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Old 02-24-2010, 09:57 PM   #1
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So, in an effort for healthier food and a lower food bill hubby and I have really cut back on red meat. I'm anemic, but I take a prescription iron supplement, eat things like kale, and cook in cast iron. Apparently that's not enough and I will have to raise the level of red meat I am eating. For the past couple days I have been feeling awful - cold, sleepy, weak. Tonight I started craving red meat like crazy. There was none in the house. I was texting hubby at work about it and he decided to come take me to dinner during his meal break. 1049 calories later... So, I think it is better for me to buy some lean red meats and cook them sometimes at home than to get myself into a state that causes me to eat that much out of deprivation. Not to mention, the restaurant cost a lot more than would have been added to our grocery bill for some lean steaks to grill at home. Grrrr! I think it was the right choice for tonight though since I am already starting to feel better and it's only been about an hour since I ate.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:01 PM   #2
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Hi I just joined 3FC today. I am trying a high fiber diet. Do you know of anyone who has had success with this?
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:16 PM   #3
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I don't have any problems with anemia, but I notice that from time to time, I just CRAVE red meat. And not in a bingey-junk food way, which is always psychological for me. I just feel like my body needs some serious protein-iron. It's a treat then to have a nice, lean cut of beef, but I'm never sure what kind of cut to get--what cut to you generally buy?
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miriam Fuentes View Post
Hi I just joined 3FC today. I am trying a high fiber diet. Do you know of anyone who has had success with this?
You might want to ask this question in the general question forum or the forum about specific diets.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:23 PM   #5
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paris - I try to stick to things that end with loin as much as possible and I just look at the meat to see the amount of fat on it and look for the least I can find. I also cut more off before cooking if needed.
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:37 PM   #6
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I sometimes have trouble with iron, too. I am not a big red meat eater and for some reason iron supplements make me sick - literally, like clockwork. I try to eat a lot of spinach to get it in. But, I know there's no replacement for the real thing. We eat red meat about once every 10-14 days. Your symptoms sound like you are out of balance. I have trouble telling the difference between spikes and drops in my thyroid (I am hypo) and general fatigue and anemia.

Thanks for the reminder! Hope you feel better soon!
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Old 02-24-2010, 10:49 PM   #7
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I am perpetually anemic and also on Rx iron.

I may be telling you stuff you already know, but heme iron, the kind found in meat, poultry and fish, is more readily absorbed by your body than non-heme, which is the kind in veggies. And other healthy food or food ingredients can make absorption even more of an issue, such as calcium and whole grains. But interestingly, having heme sources makes it easier for the body to absorb iron from non-heme sources too.

So defihitely good to regularly have some red meat and other meats when you are anemic. I make beef broth to use in soup, which helps cut down a lot of the fat because I can cook the meat and then let the broth sit in the fridge overnight and easily skim off all the solidified fat.

Another thing is that eating citrus fruits helps with iron absorption so definitely make sure to have those in your diet.
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Old 02-24-2010, 11:12 PM   #8
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I wouldn't say we need red meat is the real source of iron. I am a vegetarian and I haven't eaten red meat (or any meat/fish) in years. I also get my blood checked and my iron levels are fine.

For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach (though that honestly is quite a bit of spinach).
(http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm)
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:01 AM   #9
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I do this with chocolate. I find if I just have 10 chocolate chips when I'm craving them that's all I eat, otherwise I go for everything else increasing the calories exponentially whereas if I just have the chocolate I can stop eating.

I think your body craves things it needs, we just don't always interpret it well. When the body craves sweets it's because your blood sugar is low. When it craves red meat, your iron is low. So I think your lesson learned is a wise one.
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:09 AM   #10
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if it helps you, a trick that i do is buy lean mince, portion it up and then use it to make chillies or bolognese sauce!
you can make low-kcal bolognese sauce just by being careful about how much oil you use (i only use one tablespoon), you can add many vegetable goodness into it, and it goes great with wholewheat pasta or an oven backed potato, for a fantastic dinner.

p.s. by portioning it up and freezing it, u get value for your money as well.

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Old 02-25-2010, 07:19 AM   #11
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It is a good idea to give your body what it needs. Women who are of child bearing age need quite a bit of iron. I used to get intense cavings for beef, when my iron stores were low...now only rarely.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:23 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tigger175 View Post
I wouldn't say we need red meat is the real source of iron. I am a vegetarian and I haven't eaten red meat (or any meat/fish) in years. I also get my blood checked and my iron levels are fine.

For example, you would have to eat more than 1700 calories of sirloin steak to get the same amount of iron as found in 100 calories of spinach (though that honestly is quite a bit of spinach).
(http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/iron.htm)


The iron in spinach is not absorbed as easily as that in meat, even in smaller quantities. If you are not anemic, then there is nothing to worry about, and certainly, you can be veggie and not be anemic.

However, for people who are anemic, it can be very tough to get the levels up to where they need to be. So for someone who does eat red meat, that is a good way to help that process. I'd never tell a vegetarian to eat meat for iron, but if someone already is a meat eater, focusing on non-meat sources just makes it a lot harder to treat the deficiency.

(no, I'm not a doctor, but I've been dealing with anemia for most of my adult life - they think I don't process/absorb iron properly although they've never been able to figure out why, so I try to get the best boost I can from my diet and then supplement)
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Old 02-25-2010, 12:28 PM   #13
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Thank you for posting this. It's been so informational. I've been anemic (although not severely, as you seem to be) for the past 8 or so years. It dawned on me when I read your post - Since I started this eating habits change a couple weeks ago, I haven't eaten any red meat and I think it's caught up to me. I've been feeling very sleepy (despite more sleep) and cold lately and just attested it to all the exercise I've been getting - and this stupid Chicago weather.

Ahh. I think I'm going to thaw that nice lean steak I have in the freezer and grill it up tonight on my foreman. A spinach salad also sounds delish... Mmm.
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Old 02-25-2010, 03:52 PM   #14
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PeanutsMom - I knew that the iron in meat was more easily absorbed, but I didn't know it would also help me absorb the iron from my veggies, thank you. I try very hard to keep my calcium away from my iron, but I'm a big calcium (milk and yogurt) junkie, so it's hard. I do eat lots of citrus though, I have a grapefruit almost every day. It used to be oranges, but then with my changing tastebuds due to the healthier eating I discovered a while back that I now love grapefruit which I used to hate, so now I'm obsessed and making up for lost time, lol.

tigger - I'm sorry if it sounds rude, but don't preach at me. I'm not a vegetarian, I have no plans to be a vegetarian, I have no problem with other people making that choice, but I do have a problem with people attempting to convert me. It is the same problem I have with people attempting to force their religion on me. I know my options, I've made my choices. Back off.

Gourmet - Does your current doc know about the anemia? Are you treating it? The sooner you start treating it the easier it will be, trust me. I didn't want my iron pills for a long time and it got bad.

I'm a lot better today and I'll be going to do the shopping in a little bit, you can bet I will be getting some red meat.
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Old 02-25-2010, 04:55 PM   #15
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I read in a book once about women in general that did say that women did tend to crave or need meat more around that time of month, especially. Do listen to your body when it's trying to tell you something.

And I wholeheartedly agree that buying meat and cooking it at home gives you a lot more control in your choices! Good luck!
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