When we think of healthy eating, veggies and fruits tend to be what come to mind first. And while those are important parts of a healthy diet, meat is an incredibly beneficial food group as well! Full of essential vitamins and minerals, meat is the fuel for a healthy life.
Meat offers protein, vitamins, and minerals that our bodies need to function at their best. You can learn more about the specific vitamins in meat HERE.
Not only that, but meat can be a vital part of most clean eating diets including gluten free, paleo, keto, paleo, carnivore, low FODMAP, Whole30, AIP, PCOS, and more. Read on to learn about these diets and the role of meat in each one.
Gluten Free Diet
People who are allergic to gluten or have gluten sensitivities often choose to eat a gluten free diet. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains including wheat, barley, and rye. There are many foods that contain gluten, but meat is not one of them! Even if an animal is fed grain containing gluten, the meat itself will not contain gluten because gluten is broken down during digestion. It is important to note that while meat is naturally gluten free, gluten may be added to the meat. It is still important to read and understand food labels if you are trying to avoid gluten in your diet. Read this blog for more information on reading food labels and locating gluten: Is Meat Gluten Free? How to Read Nutrition Labels.
The Paleo diet is a high protein, low carb diet that is also high fiber, potassium, and healthy fat focused. It aims to eliminate processed foods from the diet, and promote foods that were available during the Paleolithic era. This blog gives a detailed description of the paleo diet: What is Paleo
As you can imagine, being on a high protein diet means that eating good quality, clean meat is important! Paleo is easily adaptable to fit most lifestyles, and can help with weight loss and lower inflammation. This diet is not for everyone, though, and you should talk with your healthcare provider before starting the paleo diet if you have any nutrient deficiencies or dietary restrictions.
The keto diet is an incredibly popular diet that many people have experienced health benefits from. Keto encourages the consumption of high fat, low carb foods. Cutting down on carbs puts your body into a state called Ketosis. In this state, the body burns fat for energy more efficiently, and turns fat into ketones. There are a few versions of the keto diet, some of which increase protein intake. Meat is a great source of healthy fats as well as being high in protein and other vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function well.
The relatively new carnivore diet focuses on eating-you guessed it-only meat. Obviously, meat is the primary source of protein on the carnivore diet. Some people may find this to be a more difficult diet to follow due to the restriction of other foods. But its restrictive nature eliminates items that cause common sensitivities. This diet may have health benefits including weight loss and improved digestion, but it is a more extreme diet and should only be considered once you’ve discussed it with your healthcare provider.
Whole30 ® is a 30-day diet that eliminates processed foods and added sugars, and acts as a nutritional reset. It is more restrictive at the beginning and allows you to reintroduce certain foods back into your diet in order to identify foods that may be causing issues. Natural foods that are unprocessed are allowed on Whole30, meaning that meat is something that you can eat on the diet. For more info on Whole30, read this blog: What is Whole30?
The Low FODMAP diet is a popular diet for those with digestive issues. FODMAPs are short-chain carbohydrates that the small intestine has a harder time absorbing. This diet eliminates foods that are high in FODMAPs. Fortunately, meat is naturally low in these carbs, making it an ideal food for those on this diet.
The AIP diet is used to reduce inflammation and improve the health of those with autoimmune diseases. It is similar to paleo in that foods are restricted and then reintroduced, but AIP is more strict than paleo. Fresh, nutritious foods are encouraged, including minimally processed meats and bone broth. Meat is not considered an inflammatory food, so it is a great way to get the nutrients our bodies need.
PCOS is a hormonal disorder affecting many women. The PCOS diet is intended to improve the health and reduce the symptoms for women with PCOS. Like most of the other diets listed above, processed foods are to be avoided. But lean meats are on the list of foods that can help those with PCOS.
Clean Eating and Intermittent Fasting
Clean eating is exactly what it sounds like-eating foods that are “clean”. In other words, it is eating whole, unprocessed foods that are nutritious, and avoiding added sugars. Intermittent fasting involves cycles of eating and fasting. During the eating cycles, anything is up for grabs, but we suggest considering eating foods that are on the clean eating list. It’s better to fill yourself with foods that are good fuel for your body!
Meat is a vital part of a healthy diet and offers nutritional value that fuels our bodies the right way. At Pederson’s, we are committed to producing high quality meats that are free of sugar, antibiotics, gluten, dairy, and GMO’s. We believe that eating good food is the best way to fuel your life.