First, the bad news: Consumption of red meat, especially the processed meat, has been linked to the increased risk of death from cancer and heart disease, says Holly Ansman, a registered dietitian with Baptist Health Louisville. The saturated fat and salt content are the main problems.
The good news? Red meat can be enjoyed in moderation. When including red meat in your diet, limit it to 18 ounces per week. Three ounces cooked is about the size of a deck of cards or a computer mouse. Try to vary your sources of protein to include red meats (such as those with the word “loin” in the name), seafood, poultry, eggs, beans, legumes (like peas), and unsalted nuts and seeds.
Sorry, but you need to avoid cold cuts, sausage, hot dogs and yes, even bacon. Ansman recommended thinking of meat as an accessory to a meal, rather than the focus. If you plan meals around vegetables and whole grains, meat can be a part of a healthy diet.
Limiting red meat is one element of a program to prevent diabetes. Baptist Health offers several diabetes classes throughout our system. Learn more about Baptist Health Diabetes Care.