T Nation

How Much Red Meat Each Week?

I’m not a huge fan of red meat. I prefer to eat fish. Red meat tends to sit in my stomach and I don’t feel too great after eating it. I think some people here eat red meat everyday. I don’t think I could do that. How much do you think I should at least eat in a week? Also, should I just save it for workout days since I won’t be eating it everyday??

That really depends on your iron, zinc, and B12 intake. If they are already above the DRI (adjust it to your caloric intake by multiplying by whatever factor your calories differ from 2500 kcal and add 25-50% extra if you really want to be sure), then there is no need to eat red meat whatsoever.

The fact that you state you do not seem to digest it well would indicate you do not handle it well. I would make sure that the fat for red meat meals is balanced. This is done by adding omega 3 and 6. I use walnuts which are very high in omega 6 and milled flax seed mixed in with my veggies plus some fish oil caps.

Using a digestive enzyme/betaine HCl blend may alleviate some of the problems you have.

In your case if the fish is fatty like salmon, trout, sardines, mackerel, or chard, then I would not worry too much as you are replacing it with another nutrient rich meat. I would be more worried if you are replacing it with skinless chicken breast as this would make it a little harder to reach some of the micronutrient totals that you would get on a red meat inclusive diet.

In general if you follow these rules, you do not have to worry:

  1. animal protein at each feeding

  2. balance fats so SAT and POLY are roughly equal and equal to or less than MONO; balance omega 3 to 6 so that omega 6 does not exceed 2-3 times the omega 3 intake

  3. eat veggies and perhaps fruit with each feeding

As you may note, this is simply a subset of Berardi’s 7 habits.

You can eat all the red meat you want if you eat the right types. One very successful bodybuilder whose name escapes me claimes to eat 10 to 12 oz of buffalo with each meal. Buffalo is very simular to beef with much lower fat content. Lean beef and many cuts of lean steak are also great alternatives to the same old chicken/fish/turkey you already probably eat.