No doubt about it. You often consider how a change in diet may benefit you, and chances are, you’ve even considered cutting some foods out. Maybe that’s sugar or gluten. However, have you ever thought about cutting out just red meat? It’s not that you should have anything against eating cows or anything, but just think about all of the unhealthy foods that you usually eat that are considered to be red meat. For that reason alone, taking up a white meat only diet might seem appealing to you. This diet comes with plenty of advantages, including better health and weight loss. Here’s a look at four ways this diet benefits you.
1. Your Heart Will Be Happier
According to the The White Meat Only Diet & How It Can Benefit You”>American Heart Association, red meat contains more cholesterol than white meat. The more cholesterol you consume, the worse your heart disease can become. Did you know that the average hamburger has 56 milligrams of cholesterol? Of course, that doesn’t necessarily include all of the bread, butter, cheese, bacon and other things that go on it along with the meat—which definitely means that it could be more. For example, a whopper from Burger King has 87mg of cholesterol while a Wendy’s Classic Double Hamburger has 158mg. While the AHA does say that it’s okay to eat a little red meat, it’s really better in the long run if your diet
consists mostly of chicken, fish, and vegetables. For example, Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich has only 55mg of cholesterol and one fillet of tilapia has only 50mg. As for chicken, though, you should know that the level of the cholesterol definitely depends on the part of the chicken you’re eating. If you were to get a grilled chicken breast from KFC, it would be 105mg. However, a thigh would be 70mg and a wing would be 40mg. As you can see, the white meat only diet would be more aligned with the recommendations of the AHA, and in turn would be better for you.
2. Alternative Cooking Methods
If you love camping and more specifically, cooking over a propane-powered camp stove, you’ll appreciate how white meat cooks—which is quickly due to its low fat content. Besides, propane—such as the kind you can get from propane providers in Mason and other areas—typically heats up quicker than other types of cooking methods. With this method, pan-searing and grilling work best both for flavor and health purposes. If you’re using the grill method, you should know that how long you grill the chicken for depends on the part of the chicken that you’re using—a chicken breast takes 8-12 minutes and wings can take up to 20 minutes long to grill properly. If you’re trying to grill a whole chicken, that can take up to two hours.
3. Being Semi-Vegetarian
What if you like the idea of being vegetarian or partially vegetarian, but know you would have difficulty giving up meat entirely? Some consider those who only eat white meat “semi-vegetarians.” These folks eat plenty of vegetables and fruits, and when it comes time to eat meat, they limit themselves to poultry and seafood or seafood only. With this type of diet, you still get the protein of meat, but not the cholesterol.
If you’re planning on eating only fish and other seafood, though, that is called being a pescatarian. Just because you may only eat fish, though, it doesn’t mean that you can eat anything without having to worry about cholesterol. This is because fish is very high in cholesterol, but it is also considered to be very healthy still as is provides so much omega 3 fatty acids.
4. Weight Loss Help
An article in the San Francisco Gate suggests that eating red meat may contribute to obesity. While the Gate doesn’t say conclusively that red meat makes you heavier, it does suggest that many who are overweight do eat more red meat than those who don’t. The Gate based its article on two studies, one of which was published in “The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition” and the other in “The New England Journal of Medicine.”
The article goes on to suggest that if you can find other sources of protein that are less calorie-dense, the easier it will be for you to lose weight. For example, a 3 1/2 ounce t-bone steak has 247 calories compared to a chicken breast of the same weight, which only has 165 calories in it.
Eating a diet of low-fat white meat reaps many benefits. It helps you keep your heart healthy as well as assists in staving off the extra pounds. It offers you an entry into the vegetarian lifestyle, without your having to give up meat completely. Finally, white meat cooks fast and is delicious. It’s a good all-around choice when you’re cooking on surfaces like propane-heated camp stoves.
About the Author
Hannah Whittenly is a freelance writer and mother of two from Sacramento, CA. She enjoys kayaking and reading books by the lake.