Does Red Meat Make You Fat? 5 Things You Should Know

Many people simply love eating red meat. Who doesn't like a nice beef steak or beef burger on the bbq grill or a gorgeous roast beef in the oven? It's difficult to resist these kinds of foods. But unfortunately, according to dietitians, red meat should not be consumed often. Red meat has gotten a bad rap due to its high saturated fat content which can raise bad cholesterol levels(LDL), thereby increasing the risks of coronary heart diseases, strokes, high blood pressure, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, gout and colon cancer.

But what about weight gain? Does red meat make you fat? Well most of these diseases mentioned earlier are linked with obesity to a certain degree, so red meat can be fattening depending on the intake. Regular red meat consumption does increase the risks of obesity due to the high-calorie content of saturated fats(9 calories per gram) but this does not mean you should exclude red meat totally out of your diet. Red meat is high in protein effective for building muscle/shedding fat and also has zinc, iron, vitamin B12, riboflavin, selenium and other valuable nutrients. Having it in your diet can actually aid weight loss but you should eat it in moderation. Anything in excess is bad. But here are 5 things you should know before adding red meat properly in your nutrition.

Selecting the right red meat cuts

Knowing what type of red meat cuts to buy is vital if you want to consume red meat healthily. Opt for "Select" or "Choice" cuts over "Prime" cuts. The latter usually have 1/3 more fat. You better avoid those which have high fat marblings. Some examples include ribeye, porterhouse, t-bone, chuck. An 8 oz ribeye has around 500 calories and 15 grams of saturated fats. It's not really healthy. If you have to get these types of cuts, trimming off the fat is your best bet. But favor other cuts of red meat like tenderloin, sirloin, flank, top round, bottom round and filet mignon. These are healthier and leaner cuts.

Red meat is not cheap and if you're on a budget, you can use lean ground/minced meat. These are cheaper alternatives. You can make a nice and healthy hamburger. Other red meat cuts you can get apart beef are from bison, buffalo and ostrich but they might not be readily available in grocery stores. These red meats are very lean and recommended.

Avoiding processed red meat

Sausages, hams, bacons, corned beef, luncheon meats, salami and so on should be avoided as they are high in saturated fats and sodium. Sodium is also not good for weight loss as you'll gain water weight.

Adhering to healthier cooking techniques

How you cook your red meat is fundamental to avoid weight gain. One method which you should avoid is deep frying as this will make the red meat fattier. Opt for boiling, steaming, baking, grilling, barbecuing and stir-frying instead. Don't use butter but go for a drizzle of olive oil instead.

Eating red meat with other nutritious foods

Don't eat red meat alone but instead accompany it with some vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, spinach. Vegetables are always beneficial to eat with red meat or any type of protein.

Avoiding unhealthy condiments and sauces

It's common for people to add fatty and sodium-rich sauces and condiments to their red meats whether it's a steak, roast beef or hamburger. Some examples include ketchup, barbecue sauce and mayonnaise. You better go easy on these.


Eating red meat should not scare you even on a weight loss diet but moderation is key. A calorie excess is the culprit for any overweight and obesity issue. If you eat red meat only once or twice per week in moderate quantities, you don't need to worry about getting fat. Privilege other proteins like fish and chicken on other days. You need to have a balanced diet. And always remember, no matter what you do, if you burn more calories than you consume, you won't get fat.

If you want more insider tips and advice on sound nutrition, I highly recommend Metabolic Cooking. Packed with 250+ killer weight loss recipes, this amazing resource has shown how you can eat tasty and delicious foods while still losing weight. Dave Ruel and Karine Losier did a fantastic job revealing exactly how you should eat for weight loss.







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