Is Red Meat Bad for YOU?

Image via themainmeal.com.au

Let me prelude this by saying that I have no interest in slaying vegetarians; particularly if you choose to abstain from meat for compassionate reasons.

This article is geared more towards the ‘health conscious’ seeker who feels compelled to remove red meat from their diet in an attempt to ‘be healthy’. Moreover, if you fear that red meat is bad for your health, read on, most of the research regarding red meat consumption highlights nothing.

Ok ok, so this study published by the Harvard School of Public Health that associated red meat to higher rates of mortality did come out earlier this year BUT I still get girls, guiltily telling me how they ate a steak/lamb chop as if it were a whole bar of chocolate.

If you take a superficial glance at the research, then the evidence does really suggest that eating a lot of red meat isn’t exactly going to help with longevity. The study that examined 37,000 men and 83,000 women demonstrated that those with higher red meat consumption had a higher rate of heart disease, certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

BUT before you opt to boycott your local butcher HOLD UP!

If you take a closer look at what WASN’T published in the mainstream media you are in for a reality check.

Let’s see how the researchers tested for the ‘dangers’ of meat.

Through complex lab work?

I think not.

Rather it was

.. a survey.

While I love a good survey I also know that they can not possibly come to a decisive conclusion in regards to red meat and bad health.

Guilt by association maybe.

Now if we take a look at another fair observation from one of the researchers in which;

 “….a higher red meat intake was associated with a higher intake of total energy but lower intakes of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.”

Perhaps we can see another major flaw in the ‘red meat is bad’ theory. For me, this doesn’t highlight the dangers of meat, rather the potential that the lack of other vital nutrients in their diet were at play in their negative health.

Further to the point. Was all the red meat clumped together in one category?

Pasture raised, organic meat or a fast food hamburger patty?

The quality of each product and its nutritional makeup renders the two food items completely incomparable.

As one of my FAVOURITE nutrition researchers, Alan Aragon, stated

“This whole idea of pointing the finger at a single dietary culprit in the development of a multifactorial outcome is hilariously preposterous. People who eat a lot of red meat regularly, he explains, tend to have unhealthy habits—smoking, drinking, less exercise—have higher BMIs, and eat fewer disease-protective fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.”

What to take from the study:

You can choose whether or not to eat red meat.

Personally, if it makes you feel nourished, then eat it.

But don’t let this study make you think that red meat is dangerous.

Variety is key. Too much of anything is bad.

Move around, eat the veggies and fruit you digest with ease and get a good night sleep!

(Oh and be happy…)

Advertisements