How Long Does It Take to Digest Red Meat?

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It takes the body one to three days to complete the digestion cycle for red meat. From start to finish, the digestion cycle takes approximately 30 to 50 hours.

There are different digestion times for different types of food. Additionally, there are differences between the digestion rates among men and women as well as between adults and children. Red meat is more difficult to digest than some other foods because of its composition. Due to its high protein and fat density, the digestion of red meat requires more chewing in the mouth, more acid from the stomach and additional enzymes from the pancreas. Leaner meats, including chicken and fish, are easier to digest because of their lower fat content. Some health consequences have been shown to occur with the overconsumption of red meat, including having an upset stomach and more serious conditions such as colon cancer.

The digestive process begins with the mouth, and it takes six to eight hours for the food to pass through the stomach and the small intestine. The food then enters the large intestine, which is where a majority of the digestive time period takes place. Once the usable portions of the food have been removed, the leftovers are expelled through the anus.