Food

Meat – Intolerance & Allergy

Meat

Meat refers to the edible parts of the muscles of an animal, excluding fish. More broadly, the innards and other parts of the animal also count as meat, but in modern cuisine only the muscle meat is usually processed.

Here’s what you should know about meat

Scientists argue about whether humans have always eaten meat and whether they need it at all. The fact is, however, that meat has been part of human nutrition for thousands of years – depending on the culture it plays a more or less important role.

In Persian cuisine, for example, there is hardly a dish without meat, while in cultures close to the sea such as Japan, fish tends to play the leading role. Much earlier, meat was eaten raw, with all the risks involved, because no other way of preparing it was known. It was probably an accident that led to the discovery that cooked meat tastes much better, becomes softer and lasts at least a little longer than raw meat. Today’s definition is limited to the musculature of animals; meat suppliers are mostly mammals or birds.

Other classes of animals such as reptiles are eaten less frequently, such as snakes or crocodiles. Of course, muscle meat not only contains muscle fibers, but also fat , connective tissue and empty blood vessels . In the case of industrially produced meat, the antibiotics that the animal received while it was alive and that can now be found in the muscles also play a role. Especially in earlier decades and centuries, the innards of various animal species also played a role as meat, such as liver, heart or brain. These parts are eaten less today. Fish does not count as meat, but is considered fish in its own right, even if the muscles of fish are also eaten.

importance to health

Meat has both health benefits and drawbacks, depending on the amount consumed, quality and origin. Red types of meat in particular, such as beef, contain a lot of iron , which can help with iron deficiency . White meats such as chicken and turkey are considered low in fat but very high in protein, which makes them the ideal source of protein for athletes.

The proportion of natural, animal fat that humans can obtain from meat can often be sufficient to cover the daily requirement of fat and is a much better source than, for example, frying fat from chips, chips and other fast food. Also minerals apart from iron are found in most meats. Despite its health benefits, meat still contains a lot of cholesterol and should therefore not be eaten in large quantities, true to the motto: “The quantity makes the poison.” If you consume large amounts of meat, you also consume too much fat.

Meat from factory farms is also difficult because it could contain antibiotics, other drug residues and, last but not least , growth hormones . There are also diseases such as BSE or bird flu, which can spread easily in factory farming. Smoked, cured or otherwise industrially processed meat is usually considered rather unhealthy due to its other ingredients.

Ingredients & nutritional values

Since meat has received its justification in the menu as a supplier of valuable proteins, it is obvious that it mainly provides proteins . Since nowadays almost only pure muscle meat is consumed, the meat on the plate consists mainly of protein and, depending on the animal, to a certain extent of fat and connective tissue.

Most types of meat also contain minerals in different compositions. With simply prepared meat, only the spices are added, more is not to be found in natural meat. It is completely different with meat from factory farming or with industrially processed meat dishes. Preservatives, carcinogenic nitrite salts or simply a high fat content can play a role here.

Intolerances & allergies

For a long time there was no allergy to meat, but a few cases are now known. The rare meat allergy manifests itself like any other allergy, but seems to depend on the animal origin of the meat. Patients who generally tolerate poultry well, for example, reacted to red meats such as beef – but people can also be allergic to poultry or all types of meat.

Reason is probably a sugar molecule in the meat. Real intolerance to meat is also rare, since the pure product consists largely of proteins and these are vital. Some types of meat, such as pork, are only rejected in sports circles because they contain more fat than chicken, for example – so they don’t go well with a low-fat diet.

Shopping & kitchen tips

Meat is an ingredient that absolutely must be fresh, which also makes it a bit difficult to purchase and store. Unprocessed, raw meat must be used up within a few days, based on the expiry date.

After that, it should either not be eaten at all or, if it looks and smells good, it should only be prepared at high temperatures to kill all possible germs. Raw, fresh meat is always stored in the refrigerator in airtight packaging. While there are dishes made from raw meat, well-cooked meat is healthier. It is important that the meat reaches a certain minimum temperature, often at least 80°C is recommended.

At this temperature, the most serious germs should die off and are therefore no longer dangerous for humans. Steaks are therefore usually harmless, but types of meat that have exceeded this minimum temperature are safer. That is why pregnant women are advised not to eat English or medium-fried steaks.

preparation tips

There are many spices that go well with meat. The meat can be marinated in a mixture of oils and spices, rubbed or seasoned with it during cooking. How the meat is best heated also depends on the recipe. It is usually first seared at high heat, which destroys the proteins in the upper layers of meat and allows the crispy crust to form.

The meat stays juicy and soft on the inside. Meat can then be cooked at very low temperatures until it is almost falling apart, but it can also be further roasted, boiled or served as an accompaniment to soup. The cooking time for meat depends on the type of animal it comes from and its thickness. With thin pieces of meat such as minute steaks or diced meat, a few minutes are sufficient, with a roast or a whole bird such as a goose or a turkey, it can take several hours.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.