How to Move Away From Old Meat Habits

Recently, two studies were published that demonstrate the connection between red and processed meat and disease. One study, published in the journal Stroke and spanning 20 years of data, found that high red meat consumption was linked to ischemic stroke. Another study, published in the British Journal of Cancer found that bacon and sausage were modestly linked to pancreatic cancer. Luckily, if you are a faithful Dr. Oz viewer, you already knew these foods were not the healthiest additions to your diet and you've chosen to include some better options.

Posted on | Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD | Comments ()

Recently, two studies were published that demonstrate the connection between red and processed meat and disease. One study, published in the journal Stroke and spanning 20 years of data, found that high red meat consumption was linked to ischemic stroke. Another study, published in the British Journal of Cancer found that bacon and sausage were modestly linked to pancreatic cancer. Luckily, if you are a faithful Dr. Oz viewer, you already knew these foods were not the healthiest additions to your diet and you've chosen to include some better options.

But what if you’re just starting your journey toward healthier living? What baby steps can you take to help you live longer and better by cutting out a few favored foods?

The first step is to eliminate red meat from your diet. The easiest way to transition away from red meat is to try chicken or turkey. You can use either of these in place of red meat in recipes for chili, meatballs, taco toppings, etc. Your best bet is to cook with chicken or turkey breast since the dark meat contains more saturated fat.

Second, try and ease out of your bacon habit by trying turkey bacon. Many versions have less than 2 grams of saturated fat per serving, which is lower than bacon and not as hard on you arteries. In addition, pay attention to the amount of sodium per serving in any processed meat. Aim for 480 mg or less per serving. Finally, what can you substitute for sausage? Try a few varieties of soy sausage patties or links. You may be surprised how great they taste!

Although it may seem difficult at first, making these small changes are great steps toward finding optimal health in 2012!  

Blog written by Kristin Kirkpatrick, MS, RD, LD
Kristin Kirkpatrick is a registered dietitian and Wellness Manager for Cleveland Clinic’s Lifestyle 180 program. Kristin has...