You're Eating Too Much Red Meat If This Happens To You

Whether you love a good steak or you've been vegan for years, you're probably familiar with doctors' recommendations about the amount of red meat you should be eating. It seems like every few months there's a new study showing the harms or benefits of a hamburger. If you do eat red meat on a daily basis, there are some signs to watch for that could indicate that you're eating too much.

Red meat is full of protein and Vitamin B12, both of which help build muscle and make new red blood cells (via Harvard Health Publishing). It also has lots of iron and zinc, essential nutrients that some people have a hard time getting enough of. But red meat has also been shown to increase inflammation in the body (via HuffPost). This added irritation in tissues can raise the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. High consumption of red meat can even lead to early death.

Try these foods instead of red meat

Researcher from the National Institutes of Health found that one additional serving per day of unprocessed red meat raises your risk of death by 13%, while an extra serving of processed red meat like bacon or pepperoni raises your risk by 20%. Doctors recommend that people eat no more than 3 ounces of red meat per day, and no more than 21 ounces in a single week.

Luckily, there are plenty of other foods that contain high levels of protein and important nutrients. If you prefer to stick to meat, lean turkey, chicken, and fish can provide the same nutritional benefits without the risks. For an even healthier lifestyle, stick to plants. The protein found in plants is the easiest type for the human body to use. Legumes are rich in protein, and vegetables like spinach and broccoli contain lots of iron and zinc. Even mushrooms pack a ton of protein without increasing your risk of health issues. 

And if you absolutely can't give up red meat, consider serving it on the side instead of as the main course. Your heart will thank you.