Food, nutritionist Hrelia: “Red meat is a precious source of vitamin B12”

“It has an antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory action, which is fundamental in the diet”

“Red meat, long demonized as harmful to human health, is actually a food which, consumed in moderation as part of the Mediterranean diet, provides human nutrition with proteins of high biological value and micronutrients important for health such as iron, 40% in the most bioavailable form for the body, and vitamin B12, of which it can cover up to 100% of the daily requirement. It provides significant quantities of branched chain amino acids, fundamental for growth and maintenance of muscle mass, to the point that 100 grams of beef covers over 50% of the daily requirement. It is a precious source of bioactive molecules such as carnitine, carnosine, coenzyme Q, lipoic acid and creatine, which perform important regulatory functions in the metabolism, as well as bioactive peptides, released during gastric digestion, with multifunctional actions including antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory”. Silvana Hrelia, full professor of Sciences for the quality of life, University of Bologna, said this in her speech at the conference ‘Red meat: economy, health and society. A reflection’, organized by the National Academy of Agriculture today in Rome at the Confagricoltura headquarters.

“Meat is and remains one of the fundamental products for human nutrition – underlines the expert – Within the framework of the Mediterranean diet, a moderate and conscious consumption of red meat is recommended, which however plays a fundamental role as carrier of proteins of very high biological value”.

The trend of “vegan diets has led many to eliminate this food from their tables, underlining the fact that by integrating various types of plant products it is possible to cover, despite everything, protein needs. This is true up to a certain point – specifies Hrelia – because the caloric impact of the amount of complementary foods that we would have to introduce to consume the same proteins that we produce simply with an 80 gram slice of red meat would lead to an increase in energy and the risk of obesity. Therefore, it is not true that the vegan or vegetarian diets are modulated and written to stay fit”.

Eating meat at any age of life, and today epidemiological data have clearly demonstrated this, not only does not increase the risk of death due to cardiovascular risk or cancer, but helps maintain muscle mass, especially in the most critical ages and in fragile subjects such as the elderly. Moderate consumption as part of the Mediterranean diet does not lead to any increased risk for our health”, concludes the specialist.