About Meat, Fish, and Poultry

While a few of my patients are vegetarian, the vast majority eat at least some meat, poultry and fish. In fact, meat, poultry and fish are the centerpieces of the American diet. Consider the most common answers to the question, “What’s for dinner?” Usually, the answer is the main meat or fish dish. It may be chicken, fish, hamburgers, steak, hot dogs, or roast, but the answer is rarely, “Salad, green beans and brown rice. And, oh yeah…we are having some grilled chicken with that.”
Unfortunately, processing, animal raising practices, and additives can lead to some of these choices being unhealthy for us.
Here are some tips for healthiest consumption of meat and poultry:
• Choose lean varieties. If you eat red meat, buy leaner cuts such as sirloin, flank, or tenderloin. Buffalo and veal are naturally lean.
• Research shows that grass fed beef seems to produce more healthy Omega 3 fats than cattle raised on grains.
• Avoid processed meats like sausages, hot dogs, bacon, ham, and luncheon meats. These are high in sodium, sugar, and preservatives, like nitrites.
• If you eat sandwiches regularly, use lean and low sodium meats or poultry, and not much of them. Instead, load up the sandwich with dark lettuce, tomato, spinach, shredded carrots, bell peppers, cucumbers, olives, and onions.
• Aim for no more than 8 ounces a day of total meat, fish, or poultry. This will help lower blood pressure, and make a big difference in weight control if you make up the difference by eating more vegetables.
• Trim away skin and fat from poultry and meat. Bake, broil, grill or roast it instead of frying in fat.
Here are some tips for healthiest consumption of fish:
• Eat heart-healthy fish, such as salmon, herring and tuna. These types of fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which can help lower your total cholesterol.
• Wild caught salmon is probably better than farm raised, as it avoids the risk of pesticide and fertilizer runoff. Also, some farmed salmon are fed an unnatural diet, and must have color added to look appetizing. Never buy those with color added.
• Depending on how close you live to the source, frozen fish may be a better choice than fresh! This is because seafood is frozen as soon as it is caught, whereas “fresh” is refrigerated until it reaches the consumer. Nutritional value starts to degrade as soon as it is caught if not frozen.
Most Americans enjoy meat, poultry, and fish. Processing, additives, and animal raising methods can lead to these choices being unhealthy for us. By following the above suggestions, we can eat continue to consume these and still enjoy good health!

About the Author

Dr. Teitelbaum practices Osteopathic manipulation, prolotherapy, spinal decompression, acupuncture, and Chinese herbal medicine in the Dallas/Ft. Worth metroplex. For over 25 years, he has provided conservative, natural treatment for sports injuries, back pain, neck pain, headaches, posture problems, overuse injuries, and joint pain. Commonly treated conditions include muscle, tendon and ligament damage of the neck, low back, tailbone, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle and foot.