T Nation

Negating the Negatives of Meat


I love meat, and eat what others would consider way too much of it.

Recently, after a 'debate' (or yelling match) with a vegetarian, I was thinking of the negatives of meat and why it is considered bad. More importantly, I was thinking about ways to negate the bad, thus making meat more beneficial.

As of right now, I came across Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs), which are produced during cooking from amino acids and creatine binding together to form a group of carcinogenic demons; AGEs, which come from the Maillard browning reaction of glucose (reducing sugar) and amino acids, and are implicated in atherosclerosis; and Nitrates, in cured meats, which can form into Nitrosamines, which are carcinogenic.

The HCAs can apparently be negated quite well by marination (olive oil, garlic, some other spices were used in the studies I saw) and reduced formation can be achieved through less heat or time on the cooker.

The Nitrosamines can apparently be prevented from forming by ascorbic acid (Have some veggies on the side, mushrooms and onions with your steak anyone?). And the AGEs can be prevented by not burning the meat (Apparently the burn-y look of well done meat are the actual AGEs)

Saturated fat is now a moot point, so let's omit that.

Is there anything else that is considered 'bad' about meat (so I am fully prepared with my next encounter with a vegetarian missionary), and if possible, any way to negate it.


You should have just killed then ate it. You would've saved yourself a whole bunch of time.


There are no negatives.


I have long been interested in having a healthy diet, but I draw the line at AGEs.

If they are harmful, so be it. A steak without a good crust is hardly worth eating, and a great steak cooked perfectly is one of the great pleasures of life.

The Maillard reaction (along with caramelization) is the foundation of great cooking. Steaming everything is not an option.


No slow simmering over Coconut oil? Makes a nice steak without much AGE production.

I'd love this to be true, but meat has negatives like everything else. Hence why I am trying to find out what is bad about them and negate it, so our fondest wishes of no negatives can be truer.


Making things in the oven, eating it with onions, fresh herbs and garlic.


Why the hell would someone waste time and breath arguing with a vegan?

If they want, we can arm wrestle over it and leave it at that.


You can make anything carcinogenic if you cook it poorly. Stick to raw meat if you're worried.

But seriously, take PX's advice, and don't argue with the vegan. Vaganism is an irrational, emotionally-based decision these days. There is zero reason why anyone should be so misinformed as to think it's healthier than a healthy omnivorous diet. Anyone who is still a vegan has either decided it based on moral grounds, or because they get some weird satisfaction from what's basically the nutritional equivalent of self-flagellation: i.e. if I'm denying myself something good, if it hurts, it must be good for me/my soul.


This is so true. THey think that they are the most fucken healthy people in the world, its sad really.


'Well, if you put a bunny and an apple in a baby's cradle, will it eat the bunny and play with the apple, or play with the bunny or eat the apple?'
With argumanets like that you can't win. Can call social services, though.

When I was a baby I found a smoked sheep's head http://nlenkel.files.wordpress.com/2006/12/smalahove_served.jpg and ate it. Fuck you, vegans.


Read "The Vegetarian Myth".

It's all the ammo you'll ever need when dealing with utter ignorance and stupidity on the subject.


There is also the question of heme, contained in large(r) amount in red meat, which is probably the main reason this type of meat has more adverse effects on the intestines. Chlorophyll does an excellent job of capturing it and helping it out. Eat leafy greens, - spinach was very effective -, with your meat and you should be good. This does not appear to be an important issue with e.g. chicken, but the heating the any meat will produces AGEs and HCAs. This can possibly be countered by pretreatment, like marinating to reduce the formation, and eating lots of veggies to neutralize the compounds once ingested. Several phytochemicals are quite proficient in reducing DNA adducts and the likes, so veggies should therefore be eaten with every meal. Pounding a charred pound of steak and calling it a meal is not a very good idea.


I'm ordering it now.

You can read the first five (short) chapters on the author's website: http://www.lierrekeith.com/vegmyth.htm


Yes you can win that argument.
A baby still young enough to be in its cradle is in no position to eat an apple. Terrible arguments on the vegan's part.


Nitrates can be avoided just by eating fresh meats or eating cured meat that has not been treated with nitrates, as for the AGE's(I think AGE's are only harmful if they are being formed in your body by having a higher than normal blood sugar level causing AGE's in your tissues instead of a nice crust on a steak) and HCA's that's only vegan nitpicking and they don't understand cost to benefit ratio or; using their reasoning you can make broccoli and spinach seem bad for ones health as well even though we know its healthy.


Sorry, no thanks. The flavor of coconut oil with a great tri tip or ribeye? I think not. Simmering as a cook method for any great cut of STEAK? I think not.

There's no accounting for different tastes, but I would take my mesquite-grilled steak, aged, salted with sea salt, lightly coated with olive oil, crusted with coarsely ground tellicherry peppercorns, grilled perfectly to a crusty exterior and warm red interior, any day over one slow simmered in coconut oil.

For a slow-cook-friendly cut like chuck, maybe, but then there is no need to use coconut oil. But then slow-cooked chuck is usually simmered in other strong flavors like red wine, tomatoes, chiles, curry, etc.

I do not share the enthusiasm for coconut oil. Used it, rarely like the flavor in different dishes, and I doubt I was any healthier using it.


Sounds delicious although I never had a great grilled steak(also don't own a grill but considering on getting one) I like my steak pan fried in olive oil and basted in foaming butter. I hear a lot of people using coconut oil nowadays for things like eggs but it would seem strange for eggs to have coconut flavor.


It's on google books for free. Though I do have a kindle so I don't have to read it on a computer.


Never had a great grilled steak??!!??!?!?!?!

Tragic. Even more tragic than people going to Denny's on their Cheat Day.

Pan frying in olive oil and butter doesn't sound too bad, but mesquite smoke flavoring a well-marbled steak is heavenly.

Coconut oil has a flavor that IMO does not mesh well with a LOT of foods. I tend to use it with Asian or Thai flavors.


Turn on your irony-detector :wink:

Also, I wrote argumanets. I feel dumberer for it.