During the Franco era very few Spaniards would have eaten meat because it was just too expensive. Little did they know that their meagre diet of vegetables and fruit supplemented by fish was in fact contributing to a longer life expectancy. The so called ‘Mediterranean diet’ came to be regarded as the healthiest in Europe.
Even today, you find a lot more vegetables and fish on sale in shops and supermarkets that you do red meats. And on the meat counters you see more chicken for example than beef. There is though a lot of processed meat in the form of chorizo and other spicy sausages.
Recent scientific studies show that eating red meat and processed meats like bacon, sausages and salami increase the risk of an early death. It is the high concentrates of saturated fats in red meat and the salt in processed meats that are the killers.
And it isn’t just heat disease that we are risking by eating red meat, there is also a heightened risk of cancer as well.
There are some benefits though to eating red meat so the answer is not to cut it out altogether but rather to reduce the consumption to reasonable levels. As my mother-in-law used to say, “moderation in everything” (she was of course a Methodist).