By Dr. Dana Myatt
Is Red Meat Dangerous? Here’s the Facts
Recent research claims that the risk of cardiovascular disease is increased with red meat, dairy and egg consumption and decreased with plant protein consumption. The data comes from the Nurses Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-Up Study.
We have discussed these studies before – they rely on interviews and questionnaires that ask participants to remember what they ate in months and years gone by and the data is only as good as the participants’ memories. Nurse Mark wrote about this subject when the anti-red-meat folks were engaged in an earlier campaign to vilify animal source protein, and he also wrote about the problems with how the press misuses and misinterprets research paper abstracts.
Now we are being assaulted with sensational headlines telling us that eating animal protein increases heart attack risk while eating plant protein reduces heart attack risk. Activists who would have us adopt various forms of vegetarian or vegan diets have seized upon this as further proof of the evils of eating meat. One reviewer concluded: “Heart attacks…God’s revenge for eating His animal friends.”
But, as the late Paul Harvey would say, here’s “The Rest Of The Story” that lamestream media is NOT reporting.
In brief, cardiovascular (heart attack) risk is only increased in folks who already have one or more self-created risk factors: smoking, obesity or lack of exercise. In people who do not have one of these additional risk factors, consumption of red meat, dairy and eggs does NOT increase risk.
If you insist on smoking, being overweight, or avoiding exercise at all costs, then maybe you would do well to avoid red meat and other animal proteins. You have enough risk factors going against you already.
On the other hand, if you don’t smoke and you maintain a normal weight and partake in some regular exercise, then you have no need to fear meat or eggs at mealtimes.
References and further reading:
Association of Animal and Plant Protein Intake With All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality
Mingyang Song, MD, et.al., JAMA Intern Med. Published online August 01, 2016. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.4182
JAMA internal medicine, Published in Primary Care, Journal Scan / Research · August 10, 2016, Intake of Animal Protein Is Associated With Mortality Risk. http://www.practiceupdate.com/content/intake-of-animal-protein-is-associated-with-mortality-risk/42463/15/6/1#commentarea
HealthBeat News, Eat Meat And Die? http://healthbeatnews.com/eat-meat-and-die/
HealthBeat News, The Problem With Research Article Abstracts – Or, How The Rooster Crows To Make The Sun Rise… , http://healthbeatnews.com/the-rooster-crows-to-make-the-sun-rise/
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