Red meat is a great source of protein and B vitamins and can come in a variety of types. Each type of red meat is different, and are all nutritious in their own way. While red meat has often been villainized by the media and health organizations alike, it is actually extremely nutrient-dense and can be a great component of a balanced diet. Just aim for fresh, less-processed forms whenever possible.
Today, we’re walking you through the different types of red meat, their health benefits, and which Snap Kitchen meals you can choose if you’re looking to add more red meat into your diet.
Different Types of Red Meat
So, what are some of the different types of red meat?
Beef is the most common type of red meat and is usually eaten as ribs, steaks, and hamburgers. You might also have beef in the form of corned beef, beef jerky, or sausages – but these are all processed products, so they don’t typically boast the same health benefits as fresh, lean beef. In fresh cuts, you’ll find a variety of vitamins and minerals – especially iron and zinc!
Though pork is often mistakenly thought to be white meat, it’s actually red meat, as it comes from pigs (a mammal)! Pork has more thiamine (a type of B vitamin) than beef and lamb and is full of minerals like phosphorus and selenium. Selenium is a great way to improve thyroid function – in one six-ounce pork chop, you’ll get more than 100% of the recommended daily allowance of selenium!
This red meat comes from young sheep and is full of protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Thanks to these vitamins and minerals, eating lamb regularly is a great way to promote muscle growth, maintenance, and performance and even helps to prevent anemia!
This red meat isn’t as commonly eaten as the others and comes from the American Bison or American Buffalo. It’s high in protein, iron, zinc, and especially vitamin b12. It’s lean red meat, meaning it has less fat than a similar amount of beef giving it a higher protein content. Its milder flavor makes it very versatile, so it can be used substituted for beef in most recipes.
Red Meat Health Benefits
Now that you know what nutrients and minerals are in the three main types of red meat, let’s learn just how these meats will help your body!
Red meat is full of different types of B vitamins, including B12. B12 deficiency can lead to cardiovascular diseases, aging, neurological disorders, cancers, and more. Adequate intake can even improve energy and brain function.
Zinc is an important mineral that especially helps with physiological functions, and even a small amount of red meat can be a great way to boost your zinc. Zinc is key for gut health and immune health, among other things!
The iron found in red meat is very beneficial, especially for those with iron deficiency anemia. Red meat contains “heme iron”, which is very easily absorbed and used by our bodies. Plant sources of iron are the non-heme variety, which is less bioavailable. To do one better, the heme iron in red meat can actually help us absorb and use more of the non-heme iron we eat, too.
However, if you have an iron overload condition such as hereditary hemochromatosis, you should limit foods that are high in iron. Iron is also crucial for the growth and development of the fetal brain, so pregnant women should make sure that their iron intake is sufficient.
If you don’t get a lot of exposure to the sun, it’s especially important that you try to incorporate red meat into your diet, since it contains 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, a form of vitamin D that’s easily absorbed by our bodies. .
Red Meat Recipes
Check out our favorite Snap Kitchen recipes that incorporate different types of red meat:
Beef Enchilada Bake: Your favorite beef enchiladas, deconstructed! Layers of corn tortilla, ground beef, and house-made enchilada sauce, topped with cheddar cheese.
Bison Quinoa Bowl: A favorite of Snap regulars. This hearty bison hash is made better for you with a base of organic grains, bison & topped with cheddar.
Korean BBQ Meatballs: We’ve paired our soy-free Korean BBQ sauce with beef meatballs, sesame broccoli, and kimchi carrots for a nutrient-dense and absolutely delicious take on classic flavors.
Red meat is a great way to incorporate different nutrients and minerals into your diet. Which red meat-based Snap Kitchen meal are you most excited to try?
Check out more of our chef-prepared, nutritionist-approved menu here.