Are you trying to eat healthier? You’re not alone. More people are trying to clean up their diets these days as studies show that diet plays an important role in health and longevity. Recent medical research has shown that eating conventional red meat such as beef can increase overall mortality as well as elevate the risk of heart disease and certain types of cancer. For this reason, people who are unable to give up meat entirely are looking for healthier meat alternatives. For some ostrich meat is the answer. Is ostrich meat healthy?
Although ostrich is considered to be a red meat, it’s considerably lower in fat and calories than beef. A single 3.5 ounce serving of ostrich meat has only 155 calories in contrast to a serving of beef which can vary from 220 calories to over 300 calories per serving. Ostrich meat is also significantly lower in fat with only around three grams of fat per serving, two-thirds less than that of beef. Plus, ostrich meat is a good source of iron and protein. It has the nutritional advantages of beef without the calories and fat that makes beef so unhealthy.
What about the taste of ostrich meat? Most people describe it as having a similar texture to beef with a slightly sweeter flavor. It can be found in a variety of forms including patties, cuts, and steaks. One disadvantage of ostrich meat is that it’s more expensive than beef, but many people are able to justify the higher price due to the lower fat and calorie content.
Other health benefits of ostrich meat arise from the fact that the ostriches are usually raised without antibiotics or hormones that could potentially increase the risk of cancer and other health problems. These animals are often reared on small farms in America and you can find farms online that raise them humanely and give them free range.
Because of the health benefits of ostrich meat, it’s been endorsed by the American Cancer Society and American Heart Association as a healthier alternative to beef. Many dieticians are also recommending this meat to their clients who are unable to give up meat entirely.
The bottom line? Ostrich meat is still a red meat and studies have found an overall increase in mortality associated with eating red meat. It’s unclear if this is due to the fat content of meat or some other factor such as the heterocyclic amines produced when meat is cooked to high temperatures. From a fat and calorie standpoint, ostrich meat is clearly a healthier option and if you have to eat meat, it’s the better choice. Even with the apparent health benefits of ostrich meat, its best consumed in moderation with the bulk of your diet being composed of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.