When it comes to what they eat, North Americans have probably never been more health-conscious than they are today. More and more people are choosing whole foods over processed foods, and the rise of alternative diets like the keto diet suggests that many are willing to make drastic dietary changes in order to achieve a better lifestyle.
But this health craze has also spread a lot of misinformation about what foods are good for us and what foods are bad for us, to the extent that some of us now believe that eating healthy means dropping things like gluten and meat from our diets altogether.
The truth is that meat is completely compatible with a healthy diet — so long as you are eating the right kinds of meat in the right quantities.
If you want to eat better but can’t imagine living without meat, here are some healthy ways you can make meat a part of your diet.
Buy Meat From Local Producers
One of the best rules to follow when shopping for groceries is simply to avoid large industrial food producers. This is especially true when buying meat. Sourcing your favourite cuts from artisanal producers in your province or state will help you get the best quality meat that is free from added hormones and antibiotics.
And if you want to get local meat without spending hours shopping at specialty butchers, you may even be able to order it online through fresh meat delivery services.
But local meat isn’t just healthier, it also comes with a lot of other benefits as well. Local farms tend to be:
- More environmentally friendly
- Invested in the community
- Kinder for the animals
- More economically responsible
For this reason, local producers are a smart choice if you want to eat meat that is more ethically produced.
Eat Meat Rich in Healthy Fats
One of the most damaging misconceptions spread about food in the twentieth century was that fat is bad. While it is true that some fats (especially trans fats) can have a profoundly negative impact on your health, other fats are necessary for a healthy and balanced diet.
For example, the omega-3 fatty acids found in a lot of fish and in grass-fed beef play an essential role in reducing triglyceride levels and in combatting rheumatoid arthritis. If you love beef, switching to grass-fed is a great way to increase your intake of healthy fats without reducing your intake of red meat.
While you may still want to be careful about how much meat you eat, you don’t need to cut it out of your diet completely in order to have a healthy lifestyle. In fact, for many people, lean meats like chicken and fish can be essential to a balanced diet.
The truth is that eating well is as much about the ingredients you are using as it is about what particular foods you are eating.
Buying high-quality local meats that come from farms committed to sustainability is the best way to ensure that the food you consume will power your body in the healthiest way possible.