We all love eating a delicious piece of steak, but have you ever wondered how long it takes to our digestive system to digest it? Well, the exact time varies depending on a lot of factors. In this article, I will give some more information about those factors and a few tips on improving your digestion of steaks.
How Long Does It Take Digest a Steak?
As an approximate, our stomach will need around 2-5 hours to digest steak meat. However, the exact time depends on the health of the digestive system, what type of steak you are eating, how it was cooked, and what other dishes you’re eating together with the steak.
The more high-fat and proteins the steak will have, the more digestive juices and enzymes our stomach will need to produce to break down the fats and protein cells from the steak.
If you want to eat a steak that your body will digest quickly, you should choose a leaner steak cooked on lower heat.
Is It Difficult to Digest Beef Steak?
It is not necessarily difficult to digest a beef steak, but it can be harder to digest than some other types of steaks. This is because beef, pork, or lamb steaks are rich, high-fat food that takes longer to break down in the digestive system.
Some people may find that they experience indigestion or discomfort after eating a large or fatty steak, especially if it is cooked using high heat.
By cooking the steaks on high heat, the proteins from the steaks will become denatured, making it harder for our stomach to break them down and digest them.
Quick Note: You should avoid eating steaks cooking on high heat if you have some digestive problems. Those steaks may cause discomfort or indigestion.
Which Meat Takes the Longest to Digest?
Besides the fatty meat, like beef, lamb, or pork mentioned earlier, you should avoid eating processed meat such as bacon, sausage, or deli meats.
They contain different additives and preservatives that can slow down your digestive process.
Digestion Time by Type of Meat:
Beef, Lamb & Pork
As a general rule, the beef and pork steaks our body digest the hardest and longest time. It will need around 4-6 hours, depending on how the meat is cooked.
Chicken & Turkey.
If you plan to eat a chicken or turkey steak, your stomach will need around 1.5-2.5 hours to digest that type of meat.
If you are looking for the easiest steak fillets that your body can digest in the shortest time, then your option will be to pick a steak of lean cod. It will take you 30-60 minutes to digest it.
How to Digest Steaks Faster?
Cook Them on Low Heat
As I said earlier, try to cook the steaks on low heat, preserving the natural enzymes in the meat that will later assist digestion.
Combine With Fiber-Rich Vegetables
You may consider eating steaks near some steamed vegetables, which are high in fiber and can help to move food through the digestive system.
Pick Lean Steak Cuts
Finally, the type of steak you eat can also affect how long it takes to digest. For example, fatty cuts of steak, such as ribeye or rib steak, will take longer to digest than leaner cuts, such as sirloin or tenderloin.
This is because fatty steaks have more fat, which takes longer to break down in the digestive system.
Is It Easier to Digest a Rare or Well-Done Steak?
Generally, rare steaks are easier to digest than well-done steaks, but this can vary depending on the person’s digestive system and the type of steak they are eating.
One of the reasons why rare steaks are typically easier to digest for our body is that they are cooked using lower heat. Additionally, rare steaks are juicier and more tender than well-done steaks, making them easier to chew and swallow.
How to Help Your Body Digest Meat?
Overall, there are several steps you can take to help your body digest meat faster. Follow them if you want to support your digestive system and make it easier for your body to break down and digest the meat you eat.
Pick Leaner Pieces of Meat
If you want to make it easier for your stomach to digest the steaks you eat, one of the best things you can do is to choose leaner pieces of meat.
Leaner cuts of meat, such as chicken breast, and turkey breast, contain less saturated fats and calories.
Marinate the Steaks
If you have digestive system issues, another recommendation is to marinate the meat. By doing that, you will tenderize the steaks, and it will be easier for our stomach to break down the proteins and nutrients from the meat.
Also, as the marinades usually contain acidic ingredients such as vinegar, or lemon juice, this acidic ingredient also will help to break down the tough fibers in the meat.
As a bonus, the acids from the marinade can eliminate any harmful bacteria that may be present in the meat, reducing the risk of food poisoning and other digestive issues.
Cook in Less Oil
Try to cook the meat without adding too much additional oil as it will add fats to the steaks and will increase the digestion time of it.
Quick Note: A solution will be to use a high-quality non-stick frying pan that will allow cooking the meat without any additional oil.
As a solution, cook the steaks using healthier cooking methods like cooking the meat in the air fryer or grilling it. In these cases, we don’t need additional fat during the cooking process.
This can be especially helpful if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, as it can help you to manage your calorie intake and support your overall health and well-being.
Chewing Your Food Carefully
One of the reasons you should eat slowly and chew your food properly is that it can help speed up the digestive process.
Eating quickly and swallowing large pieces of food puts more strain on your digestive system, making it harder for your body to break down and digest the food. You give your stomach too much food at once, and it cannot process it.
Another great benefit of eating slowly is that you can savor each bite and enjoy the food’s full range of flavors and aromas. This can make the meal more enjoyable and satisfying and help prevent over-eating or feeling hungry soon after the meal.
Avoid Eating Meat at Night
If you eat steaks at night, before bed, you may find it harder to fall asleep. Or it can disrupt your sleep throughout the night.
Another side effect of eating steaks at night is that the fat and protein in steaks can stimulate the production of stomach acid, which can cause heartburn or acid reflux.
And the last one that all of us know is that eating steaks at night can also contribute to weight gain.
When you eat a large, high-fat meal before bed, your body has less time to burn off the calories, which means that the excess calories may be stored as fat.