The majority of people have skepticism around animal fat, especially considering how the likes of pork, eggs, butter, and red meat (the major sources of animal fats) have been demonized for almost a century 1. Consuming these types of foods was widely discouraged for many decades until studies began to shed some positive light on the matter. But what is the truth? Are high animal fat diets containing beef, lamb, and pork good for men?
Why A High-fat Diet From Meats Can Be Good For You
They are rich in minerals and vitamins
Beef can be highly nutritious thanks to its rich minerals and vitamins 2, 3, 4. But there are small differences in nutrient content between lean and fatty meats. Moreover, beef is also known to have numerous other smaller nutrients. The concentration of nutrients in fatty and lean beef is extraordinarily identical 5. Since fatty and lean meats have almost similar nutrient content, there is no major reason to choose one over the other.
Grass-fed sources are loaded with omega-3s
If pigs, cattle, and lambs are fed their natural diet, which is grass, their fat can contain a good amount of omega-3s 6.
A cattle diet tends to impact the structure of fatty acids in meat, which can affect your choice of fatty meats.
Note that high amounts of omega-6s without enough omega-3s to neutralize it can result in inflammation 7.
Suitable for keto diets
Keto usually relies on fats; therefore, high animal fats are allowed in this diet 8. When you are on the keto diet, your body breaks down fat for energy instead of carbohydrates.
With that in mind, fatty beef may be an ideal choice to supply you with the required energy since it provides sufficient fats that can be burned for fuel 9.
Saturated fats are not as bad as once believed.
Another reason high animal fat diets can be good for men is that saturated fats are not as bad as once believed. Researchers have discovered that saturated fats and cholesterol can actually be good for men 10, 11.
A literature review on saturated fat and cardiovascular conditions found that the connection between the two was weaker than earlier thought 12.
However, men should be cautious of high animal fat diets. It is essential to always remember that high animal fats may have some negative effects.
If you are watching your calories, you should choose leaner meats since fats have more calories than proteins or even carbohydrates 13, 14.
Moreover, highly processed animal fats like sausage, ham, and bacon have been associated with certain kinds of illnesses 15, 16.
Although high animal fat diets have been demonized for so long for cardiovascular conditions, there is no clear connection between saturated fats and heart conditions. For this reason, men may consider adding high-fat meats to their diet, especially if they are on a keto or workout regime. In addition, grass-fed animal fats may have high quantities of omega-3s – an anti-inflammatory compound.