Meat in the Diet: Differentiating Benefits and Risks of Different Types of Meat

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Meat".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 January 2022) | Viewed by 62379

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Department of Health, Animal Science and Food Safety, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
Interests: bioactive compounds; health effects of animal-derived foods; functional feed/food; animal nutrition; human nutrition
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute for Food Nutrition and Health, University of Reading, Reading, UK
Interests: health effects of animal-derived foods; human nutrition; cardiometabolic diseases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Meat is a common food and a staple in many diets worldwide, and global demand for it is predicted to increase by up to 100% by 2050. Meat as a protein-rich and carbohydrate-“low” product contributes to a low glycemic index, which is assumed to be “beneficial” with respect to obesity, diabetes development, and cancer (insulin resistance hypothesis). As an essential part of a mixed diet, meat ensures adequate delivery of essential micronutrients and amino acids and is involved in regulatory processes of energy metabolism for human health and development. However, despite being a key and unique source of high-quality proteins, iron, and zinc, red and particularly processed meat seems now to be associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer and cardiovascular disease. While differences between meat types (red, white, different cuts, processed meats, etc.) may not be clear to many consumers, differential benefits and risks on chronic disease development between them are substantial. For example, a recent World Cancer Research Fund report concluded that consumption of red meat is “probably carcinogenic” but processed meat “causes colorectal cancer”. This suggests a clear distinction between the two meat groups, although there is uncertainty about the definitions of red (e.g., beef and pork are both classified as red) and processed meat, which is a very variable commodity which can differ between countries.

Given the considerable uncertainly of these issues in both the science and consumer populations, bringing all the evidence together in a Special Issue would not only add clarity but highlight future research needs.

Dr. Carlotta Giromini
Prof. D. Ian Givens
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • Meat quality
  • Functionality
  • Chronic disease risk
  • Processed meat
  • Red meat
  • White meat
  • Nutrients
  • Protein quality

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Editorial

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4 pages, 188 KiB  
Editorial
Meat in the Diet: Differentiating the Benefits and Risks of Different Types of Meat
by Carlotta Giromini and D. Ian Givens
Foods 2023, 12(12), 2363; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12122363 - 14 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1582
Abstract
The present Special Issue features three broad areas related to meat: meat and human health, the effects of animals’ diets on the nutritional characteristics of meat, and consumers’ attitudes about buying and consuming cell-based meat [...] Full article

Research

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21 pages, 1129 KiB  
Article
Nutrient-Optimized Beef Enhances Blood Levels of Vitamin D and Selenium among Young Women
by Anna Haug, Cees Vermeer, Lene Ruud, Milena Monfort-Pires, Vladana Grabež and Bjørg Egelandsdal
Foods 2022, 11(5), 631; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050631 - 22 Feb 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 3687
Abstract
Bovine meat provides healthy nutrients but has also been negatively linked to greenhouse gases and non-communicable diseases. A double-blind intervention study was carried out to compare beef meat from bulls fed with feed supplemented with selenium, vitamin D, E, K (SeDEK-feed), and n [...] Read more.
Bovine meat provides healthy nutrients but has also been negatively linked to greenhouse gases and non-communicable diseases. A double-blind intervention study was carried out to compare beef meat from bulls fed with feed supplemented with selenium, vitamin D, E, K (SeDEK-feed), and n-3, or REGULAR feed. Thirty-four young healthy women (19–29 years old) consumed 300 g of these beef types per day for 6 days in a cross-over design. Diet registrations, blood samples, anthropometric measurements, and clinical data were collected four times. Both beef diets were higher than their habitual diet in protein, fat, saturated fat, and several micronutrients; contained more vegetables and fewer carbohydrates and were followed by a higher feeling of satiety. The SeDEK beef had higher amounts of selenium, vitamin 25-hydroxyvitamin D3 (25(OH)D3), E, and K (MK4), and increased serum selenium and 25(OH)D3 from the participants’ normal values if they were below 85 µg/L of selenium and 30 nmol of 25(OH)D3/L, respectively. Our study showed that optimized beef increased serum selenium in young women having moderate selenium levels and improved blood 25(OH)D3 in a woman having low to normal 25(OH)D3. Meat should be optimized to increase specific consumer groups’ needs for selenium and vitamin D. Full article
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27 pages, 12298 KiB  
Article
Brazilian Consumers’ Attitudes towards So-Called “Cell-Based Meat”
by Sghaier Chriki, Vincent Payet, Sérgio Bertelli Pflanzer, Marie-Pierre Ellies-Oury, Jingjing Liu, Élise Hocquette, Jonatã Henrique Rezende-de-Souza and Jean-François Hocquette
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2588; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112588 - 26 Oct 2021
Cited by 31 | Viewed by 3924
Abstract
The main goal of this online survey was to investigate the attitudes of Brazilians towards “cell-based meat”, which has become the subject of great scientific and media enthusiasm. The answers of 4471 respondents concluded that 46.6% of them thought “cell-based meat” was promising [...] Read more.
The main goal of this online survey was to investigate the attitudes of Brazilians towards “cell-based meat”, which has become the subject of great scientific and media enthusiasm. The answers of 4471 respondents concluded that 46.6% of them thought “cell-based meat” was promising and acceptable. More than 66% would be willing to try this novel product compared to 23% who expressed reluctance to do so. Nearly 40% of the total respondents did not want to eat “cell-based meat” regularly at all, whereas 29%, 43.2%, and 39.9% were willing to eat it regularly in restaurants, at home, and/or in ready-made meals, respectively. However, the majority of respondents (71%) were keen to pay much less for “cell-based meat” than conventionally produced meat (or even nothing at all), compared to 24.3% who were willing to pay the same price as conventional meat, whereas only 4.8% were willing to pay more. Approximately 51% of them considered that “cell-based meat” should not be called “meat” for marketing purposes. Job, monthly income, age, and gender were major factors impacting consumer acceptance. Meat professionals and consumers with higher incomes were less willing to eat “cell-based meat” regularly. Women (especially younger women) were the most concerned about the ethical and environmental issues related to meat production and were the most convinced that reducing meat consumption could be a good solution to the meat industry’s problems. Respondents who did not accept “cell-based meat” and did not eat meat substitutes had a negative attitude to this novel food (they considered it absurd and/or disgusting) and did not believe that “cell-based meat” should be called “meat” for marketing purposes. In contrast, the people who thought that “cell-based meat” could be called “meat” perceived it in a rather positive way. These results are important for consumers of meat and meat substitutes and for companies aiming to enter the potential future Brazilian market of “cell-based meat”. Full article
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Review

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16 pages, 998 KiB  
Review
Benefits and Risks Associated with Meat Consumption during Key Life Processes and in Relation to the Risk of Chronic Diseases
by Carlotta Giromini and D. Ian Givens
Foods 2022, 11(14), 2063; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11142063 - 12 Jul 2022
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 8446
Abstract
Red meat has been an important part of the diet throughout human evolution. Overall, when included as part of a healthy and varied diet, red meat can provide a rich source of bioavailable essential nutrients and high biological value protein. The present paper [...] Read more.
Red meat has been an important part of the diet throughout human evolution. Overall, when included as part of a healthy and varied diet, red meat can provide a rich source of bioavailable essential nutrients and high biological value protein. The present paper discusses the dietary role/impact of red and processed meat, with some reference to the relative effect of white meat, in a range of chronic conditions including iron-deficiency anaemia, cardiovascular diseases (CVD), cancer and dementia. The role of red meat in relation to key physiological conditions such as maintaining skeletal muscle and bone health and during pregnancy is also discussed. The inclusion of lean red meat in a healthy, varied diet may be beneficial during these critical conditions. There is however increasing evidence that red meat and especially processed meat are associated with increased risks of CVD, cancer and dementia whereas white meat is neutral or associated with a lower risk. There now seems little doubt that processed and unprocessed meat should have separate public dietary guidance. Full article
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19 pages, 367 KiB  
Review
Nutritional Benefits from Fatty Acids in Organic and Grass-Fed Beef
by Hannah Davis, Amelia Magistrali, Gillian Butler and Sokratis Stergiadis
Foods 2022, 11(5), 646; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11050646 - 23 Feb 2022
Cited by 28 | Viewed by 16286
Abstract
Livestock production is under increasing scrutiny as a component of the food supply chain with a large impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Amidst growing calls to reduce industrial ruminant production, there is room to consider differences in meat quality and nutritional benefits of [...] Read more.
Livestock production is under increasing scrutiny as a component of the food supply chain with a large impact on greenhouse gas emissions. Amidst growing calls to reduce industrial ruminant production, there is room to consider differences in meat quality and nutritional benefits of organic and/or pasture-based management systems. Access to forage, whether fresh or conserved, is a key influencing factor for meat fatty acid profile, and there is increasing evidence that pasture access is particularly beneficial for meat’s nutritional quality. These composition differences ultimately impact nutrient supply to consumers of conventional, organic and grass-fed meat. For this review, predicted fatty acid supply from three consumption scenarios were modelled: i. average UK population National Diet and Nutrition Survey (NDNS) (<128 g/week) red meat consumption, ii. red meat consumption suggested by the UK National Health Service (NHS) (<490 g/week) and iii. red meat consumption suggested by the Eat Lancet Report (<98 g/week). The results indicate average consumers would receive more of the beneficial fatty acids for human health (especially the essential omega-3, alpha-linolenic acid) from pasture-fed beef, produced either organically or conventionally. Full article
13 pages, 614 KiB  
Review
Quality Traits and Nutritional Value of Pork and Poultry Meat from Animals Fed with Seaweeds
by David Miguel Ribeiro, Cátia Falcão Martins, Mónica Costa, Diogo Coelho, José Pestana, Cristina Alfaia, Madalena Lordelo, André Martinho de Almeida, João Pedro Bengala Freire and José António Mestre Prates
Foods 2021, 10(12), 2961; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10122961 - 1 Dec 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3598
Abstract
Seaweeds have caught the attention of the scientific community in recent years. Their production can mitigate the negative impact of anthropogenic activity and their use in animal nutrition reduces the dependency on conventional crops such as maize and soybean meal. In the context [...] Read more.
Seaweeds have caught the attention of the scientific community in recent years. Their production can mitigate the negative impact of anthropogenic activity and their use in animal nutrition reduces the dependency on conventional crops such as maize and soybean meal. In the context of monogastric animals, novel approaches have made it possible to optimise their use in feed, namely polysaccharide extraction, biomass fermentation, enzymatic processing, and feed supplementation with carbohydrate-active enzymes (CAZymes). Their bioactive properties make them putative candidates as feed ingredients that enhance meat quality traits, such as lipid oxidation, shelf-life, and meat colour. Indeed, they are excellent sources of essential amino acids, polyunsaturated fatty acids, minerals, and pigments that can be transferred to the meat of monogastric animals. However, their nutritional composition is highly variable, depending on species, harvesting region, local pollution, and harvesting season, among other factors. In this review, we assess the current use and challenges of using seaweeds in pig and poultry diets, envisaging to improve meat quality and its nutritional value. Full article
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17 pages, 1201 KiB  
Review
Meat and Human Health—Current Knowledge and Research Gaps
by Nina Rica Wium Geiker, Hanne Christine Bertram, Heddie Mejborn, Lars O. Dragsted, Lars Kristensen, Jorge R. Carrascal, Susanne Bügel and Arne Astrup
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1556; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071556 - 5 Jul 2021
Cited by 58 | Viewed by 23060
Abstract
Meat is highly nutritious and contributes with several essential nutrients which are difficult to obtain in the right amounts from other food sources. Industrially processed meat contains preservatives including salts, possibly exerting negative effects on health. During maturation, some processed meat products develop [...] Read more.
Meat is highly nutritious and contributes with several essential nutrients which are difficult to obtain in the right amounts from other food sources. Industrially processed meat contains preservatives including salts, possibly exerting negative effects on health. During maturation, some processed meat products develop a specific microbiota, forming probiotic metabolites with physiological and biological effects yet unidentified, while the concentration of nutrients also increases. Meat is a source of saturated fatty acids, and current WHO nutrition recommendations advise limiting saturated fat to less than ten percent of total energy consumption. Recent meta-analyses of both observational and randomized controlled trials do not support any effect of saturated fat on cardiovascular disease or diabetes. The current evidence regarding the effect of meat consumption on health is potentially confounded, and there is a need for sufficiently powered high-quality trials assessing the health effects of meat consumption. Future studies should include biomarkers of meat intake, identify metabolic pathways and include detailed study of fermented and other processed meats and their potential of increasing nutrient availability and metabolic effects of compounds. Full article
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