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Latest Study ‘Red Meat’ for Vegetarian Stance?

Report:  Red Meat Consumption Contributes to All Forms of Death

Consumption of red meat should be limited.

Consumption of red meat should be limited.

It may not be game, set and match, but this latest finding on the dangers of red meat certainly gives its avoiders the advantage.

A 10-year study conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute seems to confirm what many of us suspected, but few of us readily acknowledged:  Red meat eaters are more likely to die than white meat eaters are. 

The study involved men and women who were between the ages of 50 and 71.  Approximately 500,000 was the grand total of participants, and the researchers followed up on their health and the types of foods they were eating regularly throughout the decade-long period

Over that 10-year period, a number of men and women died, about 48,000 of them men and 24,000 of them women.  When the researchers went back over their food frequency questionnaires that asked the participants how often they ate red meat and other meat sources (i.e. chicken, turkey, pork), then compared that to what they died of, they came away with a number of take-away findings.  Among them:

  • The men and women who ate the most red meat were the most likely to die from all causes, but specifically heart disease and cancer 
  • 11 percent of men and 16 percent of women could have decreased their overall mortality rate had they consumed fewer grams of red meat at each meal 
  • High white meat consumers had a slightly lower rate of overall mortality than those who ate the lowest amounts of white meat

Now, this study may not tell us a whole lot – again, most of us already knew that red meat is heavy on the saturated fat, which clogs the arteries and all too often leads to heart disease and other cardiovascular-related deaths.  Even those unrelated to cardiovascular health, as this study found. 

But I bring this up because it re-ignites the debate of whether or not one should avoid red meat entirely.  After all, if saturated fat consumption from red meat contributes to all forms of death and even some forms of cancers like colorectal and breast, why wouldn’t you?  Who wants to hasten their death?

Despite this finding, I stand behind what I’ve always said and that is to eat red meat sparingly.  I say this because red meat is one of the best places to go to for iron and it’s very easy to become iron deficient, even if you’re eating lean cuts of chicken and turkey regularly.

Another reason why is because bison falls under the umbrella of red meat.  Bison is one of the healthier cuts of beef anyone can have, and depending on the cut, it has fewer calories, fat, and cholesterol than a skinless piece of chicken.  And if the bison is grass-fed, its nutrition facts are even more impressive.

This latest finding may be a point in the vegetarians’ column, but I still believe you can boast a winning nutritional profile and a long, healthy lifestyle by eating red meat sparingly and lean cuts of it.  There are many examples why, but I’ll point you here as just one reason why.

Sources:
New Grass Bison
ScienceDaily

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Comments

Comment from Fred Evors
Time March 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I have always eaten red meat. I have had bladder cancer, Gangreen of the large intestine and am a diabetic. I do eat white meat and fowl. I love griling my meats (mostly on a charcoal grill although we have an electric grill installed in our kitchen. Any recomendations would be appreciated. I am 66 yrs of age, disabled Vietnam veteran severly exposed to agent orange as a helicopter pilot flying cover while Caribou fixed wing aircraft sprayed AO.

Comment from Ohakwe
Time March 31, 2009 at 1:29 am

Thanks I have stop eating red meat long time ego.I got to know the danger of it on time

Comment from Corbbedge
Time April 3, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Great site this naturalhealthontheweb.com and I am really pleased to see you have what I am actually looking for here and this this post is exactly what I am interested in. I shall be pleased to become a regular visitor :)

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