Is meat healthy or not?  The Rambam considers meat to be a healthy item, eaten in moderation. Meat gives energy and strength to a person. One who is feeble or ill or a woman recovering from childbirth often need to eat meat to regain their strength.  Therefore, is it best to be totally vegan and plant based?  I would venture to say no, in most cases. In fact, there were very wise Rabbis who would refuse to answer a Torah question because they had not eaten meat that day and the meat would help their minds to think more sharply.  So meat has it’s place in a healthy diet.

Nevertheless, is it good to eat meat constantly? I would also venture to say no.  Everything must be utilized for it’s health benefits in moderation.  I do feel that going plant based is healthy and should be encouraged….but not to the exclusion of meat completely. It is good to eat some meat. Of course one must do one’s utmost to eat healthy quality meat: grass fed, no hormones etc.  And it is best to eat meat in small portions (not a huge steak for a meal) and in combination with lots of vegetables, salads etc.  But meat has certain nutrition that is necessary and cannot easily be absorbed from other foods (such as heme iron).  For children a bit of meat is good as well, to help them have proper nutrition and not lack vitamins or minerals.  But again, the secret is in moderation.

The Mediterranean style diet emphasizes moderation, even for healthy foods.   Therefore, I do recommend some meat but in small portions and not necessarily every day. One can eat meat one, two or maybe three times per week.    If someone is weak and needs meat more often, it is okay as long as portion control is small, the meat is not overly fatty and it is prepared in the best way (not fried or grilled over charcoal etc.).  Grilling meat is good once in a while, but not all the time.  And grills should be gas fired but not charcoal fired, if possible. 

There are people who claim meat is inflammatory. Perhaps in some cases and depending on the type of meat. But good quality, lean , grassfed beef is probably not very inflammatory .   Each person needs to know their body and how they react to certain foods.  But don’t write things off so fast…it is often a matter of quality of the food, how much is eaten and in what manner it is cooked.