All you need to know about meat

As a nutritionist I often hear the question: what kind and quantities of meat is needed during the day for patients with high blood pressure?

Regular consumption of red meat raises a number of health risks, ranging from cancers of the lung, prostate, pancreas and colon to endometriosis and asthma. New research suggests even moderate meat consumption could significantly increase your chances of developing high blood pressure as well.

It has been proposed that animal protein, and high consumption of total proteins, in a general way, can increase arterial pressure. This idea evolved from studies that prove that vegetarian diets, that are low in total proteins and do not have meat proteins, can decrease arterial pressure. However, similar arterial pressure decreases have been found with fruits, vegetable, fish, nuts, and low fat lactic products consumption and with the diminution of saturated fat, and sugar consumption. Absence of meat protein does not explain a decrease in arterial pressure observed in vegetarian diets. Increase of non digestive carbohydrate consumption (dietetic fiber) can decrease arterial pressure, specially in hypertensive individuals. Some researchers support the proposal that says that foods like enriched fiber beans with a low glycemic index can help to decrease arterial pressure.
There is various ways to explain differences in arterial pressure. The amino acid consumption, including arginine and taurine, could be important in arterial pressure variations. Lean beef meat is an important source of arginine and taurine. Arginine, is an oxide nitric, that can improve vasodilation, endotelial functions and can also decrease arterial pressure. Taurine relates inversely to arterial pressure in population studies and can decrease arterial pressure in rats and hypertensive humans.
High blood pressure doesn't mean you must avoid meat. Meat contains a significant amount of protein necessary for tissue growth and repair. However, there are certain types of meat that are healthier than others.

Choose poultry when craving a meat dish, but remember to remove all skin before eating. The skin should be left intact while cooking. Broil, roast or poach chicken or turkey when cooking. The leanest meat is chicken or turkey breast. Avoid eating darker meats, which are generally higher in fat. Choose low-fat ground poultry.

Though higher in fat, certain cuts of beef, pork and lamb can be enjoyed in moderation even if you suffer from high blood pressure. Cook lean cuts of beef including round, chuck, sirloin or tenderloin. Choose ground beef with the highest amount of lean meat, which is 90 percent or more.

When choosing pork go for the tenderloin or pork chop. Lean lamb cuts include the leg and loin. Trimming all visible fat from the beef decreases fat content. Ground beef should be rinsed with water after cooking and blotted with a paper towel to remove fat.

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