Cook's Naturals
Your Pathway To Health

Cook's Naturals

Everything You Need To Know About Meat

In today’s post, we’ll be going over several different topics when it comes to meat. We’ll be talking about what kind of meat Cook’s can offer you, what the benefits of each type of meat are, and we’ll even be defining those confusing labels that you see on meat packaging. Let’s dive right in!

What kind of meat does Cook’s carry?

Cook’s has one of the largest meat selections around! While our meat department may look small, you’ll never have to look in another place to get your meat. We’ve got it all! If you want a classic sirloin, ribeye, chicken thighs, shrimp, or even just breakfast sausages, we’ve got it. If you want lamb, bison, deer, quail, rabbit, mahi mahi, sea bass, elk, shark, or even duck meat, we’ve got that too! All of our meat is fresh, delicious, and of the highest quality. Cook’s is all about having the highest quality cuts while having none of the bad stuff in meat that will make you sick.

What are the benefits of each type of meat?

Beef is packed with nutrients and are an essential part of many people’s diets. But what exactly are those health benefits? We decided it would be a great idea to share some of the benefits of beef in this week’s article.

BENEFITS OF BEEF

1. Muscle Building and Tissue Repair

The protein comprised in one daily serving of red meat contains the amino acids you need for muscle building and tissue repair. Protein also assists in producing the enzymes and hormones that are required by your body to help to prevent illness. Protein consumption has also been linked to weight loss due to its ability to satisfy hunger and reduce appetite after being eaten.

2. Red Blood Cell, immune strength and overall well-being:

Iron contained in red meat is more easily absorbed by the body, making red meat the best source of iron for your body. Iron is essential for our red blood cells to deliver oxygen to the cells in our bodies.

It serves as an essential mineral that our bodies use in the liver, bone marrow, spleen and muscles.

Iron is well known for its ability to assist our bodies in avoiding anaemia, a condition by which a person’s body has insufficient healthy red blood cells. Iron also assists our bodies in providing immune strength, and various bodily benefits. Iron deficiencies can lead to fatigue, weakness, peptic ulcers and a weakened immune system.

3. Development and general health:

Beef also contains a healthy dosage of zinc, which is an essential mineral that we need to perform various bodily functions.

Zinc plays a vital role in our bodies cellular metabolism and assists in immune functions, DNA synthesis, and cell division.

Zinc supports normal development during infancy, childhood and adolescence. The National Institutes of Health in the US states that our bodies have no specialised storage system for zinc, and thus a daily intake of zinc is required to “maintain a steady state”. (USA.Gov, 2016)

4. A healthy nervous, immune and digestive system:

B-Vitamins promote various functions of the body. Red meat contains B-12, which promotes a healthy nervous system, B-6 for a healthy immune system, niacin which aids our bodies digestive system, and riboflavin which promote healthy skin and eyes.

BENEFITS OF POULTRY (Chicken, Quail, Duck, etc.)

1.   Rich in Protein –  It’s a great source of lean, low fat protein which contribute to muscle growth and development.  That protein also helps support a healthy body weight and aids weight loss.

2.   Good for the Heart  –  Eating chicken breast suppresses and controls a body’s homocysteine amino acid levels which, if too high, can lead to cardiovascular disease.

3.   Plenty of Phosphorus  –  They’re rich in phosphorus, an essential mineral that supports your teeth and bones, as well as kidney, liver, and central nervous system function.

4.   Abundant in Selenium  –  Provides this essential mineral involved in metabolic performance … in other words thyroid, hormone, metabolism, and immune function.

5.   Boosts Metabolism  –  Vitamin B6 (or B-complex vitamins) in chicken will keep blood vessels healthy, energy levels high, and metabolism burning away calories so you can manage a healthy weight..

6.   Rich in Niacin  –  Another B-vitamin, niacin helps guard against cancer and other forms of genetic (DNA) damage.

7.   Natural Anti-depressant  –  If you’re feeling depressed, eating some poultry will increase the serotonin amino acid  levels in your brain, enhancing your mood, blasting stress, and lulling you to sleep.

8.   Promotes Eye Health  –  An excellent source of retinol, alpha and beta-carotene, and lycopene (all derived from vitamin A) and all vital for healthy eyesight.

9.   Essential for Healthy Tissue  –  Riboflavin (or Vitamin B2), found in chicken livers, will drastically reduce your skin problems and repair dry or damaged skin.

10.   Prevents Bone Loss  –  If you’re entering your senior years and you’re concerned about Osteoporosis or arthritis, eating chicken will aid in your fight against bone loss thanks to the protein punch it packs!

BENEFITS OF FISH

Fish is a high-protein, low-fat food that provides a range of health benefits. White-fleshed fish, in particular, is lower in fat than any other source of animal protein, and oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acids, or the "good" fats. Since the human body can’t make significant amounts of these essential nutrients, fish are an important part of the diet. Also, fish are low in the "bad" fats commonly found in red meat, called omega-6 fatty acids.

WHY ARE OMEGA-3S GOOD FOR YOUR HEALTH?

A growing body of evidence indicates that omega-3 fatty acids provide a number of health benefits. They:

  • help maintain cardiovascular health by playing a role in the regulation of blood clotting and vessel constriction;

  • are important for prenatal and postnatal neurological development;

  • may reduce tissue inflammation and alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis;

  • may play a beneficial role in cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), reducing depression and halting mental decline in older people.

The omega-3s found in fish (EPA and DHA) appear to provide the greatest health benefits. Fish that are high in omega-3s, low in environmental contaminants and eco-friendly include:

  • wild salmon from Alaska (fresh, frozen and canned),

  • Arctic char,

  • Atlantic mackerel,

  • sardines,

  • sablefish,

  • anchovies

  • farmed rainbow trout and

  • albacore tuna from the U.S. and Canada.

What do all these labels mean?

When you take a walk through the meat department in any store, you’ll see every steak, chicken thigh, deer heart, unicorn horn, and whatever else plastered in a million labels that say “Grass-fed, antibiotic-free, no GMO/GE” and a plethora of other things. If you’ve never researched it before, then a lot of these labels can confuse you. Even if you HAVE done your research, some of these labels might mean something different than what you think!

ORGANIC
In general, organic production limits the use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other inputs. This label is a catch all term for indicating that there were no hormones or antibiotics used in the raising of the animal, but companies may choose to specify the lack of those in the production as well.
GRASS-FED
Grass fed means what it says, the animal was allowed to eat grass in a pasture for its diet rather than the usual diet of hay, dried grass, and grain. Think of it like us eating fresh, delicious meals rather than living solely on Lunchables and potato chips. However, make sure to look for the organic or no hormones/antibiotics label, as a grass-fed beef label does NOT guarantee that your meat will be hormone and antibiotic free.
PASTURED/PASTURE RAISED
This label is uncommon, but it might be used by companies to emphasize their humane raising conditions. Grass-fed implies pasture raised, so it is used more commonly. However, unlike the grass-fed label, pastured/pasture raised beef has no regulation, so there’s really no way to know for sure. The grass fed label IS regulated, so try to look for that label instead.
CAGE FREE
Cage free is a label that means chickens are raised out in the open rather than in cages. These chickens are like the roaming ones you see in farms.
NATURAL
Natural is a bit of a vague term, so many companies may not choose to use it. Natural implies that the food has no nitrates/nitrites, dyes, filler ingredients, and other synthetic or product enhancing ingredients. You will most likely see these things emphasized rather than saying natural. It’s similar to when companies choose to specify that their products contain no dyes or artificial flavors rather than saying no artificial ingredients.
ANTIBIOTIC-FREE
Antibiotic free means that the raising of the animal did not include a regimen of antibiotics.
NON-GMO/GE
Non-GMO/GE means that the meat you’re buying was not genetically modified or genetically engineered to be bigger, more tender, more colorful, more flavorful, etc.
HUMANE
This is another vague term, so it is uncommon, but it might be used as a short hand term. Humane implies that the meat was raised cage-free, grass-fed, pasture-raised, or whatever humane method is applicable for the type of meat.
WILD CAUGHT
Wild caught is a term that applies to fish, not beef or chicken. This means that the fish were caught out in nature, rather than being raised in fish farms.

NITRATE/NITRITE FREE
Nitrate and nitrites are preservatives that may have cancer causing effects under certain circumstances. This label means that those ingredients are not added to preserve the meat.

Susana Cook