Why Would You Be Craving Red Meat? Here’s What You Need To Know

November 23, 2016

Do you wonder why you're suddenly craving red meat? Then, you're not alone. Just like you, there are times when my craving for red meat is too strong that I begin fantasizing it.

Some people say that your food cravings can signal a nutritional deficiency while others say that you're just hungry. Since I want to know the right answer, I tried researching this subject meticulously. If you want to know the results of my research about red meat cravings and more, keep on reading.


What Is Red Meat?


Red meat is any meat produced from farm-raised animals. Examples of red meat include lamb, beef, and pork. This kind of meat is popular among Paleo diet followers because the animals are usually fed a natural diet.

Several nutrients found in red meat are zinc, iron, protein, and B vitamins. You should watch your consumption of red meat, especially processed red meat because they're often linked to heart illness, type 2 diabetes, and cancer. The recommended daily consumption of red meat is 90 grams or less.

Why Do You Crave Red Meat?


According to weight loss expert Joseph Colella, some food cravings can be a sign of that you are suffering from nutritional deficiency or other health problems. Here are the two nutritional deficiencies which may hint for your cravings for red meat.

1. Iron Deficiency

If you're craving red meat, then it often implies that you need iron in your body. Women who are in their premenstrual phase (PMS) are susceptible to this overwhelming urge because they lose a lot this mineral when they menstruate.

Iron is needed to develop hemoglobin, support muscle function, and increase brain function. This mineral is also important to treat anemia that often happens to women during menstruation or pregnancy. If you don't increase your intake of iron, then your body may be susceptible to fatigue, anemia, and skin ailments.


2. Zinc Deficiency

Another plausible reason why we crave for red meat is we lack zinc in our bodies. Professor Nicola Lowe of University of Central Lancashire believes that mild zinc deficiency is highly common now because people tend to consume read meat on their diet. Pregnant women are more vulnerable to this craving because zinc is important in the development of infants.

According to Dr. Axe women age 19 years old and above need about 8 milligrams of zinc per day while males 14 years old and above need 11 milligrams of zinc daily. This mineral can help fight colds, prevent cancer, and balance hormones. A deficiency of this mineral may lead to hair loss, digestive problems, and hormonal issues.

Alternatives For Red Meat?


If you're vegetarian, you can try dark green leafy greens, like swiss chard, spinach, and turnip greens. Other great sources of iron include clams, oysters, mollusks, and salmon. For better iron absorption, don't forget to take vitamin C-rich foods, like citrus, tomatoes, or red peppers.

Other than red meat, you can increase you zinc uptake by eating shellfish, cheese, and pumpkin seeds. You can also take zinc supplements to make sure that you're getting the right amount of this mineral. According to World Health Organization (WHO), zinc supplementation to pregnant women can reduce preterm births.

Selecting The Best Red Meat


If you must eat red meat, choose lean meat, like bison, or beef. Keep in mind that you need to stay within your recommended red meat consumption which is not more than 15% of your total diet daily. As much as possible, look for red meat that is derived from mammals that are naturally fed.

To learn how to choose lean meats, watch this video here.

In buying the leanest cuts of meat look for the label and select those that are marked "Select." A fresh red meat should appear bright red and not brown. The texture should be tight and even-looking.

To store your red meat in the fridge, keep it in an airtight container or wrap with plastic up to five days. You can also freeze your red meat in a freezer bag for 2-6 months. To prevent from freezer burns, remove much air as possible.

Give In To Your Red Meat Cravings Now!

Craving for red meat could mean that your body needs iron or zinc. If you feel the urge to eat red meat, then give in to your desire, but if you're shying away from red meat, then you can try other alternative sources of iron and zinc. To be safe, choose lean meats that are derived from grass-fed animals.

Have you tried having some red meat cravings lately? Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below. If you like this article, don't forget to share it on social media.

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