Top 10 Cities That Love Red Meat -- Too Much

Find out where residents eat the most artery-clogging beef and pork.
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  • Red Meat: A Recipe for Aging
    Red Meat: A Recipe for Aging

    Red Meat: A Recipe for Aging

    Who doesn’t love a juicy steak or a burger hot off the grill? But when it comes to aging, too much of the red stuff is a bad thing. “Red meat is always harmful above a certain threshold,” says Keith Roach, MD, Chief Medical Officer of Sharecare and co-creator of the RealAge Test. In fact, eating more than two servings of red meat a day (that’s the equivalent of 6 ounces, or the size of two decks of cards) can make your RealAge 1 year older for men and 2 years older for women. That’s why we factored red meat into the RealAge 2013 Youngest & Oldest Cities in America Report.

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  • Our Beef with Red Meat
    Our Beef with Red Meat

    Our Beef with Red Meat

    Red meat (defined as anything that walks on four legs, such as beef from cattle, and pork from pigs) is packed with saturated fat, which clogs your arteries, raises your LDL cholesterol and increases cancer risk. But a new study suggests another way in which red meat contributes to heart disease. “Natural bacteria in our gut works on the meat and causes carnitine, an amino acid, to be released,” says Dr. Roach. “The carnitine then triggers the release of TMAO into the blood through the action of bacteria. And that’s what seems to cause increased risk of blockages in the arteries.”

    Potential health problems further increase when you throw that slab of pork ribs or hot dogs on the grill and cook them till they’re charred.

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  • More Juicy Details
    More Juicy Details

    More Juicy Details

    The biggest red-meat eaters in our RealAge Report chow down on four to six servings a day – that’s 5 to 8 pounds of meat a week! Men, not surprisingly, are the bigger meat fans. “Making a change from 10 servings a week to three servings,” says Roach, “can make a real difference in how long you live and how much better you feel.” If you need a red meat fix, Roach recommends buying grass-fed eye round and bottom round cuts, sliced thin. “Those cuts have the least amount of saturated fat,” says Roach. Grass-fed beef also has more omega 3 and healthy nutrients, which help prevent and control heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure and more. Corn-fed beef, on the other hand, has more omega

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  • 1. New Orleans, LA
    1. New Orleans, LA

    1. New Orleans, LA

    When you think of New Orleans, tasty creole treats like seafood gumbo, shrimp po-boys and beignets probably come to mind. But “The Big Easy” is full of carnivores, topping our list of red-meat-eating cities for 2013. Not exercising, red meat overload and limited amounts of fruits and veggies in their diets creates a perfect storm for high blood pressure. That could be why residents of this Louisiana hotspot have the third highest hypertension rate on our Aging Cities List. In fact, this food crazy city is known for its “food deserts” -- neighborhoods with little access to healthy food options. It doesn’t help that out of 73 neighborhoods in New Orleans, nearly 40 of them don’t have a supe

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  • 2. St. Louis, MO
    2. St. Louis, MO

    2. St. Louis, MO

    There’s no doubt that St. Louisians love their red meat, especially with a place like Pappy’s Smokehouse nearby. This local favorite offers up the Big Ben Meal, which includes a full slab of ribs, two meat-filled sandwiches, a quarter-chicken and four sides! While this Midwestern city takes our #2 spot on the red meat list, it’s also our 10th on our Aging Cities List, meaning that residents here are aging too fast. The Gateway to the West ranks poorly in cholesterol, blood pressure and C-reactive protein (a sign of inflammation that increases your risk of heart attack). In fact, Missouri as a whole spends a whopping $3.2 billion a year treating heart disease, stroke and hypertension.

    Tip:

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  • 3. Kansas City, MO
    3. Kansas City, MO

    3. Kansas City, MO

    Kansas City, dubbed “Cowtown” -- though the famous Kansas City Stockyards closed in 1991 -- is synonymous with steak. In fact, their minor league baseball team is called the T-Bones. That’s why it’s not particularly surprising that Kansas City is in the #3 spot on our red meat overload list. Another claim to fame for this city is the American Royal, an eight-week season of barbecue competitions, livestock shows and other events. Residents here rank in the top 10 for highest levels of C-reactive protein. They would do well to improve their diets by eating more fruits and veggies, which, along with more exercise, could help counter the effects of all that meat.

    Tip: Get off the cow with these

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  • 4. Columbus, OH
    4. Columbus, OH

    4. Columbus, OH

    Columbus is 4th on our list of most red meat consumption. Home to The Ohio State University, residents of this capital city actually eat pretty well, ranking in the top 10 for whole grains and diet diversity. They are also in the middle of the road for exercise. But despite these healthy habits, Columbus residents rank pretty high in hypertension, cholesterol and C-reactive protein. With restaurants like Schmidt’s Sausage Haus (that offers an all you can eat sausage buffet) and the Thurman Café (which sells an enormous burger dubbed the “Thurmanator”) it’s easy to see why. What can residents do differently? “One easy fix would be increasing the amount of white meat you eat,” says Roach. “Skinless

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  • 5. Detroit, MI
    5. Detroit, MI

    5. Detroit, MI

    The fifth biggest meat-eating city is Detroit. Most residents in this populous Michigan town live twice as far from the nearest supermarket as they do from a fast food restaurant -- meaning more burgers and fries and less fresh produce. Residents of the “Motor City” also rank poorly in cholesterol and exercise, both factors that can lower your RealAge. “People often find that when they change one habit to improve their health, it’s easier to make changes in other areas,” says Roach. “If they exercise it becomes easier to eat healthy and vice versa.”

    Tip: Make healthy fast food choices

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  • 6. Oklahoma City, OK
    6. Oklahoma City, OK

    6. Oklahoma City, OK

    Home to one of the largest livestock markets in the world, it’s no surprise that Oklahoma City ranks high on our list. Residents here love their meat, but aren’t too keen on eating vegetables, fruits or whole grains, which contributes to high rates of hypertension and cholesterol. Poor diet is also why Oklahoma City ranks 4th on our Top Cities for Aging Report. The USDA’s “My Plate" guidelines recommend that you fill half your plate with fruits and veggies and make half of your grains whole gains. A diet rich in whole grains can help you avoid diabetes, heart disease and gum disease -- not to mention belly fat.

    Tip: Top 10 things to know about belly fat

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  • 7. Memphis, TN
    7. Memphis, TN

    7. Memphis, TN

    Not only is Memphis ranked #7 for highest consumption of red meat, it’s also the 9th oldest city among RealAge test takers, thanks to high rates of hypertension and poor blood sugar control, a factor that can lead to blindness, loss of limbs, heart attack and kidney failure. Residents here are in the middle of the pack when it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, but have some of the lowest rates of exercise. The poor eating habits could stem from the fact that Memphis is home to the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest, which won the title of largest barbeque in the world from the Guinness Book of World Records -- serving up 55,297 pounds of pork.

    Tip: Fresh fitness workouts you’ll

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  • 8. Indianapolis, IN
    8. Indianapolis, IN

    8. Indianapolis, IN

    Carnivores have plenty to chew on in Indianapolis. Supreme steakhouses dot the landscape on all sides of this city -- so much so that residents could eat at a different steakhouse every night of the week and still have options from which to choose. Even though people here don’t have the worst diet in the world (they actually eat a fair amount of veggies and whole grains), the city still ranks in the top 10 for hypertension and poor exercise, both contributors to RealAge. “High blood pressure has to do with stiff arteries,” says Roach. “The meat stiffens them.” What you want are strong, flexible arteries, which are critical to blood flow and cardiovascular health -- and that means putting

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  • 9. Charlotte, NC
    9. Charlotte, NC

    9. Charlotte, NC

    Charlotte took our #9 spot in our top list of cities with the most red meat consumption. It seems that Charlotteans love their rib eyes, but fruits and vegetables -- not so much. In fact, only 23% of Charlotte/Mecklenburg County adults eat the recommended five servings of fruits and veggies a day. That means most residents are missing out on the anti-aging vitamins, minerals and antioxidants they could be getting from foods like blueberries, tomatoes, carrots, peppers and leafy greens. On the other hand, the “Queen City” isn’t terrible when it comes to cholesterol or exercise. But according to Roach, “even if cholesterol levels are good, you can still benefit from better eating habits.”

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  • 10. Austin, TX
    10. Austin, TX

    10. Austin, TX

    Last on our red meat list is the self-proclaimed “Live Music Capital of the World.” Austinites actually rank very highly in exercise and healthy eating behavior -- but love to pig out on their pork, brisket and other red meats. One of the more surprising facts about Austin is that women outpace men in meat eating by almost twice as much (ranking 44 versus 23 for men). Still, Austin is a good example of “pick your own indulgence” behavior without doing yourself in. Eating meat is not nearly as bad for your health as say, smoking or eating a poor diet coupled with no exercise, but it certainly factors into your RealAge. “A person has to decide which healthy behaviors to adopt and which bad ones

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  • Healthiest Cities for Red Meat
    Healthiest Cities for Red Meat

    Healthiest Cities for Red Meat

    We know that piling on too much porterhouse puts you at risk for a host of health issues. But, in moderation -- no more than three servings a week, with a serving being 3-4 ounces -- red meat can be a part of a healthy diet. It’s high in protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12. Lean cuts like eye round and bottom round give you the biggest health payoff because they are lower in saturated fat -- and eating a low-fat diet can make your RealAge as much as six years younger. These cities made our Top 10 List for eating just the right amount of meat.

    Find out if your city made the cut

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  • Hold the Beef!
    Hold the Beef!

    Hold the Beef!

    Top 10 cities that eat just the right amount of red meat:

    1. Milwaukee, WI
    2. Boston, MA
    3. Sacramento, CA
    4. Pittsburgh, PA
    5. Louisville, KY
    6. Philadelphia, PA
    7. Cincinnati, OH
    8. Rochester, NY
    9. Washington, DC
    10. Providence, RI

    Find out if your diet is turning the years back -- or forward. Take the RealAge Test!

    Check out all our Top Cities reports.

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Top 10 Cities That Love Red Meat -- Too Much