In gastronomy, red meat is darker-colored meat, as contrasted with white meat. The exact definition varies by time, place, and culture, but the meat of adult mammals such as cows, sheep, and horses is invariably considered red, while chicken and rabbit is invariably considered white. The meat of young mammals such as milk-fed veal calves, sheep, and pigs is traditionally considered white; while the meat of duck and goose is considered red. Game is sometimes put in a separate category altogether (French: viandes noires — "black meats").
The old determinant of the nutritional definition of the color of meat is the concentration of myoglobin. The white meat of chicken has under 0.05%; pork and veal have 0.1–0.3%; young beef has 0.4–1.0%; and old beef has 1.5–2.0%.
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Red meat contains large amounts of iron, creatine, minerals such as zinc and phosphorus, and B-vitamins: (niacin, vitamin B12, thiamin and riboflavin). Red meat is the richest source of lipoic acid, a powerful antioxidant.[dead link]
Food pyramid 
The 1992 edition of the USDA food guide pyramid has been criticized for not distinguishing between red meat and other types of meat. The 2005 edition, MyPyramid, recommends lean forms of red meat.
Potential health risks 
There is significant controversy about the health effects of consuming red meat. Part of this is due to the fact that studies (cited below) show that red meat is not a uniform product but rather seems to vary significantly in health effect based on fat content, processing and preparation. Many studies do not differentiate between these factors. More recent studies, such as a 2010 Harvard University study  covering over one million people, have studied the effect of fresh (unprocessed) versus processed red meat and found processed meat to have significant health risks. A massive study conducted by the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition and published in 2013 which followed over 400,000 subjects showed increased mortality among subjects that consumed processed meat regularly, and a smaller increase in mortality in those who consumed red meat. There was an increase in cardiovascular diseases, but also in cancer deaths. Yet another study linked consumption of processed meat to premature death (after adjusting for confounding factors), even though a consumption of a small amount of red meat appeared to have beneficial effects.
Colorectal cancer 
Due to the many studies that have found a link between red meat intake and colorectal cancer, the American Institute for Cancer Research and World Cancer Research Fund stated that there is convincing evidence that red meat intake increases the risk for colorectal cancer.
Professor Sheila Bingham of the Dunn Human Nutrition Unit attributes this to the haemoglobin and myoglobin molecules which are found in red meat. She suggests these molecules, when ingested trigger a process called nitrosation in the gut which leads to the formation of carcinogens. Others have suggested that it is due to the presence of carcinogenic compounds called heterocyclic amines, which are created in the cooking process. However, this may not be limited to red meat, since a study from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate skinless chicken five times or more per week had a 52% higher risk of developing bladder cancer although not people who ate chicken with skin or other red meats such as hot dogs and Hamburgers.
A 2011 study of 17,000 individuals found that people consuming the most grilled and well-done meat had a 56 and 59% higher rate of cancer.
Other cancers 
There is suggestive evidence that red meat intake increases the risk of oesophageal, lung, pancreatic and endometrial cancer. As a result, WCRF recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, "very little, if any of which to be processed."
Some studies have linked consumption of large amounts of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer (although other studies have found no relationship between red meat and prostate cancer).
Cardiovascular diseases 
The consensus on the role of red meat consumption to increased risk of cardiovascular diseases has changed in recent years. Studies that differentiate between processed and fresh red meat have failed to find a link between unprocessed red meat consumption and heart disease. A major Harvard University meta-study  in 2010 involving over one million people who ate meat found that only processed meat had an adverse risk in relation to coronary heart disease. The study suggests that eating 50g (less than 2oz) of processed meat per day increases risk of coronary heart disease by 42%, and diabetes by 19%. Equivalent levels of fat, including saturated fats, in unprocessed red meat (even when eating twice as much per day) did not show any deleterious effects, leading the researchers to suggest that "differences in salt and preservatives, rather than fats, might explain the higher risk of heart disease and diabetes seen with processed meats, but not with unprocessed red meats."
Some older studies have associated red meat (processed and unprocessed) consumption with cardiovascular diseases, possibly because of its high content of saturated fat. Specifically, increased beef intake is associated with ischemic heart disease. Some mechanisms that have been suggested for why red meat consumption is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease include: its impact on serum cholesterol, that red meat contains arachidonic acid, heme iron, and homocysteine.
A 1999 study funded by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, an advocacy group for beef producers, involved 191 persons with high cholesterol on diets where at least 80% of the meat intake came from either lean red meat in one group, or lean white meat in another. The results of this study showed nearly identical cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in both groups. This study suggests that lean red meat may play a role in a low-fat diet for persons with high cholesterol.
A 2008 article published in Nature found that red meat consumption was "strongly associated" with increased odds of acute coronary syndrome, with those eating more than 8 servings of red meat per month being 4.9 times more likely to have cardiac events than those eating less than four servings per month.
A 21 year follow up of about thirty thousand Seventh-day Adventists (adventists are known for presenting a "health message" that recommends vegetarianism) found that people who ate red meat daily were 60% more likely to die of heart disease than those who ate red meat less than once per week.
The Seven Countries Study found a significant correlation between red meat consumption and risk of CHD. A significant relationship between red meat and CHD has been found specifically for women, most strongly with regards to processed red meat.
A 2009 study by the National Cancer Institute revealed a correlation between the consumption of red meat and increased mortality from cardiovascular diseases, as well as increased mortality from all causes. This study has been criticized for using an improperly validated food frequency questionnaire, which has been shown to have low levels of accuracy.
According to a 2013 study by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, when bacteria in the digestive tract interacts with carnitine, a compound abundant in red meat, it converts carnitine to another metabolite, called TMAO, that promotes atherosclerosis, or a thickening of the arteries. A vegan that voluntarily ate the same combination showed no such increase in TMAO or bacterial change.
Red meat intake has been associated with an increased risk of type II diabetes. Interventions in which red meat is removed from the diet can lower albuminuria levels. Replacing red meat with a low protein or chicken diet can improve glomerular filtration rate.
Other findings have suggested that the association may be due to saturated fat, trans fat and dietary cholesterol, rather than red meat per se. An additional confound is that diets high in processed meat could increase the risk for developing Type 2 diabetes.
One study estimated that “substitutions of one serving of nuts, low-fat dairy, and whole grains per day for one serving of red meat per day were associated with a 16–35% lower risk of type 2 diabetes”.
The Diogenes project used data from ninety thousand men and women over about seven years and found that "higher intake of total protein, and protein from animal sources was associated with subsequent weight gain for both genders, strongest among women, and the association was mainly attributable to protein from red and processed meat and poultry rather than from fish and dairy sources. There was no overall association between intake of plant protein and subsequent changes in weight." They also found an association between red meat consumption and increased waist circumference.
A 1998 survey of about five thousand vegetarian and non-vegetarian people found that vegetarians had about 30% lower BMIs. A 2006 survey of fifty thousand women found that those with higher "western diet pattern" scores gained about two more kilograms over the course of four years than those who lowered their scores.
A ten-year follow up of 80,000 men and women found that "ten-year changes in body mass index was associated positively with meat consumption" as well as with weight gain at the waist. In a Mediterranean population of 8,000 men and women, meat consumption was significantly associated with weight gain. Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed "consistent positive associations between meat consumption and BMI, waist circumference, obesity and central obesity."
Other health issues 
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See also 
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