Meat on Phase One

meat-phase-one

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On The Phase One Diet, you are cutting out most of the grains, sugars and carbohydrate-rich foods that many Americans consume on a daily basis. This means that foods like breads, pasta, potatoes and baked goods are eliminated from the diet. This leaves quite a caloric void in the diets of many people. The Phase One Diet chooses instead to encourage vegetables, lean meats, eggs, nuts and certain fruits. While this diet is far more nutritious than the diets many people eat, many are concerned by the encouragement to eat meat on a diet that purportedly promotes health.

During the 1970s, conventional wisdom become that it was the high-fat diet Americans consumed––a diet rich in animal fats, in particular–– that was the culprit behind the rise in obesity and heart disease. From that point, we were all collectively encouraged to remove animal products from our diet. The problem was that most people substituted meat and animal products for high-carb and high sugar fare. What happened was interesting; rates of heart disease and obesity did not go down, they went up!

Fast forward to today, and researchers are confirming a few things. Fat is not necessarily bad for you. Diets high in protein, including animal protein, are beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight. Eating fat does not necessarily make one fat, but a diet high in refined carbohydrates and sugar has been linked to higher rates of heart disease and obesity. So we now know that meat is not necessarily the culprit when it comes to poor health. That said, on Phase One, there are a few guidelines that might be beneficial when choosing what meats to enjoy.

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Look for meat that was raised on its natural diet and in its natural environment.
For cows, bison, goats and other ruminants, this means grass-fed. For chicken, turkey and other birds, this means pastured. For fish, this generally means wild-caught, not farm-raised. The meat yielded by these animals is much healthier, less likely to be contaminated with toxins (including mycotoxins) and contain more nutrients. Furthermore, the fat in animals raised/fed in this manner is going to be healthier, higher in Omega 3 fats and contain more nutrients such as beta-carotene than animals raised in what has become the conventional way of producing meat.

Be careful with heavily processed meats.
These meats, such as deli meats, jerky, etc., can be cured with sugar, extremely high in sodium and contain other chemical additives (such as MSG, sodium nitrite, etc.) that one would be better off avoiding. Look for minimally processed meats.

Choose organic when possible.
Animals labeled USDA Organic have not been fed antibiotics or growth hormones, both of which people on The Phase One Diet should seek to avoid.

 

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