Red Meat and Hepatitis C

Few of us avoid red meat altogether, even if living with hepatitis C or liver disease. Let’s face it, unless you’re vegan, red meat is part of your life. I would go so far as to say that most meals are tied to emotions and events for me. I have begun to wonder what would happen if all of us would think of red meat that way. Do you think we might make wiser choices regarding how often and how much to eat red meat? We know the facts about how if effects heart disease. We also know that it can make our brain wacky with hepatic encephalopathy. Add in the fact that ground beef is 3 times more expensive than ground turkey and you have a lot of reasons to change your diet!

In spite of all these facts, I have a fondness for red meat. Pot roast is comfort food. Steak is sexy. Especially with a loaded baked potato. Goulash is a good way to clean out the ice box and save money too! Did I ever tell you about my cheeseburger cooking skills? My best friend’s grandma owned a little hamburger stand in the 1970’s. It had a walk up counter where people ordered. Car’s parked in a semi-circle around the window and we waved when an order was ready. One of the perks was a free meal for every shift. My cheeseburgers were cooked to perfection. Tender beef was served on a bun that was lightly toasted and had a shiny coat of grease spattered on top.

I still cook a darn good burger and rarely enjoy eating one anywhere but at home. I only like a pot roast or steak that is cooked just the way I like it. I want to eat it in just the right setting. Maybe that is why it eating red meats on a regular basis is hard for me. Just any ole' cut of meat simply won’t do.

I think those of us with hepatitis C or liver disease can take some tips from that:

  • Only eat red meat on certain occasions, like holidays, birthdays, or special weekends.
  • Keep the portion size down. A smaller cut of steak or roast served with lots of vegetables brings a healthier balance.
  • Buy only choice lean meat.
  • Eat red meat at home instead of dining out.
  • Have it your way. Be like burger king and make sure your meat is cooked exactly like you want it.
  • Use small portions of ground beef in stews, meatloaf, goulash, or burgers.
  • Mix ground turkey with ground beef. It will have the familiar texture and flavor without the fat or ammonia producing ingredients.
  • Experiment with plant proteins mixed with beef in meatloaf or burgers.

Let your family in on your decision to eat less red meat, especially if to manage your hepatitis C or liver disease. They can help to look for ways to try new recipes and ways of cooking. Start off with one meal a week that uses more white meat. Make it a celebration of health! Your taste buds will adjust quickly. Your body and brain will certainly enjoy the benefits quickly too!

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