This past week, another research pap are has been published linking the consumption of red meat to premature mortality. In the study published in Archives of Internal Medicine, researchers Pan, Sun et al correlate the consumption of red meat with increased risk of morbidity and mortality from causes such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and other causes of death.
Caveat emptor – buyer beware!
Before you make radical changes to your eating habits based on this one study there are a few important points that I think you should keep in mind. First, it’s rarely useful to interpolate epidemiological data into individual actions. Secondly they are based on the ever so unreliable annual self-reported food frequency questionnaires (these have been so often shown to be bogus that they should really stop using them at all). Thirdly when controlled for calorie intake eating more meat most likely means eating less protective veggies (there’s only so much room in your stomach and meat has a high satiety index – it’s very filling). Finally, since this research was conducted on data collected between 1980 and 2008, the percentage of people in this study eating grass fed organic meat (cardio protective and anti inflammatory fats) is probably close to zero and those eating factory farmed grain fed meats (with high levels of pro inflammatory fats and cytokines) is probably close to 100%
My suggestions : Eat in a way that makes you feel good. Eat slowly and conscientiously, paying attention to the effects of food on your body (energetic, low inflammation, happy). Focus on sourcing your foods from the best quality production (organic, grass fed) that you can afford. Eat lots of fresh vegetables!
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