New Zealand scientists have suggested that complementing a diet rich in vegetables can help in the digestion of red meat and prevent illnesses that come with the consumption of the heavy diet.
Experts with the government-run Plant and Food Research Institute investigated the effects of red meat consumption with and without fermentable carbohydrates on the bowel health of rats, Xinhua reported.
The research published in the Journal of Food Science suggested that the impact of red meat consumption on bowel health could be reduced if it was eaten with fermentable dietary fiber such as that found in potatoes.
Fermentable carbohydrates, including most fruits and vegetables, delivered a colonic energy source that produced less harmful by-products than the microbial breakdown of colonic protein for energy.
"The proteins we eat can influence the metabolism of microbiota in our gut and therefore our bowel heath," scientist Chrissie Butts said in a statement.
"While most proteins are digested and absorbed by the small intestine, undigested protein reaching the large bowel is fermented and can result in potentially toxic compounds," she said.
"Our research showed that by delivering dietary constituents that supported beneficial bacteria, and restricting the growth of pathogenic bacteria in the large bowel we were able to have positive effect on the host's health."