One of the most pervasive misconceptions regarding steak and red meat is that it takes a while to digest.
Many vegetarians and vegans cite the myth that red meat rots in the gut on its alleged long journey to digestion as justification for avoiding meat.
But when we examine digestion from a scientific perspective, we discover that meat digests similarly to other foods. In fact, meat actually digests more completely than plant foods.
How Long Does It Take Beef to Fully Digest?
Now that you have a better understanding of digestion and the digestive system, let’s look at how long meat takes to digest.
Do you want to know how long it takes for red meat to be completely digested and evacuate the body? In this case, the red meat will leave the digestive system in 12 to 48 hours time.
If you would like a breakdown of this process, here it is:
- The time it takes for food to pass from the stomach into the small intestines is 2 to 5 hours.
- It takes between two and six hours for food to travel through the small intestines and into the large intestine.
- It can take between 10 and 59 hours for food to pass through the large intestine and then be eliminated during the colonic transit time.
Is Beef Hard to Digest?
Contrary to popular belief, the body can digest meat and beef fairly easily. Instead, red meat simply requires more effort from your digestive system to digest than plant-based foods.
This is due to the complex particles that make up fats and proteins. Beef, in particular, has a very high protein content.
This means that compared to fruits and vegetables, which are high in fiber, red meat requires more effort from your digestive system to process.
Hard whole milk cheese can be difficult for your body to process. On the other hand, high carb, sugary junk food can be broken down more quickly.
You should be aware that some people are intolerant to or allergic to meat. Because of this, they have significant problems digesting meat. Some of these people experience side effects that prevent them from eating meat.
Pay attention to how you feel after consuming meat to determine if beef is difficult for you to digest.
You may also feel uncomfortable full for hours on end, experience bloating, cramping, or general discomfort. Additionally, you might experience nausea and a general lack of energy.
All of this may be a sign that you have a problem with meat.
Why Do You Struggle to Digest Red Meat?
Therefore, even if you don’t have a severe allergy, your body may have trouble digesting red meat. Why do you have these problems after consuming red meat? Here are some likely explanations:
Sometimes referred to as GERD, this condition is where the stomach acid goes from your stomach and up through the esophagus. This can prolong the process of digestion or even prevent the meat from being properly digested.
This condition is a lot more common than people think. It may currently affect up to 20% of Americans, according to estimates.
It can be caused by other foods, not just eat. This problem affects a lot of people who eat fried or oily food. A lot of spices can also be to blame.
As already mentioned, stomach acids are crucial for breaking down food, especially red meat because of its high protein and fat content.
You might have lower levels of this acid in your stomach as a result of certain medical conditions. This issue is typically associated with aging and stress too.
The digestive process can’t proceed as normally when there aren’t enough gastric acid secretions. This causes more undigested food to remain in the digestive system, especially when it comes to red meat.
Your body may have a harder time processing meat if you have any digestive issues, especially those that are related to the breakdown of food.
It’s also possible that your digestive system isn’t working as well as it should. This might indicate that it takes longer for food to leave your system.
Eating Large Quantities of Meat
As previously stated, meat is composed of big, complex molecules. As a result, the meat takes some time to digest and move through your digestive system.
The more meat you consume, the more difficult it will be for your body to process this food. Additionally, your system will take much longer to do so.
How to Help Your Body Digest Meat?
Of course, giving up beef and other foods containing red meat is the last thing a meat lover wants to do if they enjoy eating it.
Eat Leaner Cuts of Meat
As you are aware, some beef cuts have more fat than others. Additionally, as was already mentioned, fats can be difficult to digest just like proteins.
Because of this, you should attempt to select meat cuts with the least amount of fat possible. This includes the bottom round roast, top sirloin steak, and sirloin tip side.
Additionally, prior to cooking any cut, be sure to trim any excess fat from it.
Cook Your Beef Better
It’s critical to pay attention to how you are cooking your beef because you already know that oil can negatively impact your digestive system.
You should avoid deep-frying or deep-drying it in particular because you will only increase the amount of fat in the food.
Try grilling, roasting, or broiling your beef for a healthier alternative. These methods of cooking meat are excellent because they don’t sacrifice flavor or texture.
To keep things as healthy as possible, always pay attention to any extra ingredients you add.
Chewing Your Food Better
This advice may seem strange, but it’s nonetheless crucial. As I already mentioned, digestion begins in the mouth.
And, your teeth play an important role. They cut the meat into smaller pieces so that the stomach’s acids can function more easily.
Additionally, some fats can be broken down by the saliva in your mouth. This means less work for your stomach to do.
Make sure to chew your meat thoroughly with every bite. Now, some people do advise you to chew your food thoroughly until it resembles a fine paste before allowing it to pass through your esophagus.
You don’t need to exert as much effort because I am aware that it can be a little tiresome. Still, chew as much as you can before swallowing.
If you frequently have trouble digesting meat, try consuming it in smaller amounts. The meat you eat shouldn’t typically be bigger than the palm of your hand.
Start with meat that is approximately this size or slightly smaller.
You might also want to eat less red meat overall. Try eating it only a few times a week as opposed to every day. This will put less strain on your digestive tract.
Cook Your Meat Better
There aren’t many things nicer than a rare steak, but your cooking technique might be the root of your digestive problems.
You see, the more you cook meat, the more it degrades. In essence, cooking helps your system by doing some of the heavy lifting, which makes it simpler for your body to process the food.
This is why you might find that cooking your meat to a medium-rare level is the best option.
Nevertheless, be careful not to overdo it when it comes to cooking. Meat that is overcooked or undercooked can both be difficult to digest.
Pair Meat with Easily Digestible Foods
Additionally, you should exercise caution when pairing other foods with meat. This will cause your digestion to proceed more slowly if you fill your plate with foods high in protein, fat, or other difficult-to-digest substances.
This is why you might want to serve your meat with easily digestible whole grains and leafy greens. Your system can then devote more time and energy to digesting the meat.
Eat Meat Earlier in the Day
It is important to remain upright after eating. Additionally, a little light exercise a few hours after eating can help with digestion.
Not to mention that during some of your sleep, gastric emptying may become slower.
All of this suggests that it is best to eat beef earlier in the day, either for breakfast or lunch.
This gives your body more time to digest it, reducing the likelihood of unpleasant side effects.
It is best to see a doctor as soon as possible if you are experiencing certain health issues. There are some medicines that they might be able to give you that will help you feel better.
You may be able to eat more frequently as a result without encountering too many issues.
Remember that your doctor may also advise a change in your diet and lifestyle for many conditions. This could indicate that you need to reduce your meat intake, at least temporarily.
Improve Your Stomach Environment
The best way to learn how to enhance your stomach environment is to consult a doctor. This is because each person’s system is unique and they might all be deficient in various things.
Which supplement will benefit you the most will be determined by your doctor.
Your digestive tract and system may be negatively impacted by a poor diet. You might want to reduce your consumption of highly processed foods.
Despite being simple to digest, these can lead to a number of problems. These can make digestive issues worse if you eat them with meat.
Instead, include more high fiber foods in your diet. These are organic immune system boosters that also benefit the digestive system in general. Additionally, it can facilitate the passage of other foods through your system more quickly that aren’t as easily digestible.
Take In More Probiotics
Probiotics are largely associated with improving gut health. You will be able to digest meat more effectively if your stomach is in better health.
Additionally, probiotics can help with digestion and facilitate the breakdown of some foods by the body.
Switch to a Primarily Plant Based Diet
No, you don’t have to give up meat completely. However, you might want to think about switching to a different diet if you frequently experience the negative effects of eating meat.
This does not obligate you to consume only vegetarian food. Instead, consider a flexitarian diet. When you consume a plant-based diet roughly 70% to 80% of the time. For the remaining meals, you can include meat.
As I’ve already mentioned, it is wise to take your time eating the meat. Try to only do it every other day or give your body a few days between to digest and then recover.
You now understand how long beef takes to digest and what you can do to speed up the procedure. If you’ve previously had trouble digesting meat, hopefully this post can make things better for you soon.
How Long Foods Stay In Your Stomach
Is beef difficult to digest?
Contrary to popular belief, the body doesn’t necessarily find it difficult to digest meat or beef. Instead, red meat simply requires more effort from your digestive system to digest than plant-based foods. This is due to the complex particles that make up fats and proteins.
How long does it take for meat to be digested and pooped out?
After eating, food must pass through your stomach and small intestine for six to eight hours. Following further digestion, water absorption, and finally elimination of undigested food, food enters your colon, which is part of your large intestine. The entire colon moves food through in about 36 hours.
How long does food stay on your stomach?
Dr. Lee says the entire digestive process can take several hours. Typically, food remains in your stomach for 40 to 120 minutes or longer. Then, add an additional 40 to 120 minutes to account for time spent in the small intestine. “The more protein or fat a food has, the denser it is, and the longer it takes to digest,” says Dr. Lee.
What meat takes the longest to digest?
The foods that take the longest to digest are nuts, whole milk hard cheese, bacon, beef, and lamb. Your body digests these foods in an average of 4 hours. The digestion process still occurs even when asleep.