What Is Red Meat?

by Meat Abolition
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The definition of red meat is subject to perception as there have been disparities over time. From a scientific and nutritional stance, red meat is determined by its source and the amount of myoglobin protein in it. The culinary stance differs as it judges red meat based on (especially) looks, among other things.

A review of what red meat is, based on various perceptions will be discussed in this Meat Abolition nutrition study. So, read on to learn about this subject and a few other related ones.

Scientific and Nutritional Definition of Red Meat

As studies associated with institutions like the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) have shown, the definition of red meats from a scientific and nutritional point of view is determined by factors such as:

Meat Type

Raw (unprocessed) and processed food from non-fowl mammals is considered red meat. Going by this; boar, lamb, venison, beef, and pork meat are red meat.


Red meats contain high amounts of an iron-rich protein known as myoglobin. Although studies have shown that this iron-rich protein is also found in white meats, it is low and not as high as what is found in processed and unprocessed red meat foods

Scientific and Nutritional Definition of Red Meat

Culinary Definition of Red Meat

The culinary definition of red meat is more based on individual perceptions of authorities in the field. But by and large, it is often subject to the look of the meat. So, meats that have a red look in their raw form are often considered red meat.

For example, pork meat is considered white meat by several culinary experts because of its pale look when it is raw. On the contrary, it is considered red meat judging from a scientific point of view.

Also, age can determine what fits into white vs red meat from a culinary perspective. For example, meat from some adult mammals is considered red meat. This is as opposed to meats from some young mammals being considered white meat.

Health Benefits of Eating Red Meat

There is so much talk about the health risks associated with eating red meat even with evidence to prove it. However, the consumption of red meat offers some health effects. This is as long as it is properly cooked well and consumed moderately.

For example, it is safer and healthier to have baked meat like Gyro meat, than meat prepared through smoking. As long as both safety conditions are met, some of the health benefits in question include:

Better Iron Absorption

Iron plays a vital role in the body. It assists with:

  • Energy production
  • Improved brain function
  • Improved muscle function
  • Healthy Pregnancy

One of the good things about red meat is that it contains an iron-rich protein known as myoglobin. Furthermore, it offers better absorption of iron than what people get from the intake of plant-based food.


Although needed in minute amounts, zinc is essential for a wide range of important functions in the body. This includes:

  • Providing immune system support
  • Cell growth
  • DNA creation
  • Buildup of proteins
  • Tissue support

Red meat contains zinc. The fact that zinc is needed in minute amounts also means that red meat should only be consumed moderately.

B Vitamins

Red meat offers vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. They help with improving the nervous and immune systems, among other things.

There are several other health and nutritional benefits of red meat, besides the one mentioned here. So, it can form a part of your diet as long as it is moderate and well-cooked.

Dangers of Red Meat

Those who eat red meat excessively are at increased risk of having health troubles like:

  • Obesity – Caused by excessive intake of calories especially because of the sheer amount of saturated fat in it
  • Diabetes – Because of how it indirectly raises cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Cancer – Especially colorectal (bowel) cancer
  • Heart complications – Coronary Artery Disease caused by Atherosclerosis is a possibility

All this goes to say consumption of red meat has to be moderate, as mentioned repeatedly in this study. The meat also needs to be well cooked.

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