4 People Who Should Never Eat Steak, According to Doctors — Eat This Not That

There’s nothing like a big, juicy steak next to a fluffy pile of mashed potatoes and perfectly seasoned greens. But since red meat has been so maligned, you may wonder if it’s good for your overall health. The good news is that — in moderation — lean cuts of steak are good for you, but there are people with certain conditions who should skip it altogether.

When most people eat steak, their “body breaks it down and uses the components for its own purposes, like building muscle and making blood,” explains Dr. Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM, director of medical content and education at Ro (health technology company) and member of our medical expert board. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone, he goes on to say, “on the not-so-beneficial side of things, steak is high in saturated fat, and regular consumption of red meat has been linked to high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer — especially colorectal cancer.”

Read on to find out if you are one of them 5 people who should never eat steak.

And for more foods you might want to stay away from, check out The Worst Bread You Should Never Eat, According to a Dietitian.

stomach problems

Although almost all foods are good to consume in moderation (most of the time), steak can affect people who have a sensitive stomach. This is because “gastrointestinal problems make the digestion of red meat more difficult,” says Dr. Bohl.

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High amounts of protein and fatty foods, such as steak and red meat, take much longer to empty from the stomach. According to the Geelong Medical Group, the first sign of having this problem is intense bloating and discomfort, which is a result of excess toxins accumulating in the digestive tract.

eat red meat

“The only people who should avoid eating steak altogether are those who have a short-term reaction to it, such as those who have an allergy,” explains Dr. Bohl. Sometimes having a steak once in a blue moon won’t do any outlandish harm, but that’s certainly not the case if you’re allergic.

Alpha-gal syndrome — discovered only in recent years — is defined as an allergy to products made from mammals, primarily cuts of red meat, the Mayo Clinic reports. Although it is quite rare to have, the allergy is like most, in the sense that it appears within minutes of eating a piece of steak.

Symptoms of the allergy appear in the form of hives, itchy and/or scaly skin (eczema), runny nose, headache, wheezing or shortness of breath, stomach pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting and swelling in body parts such as lips, face, tongue and throat.

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Steak and most red meat contain much more saturated fat, she explains, which can collect more LDL (bad cholesterol) cholesterol in the blood and increase the body’s blood pressure. “People with diabetes have an increased risk of heart disease, so avoiding steak would prevent a further increase in their risk,” suggests Dr. Cedrina Calder, MDanother member of our expert medical board.

The American Diabetes Associated recommends the total fat intake for a person with diabetes not to exceed 20 grams, and an average 8-ounce steak contains about 19 grams of saturated fat. And given that the likelihood of having high blood pressure doubles for someone with diabetes compared to someone without, a big steak dinner should be on the menu as little (if at all) as possible.

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Frequent eating of steak can cause a number of health problems, but more so for people who carry certain genetics. Consumes steak and other similar red meat”[have] been associated with several different cancers, especially colon cancer, says Dr. Calder, “If you have a strong family history of colon cancer, it may be wise to avoid steak.”

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There are certain compounds in steak and other red meat, according to researchers at The Cancer Institute, that cause “alkylating” damage and the possible formation of this cancer.

According to Harvard Health, people who eat 5 ounces a day or more of steak (and/or red meat), increase their risk of developing colon cancer by 28%. That being said, lean meats – such as chicken – and fish have been found to be preventative for the disease when consumed long-term.

The best alternatives to red meat

Steak is undeniably delicious and if you fall under any of these categories, having to remove or strictly limit it from your diet can be a tough pill to swallow. What if we told you that you had more options?

“Healthier alternatives to red meat include venison, wild boar and bison, which contain less saturated fat than beef,” explains Dr. Bohl. And “if you still want to eat beef, the leaner the better. Lean cuts of beef include round eye, top round, bottom round, round tips, sirloin tips and top sirloin.”

Having a replacement for red meat allows steak lovers to enjoy the protein in a healthy and lifelong sustainable way.


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