People tend to think that eating processed red meats like hot dogs will cause them to lose weight. The problem is that eating too much red meat in any form can be detrimental to your health. Processed red meats contain fillers, colorants and often antibiotic chemicals that can build up in your digestive system over time causing illnesses and diseases like cancer. It may be hard to believe, but processed red meats and their byproducts can be just as bad for your health as eating an overcooked hamburger with no taste.

It’s not just the saturated fat that should concern you about the contents of your food, either. Most processed meat products contain high levels of sodium, which can raise your blood pressure and risk of type 2 diabetes. Sodium is often found in barbecue sauce as well as canned and processed meat. Even better, you could just substitute low-sodium meat and vegetable seasoning for your barbecue sauce.

Lastly, processed meat products are usually packed with chemicals, stabilizers, salt, preservatives and flavorings that can cause an increase in body weight when compared to lean alternatives. It is recommended that you avoid them as much as possible. Instead, opt for lean meat products such as chicken or fish. Aside from being a great source of protein (which helps the body fight off diseases and maintains muscle strength), they are also low in fat and sodium. This, in turn, helps you reduce your calorie intake without sacrificing the quality and taste of your meals.

Lastly, meat products that are not organic may be high in trans fats, which lead to obesity and other health problems. Unprocessed red meat consumption is a major contributor to diabetes risk and should be limited or eliminated from the diet. When eating less red meat, you may notice a decrease in your overall body weight. However, the loss of lean muscle mass does not help you lose pounds.

There are several low-fat meat alternatives available to you. Many of these low-fat meats come in processed meat forms. You can often find lower-fat versions of most white meats in a grocery or health food store. This doesn’t mean that you can’t find high-quality lean white meats, just that you may need to do a little searching to find them. You can also substitute low-fat meat in many dishes. If you’re not a big fan of adding fat to your meals, try something with a little less oil, such as extra virgin olive oil, which has lots of health benefits.

The best thing you can do for your health is to start changing the way you cook and eat red meat. Start eating grass fed beef and wild fish instead of processed red meats, and give grains a try. In addition, I highly recommend adopting the Grilling Fish method of cooking. You can grill fish and cover it with vegetables or put it under the coals of your grill (I love that). Give it a few minutes in the heat and you have a great grilled fish dinner that is healthy too.

The bottom line is that we can’t live without grains in our diet. Some people, including myself, are okay on low-fat dairy products and processed meats. But in general, when it comes to nutrition, the bottom line is that more natural foods are best. That’s the whole truth about diet and health. If you’re looking for a better way to eat healthy, learn more about whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.