dying from heart disease or cancer?
It’s a question that keeps coming up, fueled by research and high-profile campaigns by advocacy groups on both sides of the debate.
For heart disease, the answer is pretty clear. Some red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of heart disease.
When it comes to cancer, the answer is not so clear. Many researchers say it does raise the risk, especially for colorectal cancer.
A National Institutes of Health-AARP study of more than a half-million older Americans concluded that people who ate the most red meat and processed meat over a 10-year-period were likely to die sooner than those who ate smaller amounts. Those who ate about 4 ounces of red meat a day were more likely to die of cancer or heart disease than those who ate the least, about a half-ounce a day. Epidemiologists classified the increased risk as “modest” in the study.
In addition, with obesity becoming a crisis around the world, the food industry is increasingly looking at the formulation of low-energy density foods, and suggesting substituting meat for mushrooms.
Likewise, consumers are becoming more health-conscious, and many people also are taking a second look at the mushroom for its nutritional contribution and meat-like texture. Mushrooms have a rich quality that compares to the texture and mouth-like feel of meat.
In a medical study a few years ago, researchers reported that the consumption of mushroom entrees reduced daily energy and fat intakes by an average of 420 calories and 30 grams, over a four-day period.
Researches reported that the most intriguing finding was that subjects seemed to accept mushrooms as a palatable and suitable culinary substitute for meat. More importantly, those in the study didn’t compensate for the lower calorie mushroom meal by eating more food later in the day.
Also, scientists have found out that when mushrooms take the place of meat, meat-eating people of various sizes found that they were mushrooms were just as filling will far less calories.
More importantly, people on a low-carbohydrate mushroom-based diet lose more weight and have healthier blood-lipid profiles than those on a typical low-carb diet. That’s wonderful!
A good example of replacing a high-energy density food with a low-energy one is replacing hamburger with a large Portobello mushroom on a burger. Portobellos are shaped like a burger and have a meaty, heavy texture that’s filling. Many restaurants offer Portobello mushroom burgers as a vegetarian option on their menu.
Mushrooms are a tasteful meat replacement food item. You can grill, toast, boil or fry. Basically, mushrooms are an incredible choice for a variety of situations. Fresh mushrooms fit into every day part, every cuisine and every diet!