Forbidden by: macrobiotic (with the exception of fish), raw food, vegan, and vegetarian diets
Those following a macrobiotic diet try to balance “yin” (cold, sweet, passive) and “yang” (hot, salty, aggressive) foods, and they believe meat makes the body too yang. Many others reject meat out of consideration for animal welfare, but you can make a strong case against meat based on human health too. “Research shows that people who eat more red meat may have higher incidences of heart disease and cancer,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, a dietitian in New York City. Certain cuts of red meat also carry a lot of saturated fat and cholesterol, and meats cooked at a high temperature have been shown to create carcinogens. Plus you can still get protein and almost all of the nutrients that meat provides from plant sources.
On the flip side, meat can definitely be a part of a healthy diet. Iron from red meat, dark poultry meat, and seafood is essential to keep blood stocked with oxygen, warding off fatigue. Vitamin B12, which makes DNA and maintains healthy nerves and blood cells, is only naturally found in animal sources. And of course there is protein, praised for building and repairing muscle and keeping you full. The key with meat is keeping your portion sizes between 3 and 3 1/2 ounces and choosing lean varieties, Dubost says. For red meat, she recommends 93-percent lean ground beef and cuts with ‘round’ or ‘eye’ in the name.