Red Meat: It Does a Body Good! | Chris Kresser
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Red Meat: It Does a Body Good!

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There are many benefits of red meat. stock.com/iofoto

 

This article is part of a special report on Red Meat. To see the other articles in this series, click here.

Over the past two decades, red meat has been increasingly blamed for everything from heart disease to cancer. Newspapers and magazines love to plaster alarmist headlines about red meat across their front pages, but as you might suspect if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, these claims are ill founded and misleading. In fact, an impartial review of the evidence indicates that red meat is one of the healthiest foods you can eat. But before we get into the health benefits of red meat, I want to take a moment to address the growing number of studies that tarnished its reputation in the first place.

Beef. It’s what’s for (a healthy) dinner. Tweet This

I’ve talked in the past about the limitations of observational studies in general, and not much has changed: they still cannot prove causation, and confounding variables still plague even the most skilled statisticians. One of the biggest specific problems with observational studies on red meat is what’s referred to as the “healthy user bias”. Since red meat has been vilified for years in the mainstream press, people who eat less of it are also more likely to less of other foods that are actually unhealthy (i.e. refined sugar, trans-fats, processed foods, etc.) and engage in healthier lifestyle choices (i.e. they are physically active, don’t smoke, etc.). Moreover, Food Frequency Questionnaires are still a problematic way to gather data about dietary intake. (Do you remember what you ate for lunch last Tuesday? Neither do I.) Based on these factors, it’s clear that individual epidemiological studies on red meat can’t prove much of anything, and looking at the body of evidence as a whole doesn’t do much to strengthen this argument.

For example, reviews of studies on red meat and cancer have reported inconclusive results. (1) Most studies show that the data on red meat and colorectal cancer, which has gotten more publicity than most other conditions red meat is supposed to cause, is insufficient to support a clear positive association between red meat consumption and colorectal cancer. (2) If you want a more detailed look at a couple of these individual studies, you can read my assessments here and here.

And despite claims by the popular media and mainstream medical establishment to the contrary, there’s no consistent evidence demonstrating that the saturated fat found in red meat significantly raises blood cholesterol levels. What’s more, large prospective studies involving almost 350,000 participants have found no association between saturated fat intake and coronary heart disease (CHD) or cardiovascular disease (CVD) (3).  In fact, one large study almost 60,000 Japanese women found an inverse association between saturated fat consumption and stroke: the more saturated fat participants ate, the lower their rate of stroke. (4) As most of you probably know, there’s much more to the cholesterol story than just “LDL = bad,” so rest assured that including red meat in your diet isn’t taking you one step closer to an early grave.

I think it’s safe to say that red meat has been unfairly blamed for the ills of Western society. But in case you still have doubts about ordering the steak, here are some more reasons red meat is actually an extremely healthy and nutrient-dense choice:

B Vitamins

Red meat is a rich source of vitamin B12, which is vital to proper functioning of nearly every system in your body. B12 deficiency can play a role in everything from aging, neurological disorders, and mental illness, to cancer, cardiovascular disease, and infertility. Red meat also contains significant levels of other B vitamins, including thiamin, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folate, niacin, and vitamin B6. It’s crucial to get these vitamins from whole foods sources, rather than relying on government fortification of processed foods, and red meat is one of the easiest ways to ensure adequate intake.

Vitamin D

For people who don’t eat a lot of oily fish or receive a lot of direct sun exposure, red meat can contribute significantly to their overall vitamin D intake. (5) Red meat also contains a vitamin D metabolite called 25-hydroxycholecalciferol, which is assimilated much more quickly and easily than other dietary forms of vitamin D. In populations with low sun exposure, meat has been shown to be protective against rickets, a degenerative bone disease caused by severe vitamin D deficiency. (6) Interestingly, consumption of milk with the same levels of vitamin D does not provide this same protection, indicating that the vitamin D in meat is uniquely absorbable and useful to the human body.

Iron

Red meat contains primarily heme iron, a form that is absorbed and utilized much more efficiently than the non-heme iron found in plant foods. (7) Furthermore, even small amounts of meat can aid in the absorption of non-heme iron. For people with iron overload conditions like hereditary hemochromatosis, it’s probably best to limit high-iron foods such as red meat, but for most of the population – especially those with iron-deficiency anemia – the iron from red meat is beneficial. This is particularly important for women who are pregnant or looking to become pregnant, as iron is crucial for the growth and development of the fetal brain.

Other Minerals

Red meat is an especially important source of zinc, because the other rich sources — organ meats and shellfish — are much less commonly consumed in our country. As with vitamin D and iron, the zinc present in red meat is highly bioavailable, and even a small amount of red meat in the diet can increase zinc utilization from all sources. (8) Zinc is an essential mineral that is an imperative part of many physiological functions, including structure in certain proteins and enzymes, and regulation of gene expression, and those eating meat-free diets are at greater risk of zinc deficiency. (9) Finally, to round out this impressive nutrient profile, red meat contains significant levels of other vital minerals such as magnesium, copper, cobalt, phosphorus, chromium, nickel, and selenium.

Why Red Meat Trumps White Meat

Some of the benefits I’ve mentioned thus far are not unique to red meat, but apply to animal flesh in general. For example, levels of B vitamins, vitamin D, and most of the trace minerals are just as high in white meat as in red. (10) However, red meat does have significantly more b12, iron, and zinc than white meat, and those things alone are enough to set it apart. Where red meat really shines, though, is in its fatty acid profile.

The fat of ruminants comprises approximately equal parts of saturated and monounsaturated fat, with only a small amount of polyunsaturated fat. (11) The unique ruminant digestive system ensures that these proportions stay relatively constant, regardless of what the animal eats. This makes red meat a better choice than pork or poultry for those that cannot afford pasture-raised meat, because you will still be getting mostly saturated and monounsaturated fats.

I hope this post has clarified some of the reasons that red meat is such a lauded food in the ancestral community. It’s full of highly absorbable nutrients, and it’s a better choice than pork or poultry if you can’t afford pastured meat. If you were scared of red meat before, maybe some of your fears have been allayed, and if you weren’t, you can feel even better about digging into your grass-fed burger (without the bun!) tonight. If you’re looking for great quality meat I would recommend ButcherBox.

251 Comments

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  1. I am on several forums and support groups for paleo diet and even zero carb meat only diet. These groups are all full of people who describe themselves as ‘recovering vegetarians or vegans’. . Their health has been ruined by these diets and they are desperately trying to recover it with great success in many cases.

    • That’s me but my health is just getting better with the addition of animal products I wouldn’t say it was ruined because I was in great health before.

    • Zero carb and meat only? Are you kidding?Are we trying to just wipe out the planet?I read if we all cut back a little ( like a couple days a week even) you help the planet and conserve so much and it would help feed the starving but no now we need so called recovering vegans to over indulge to cancel out what good some people are trying to do? It may not be while you’re alive but your kids or grandkids will witness so much devastation due to our taste buds and laziness if not looking into what to eat to keep you healthy. It does not need to include meat.

  2. Meat eaters are fat, live shorter and unhealthier lives compared to ovo lacto vegetarians or pescetarians. If meat is so healthy why are they so sick, fat, lazy and even lack b12, omega3, magnesium, d vitamin, and a lot of other essential nutrients. US the home of healthy food comes every year with a new stupid meat eater diet.

    • Blanket statements show your true lack of knowledge.

      “Red meat intake was inversely associated with CVD mortality in men and with cancer mortality in women in Asian countries.”

      It seems the vegan bible has suffered yet another blow to its cherry picked conclusions. Unlike The China “Study”, this large analysis of Asian ecological data is a Real Study published in a Real (peer-reviewed) Scientific Journal. Not a blockbuster work of fiction designed to sell books through promotion of outrageous black and white nutritional propaganda.

      http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-china-study-more-flaws-exposed-in-the-vegan-bible/#more-11970

    • Wow. Looks like we have a hater here. Jeez! What is wrong with your moral compass! It seems to be so screwed up you cant even see with it. 5/6s of the people I know(including me) who eat meat are completely healthy and live good hardworking lives. 1/2 of the vegetarians I know, are skinny and get sick very easily because they lack the healthy amount of weight on their bodies.

      • This is just my little opinion from my experience… Vegetarians are probably worst off than meat eaters… I honestly felt like crap when I stopped eating meat and became a vegetarian… Milk products were still part of my diet as well as eggs and a bit of fish… Until I went Vegan and I have never looked backed since. Never felt this healthy and its so simple. Great for the environment and I don’t have to kill innocent beings anymore… It’s great 🙂 I just feel that you can’t compare vegetarians with meat-eaters since they are still taking in animal-based products and milk products are probably much worst and much more unnatural than any meat…

        • the quality of a diet is not in whether you eat animal foods or avoid them.

          A truly health promoting diet is measured by the volume and preponderance of Greens and non-starchy color vegetables.

          One can be vegan, but lack zinc and Vit D, unless they supplement carefully. Also lacking in many low fat Vegan diets is the essential fatty acid DHA.

          Since DHA found in it;s bioavailable form in animal foods, primarily fatty fish, Vegans suffer a deficiency and resulting depression, and other ailments.

          Only by supplementing with an algae-based DHA supplement and increasing their healthy fat intake does this resolve.

          So, an Omnivore diet which takes in mostly plant food, and healthy whole fats, from nuts seeds and avodcado, along with a moderate meat intake ( from clean sources) is probably healthier than a vegan who avoids even healthy fats and lacks DHA.

    • Its one thing to make up a lot of health facts about what people eat but another to assume they have lazy lifestyles because of it. Any athlete you see on TV most likely is eating meat and most likely more productive with their lives than you’ll ever be.

    • I eat meat, BUT I eat meat every other day. I go vegie on my off days. HAS changed my whole life. I feel better, my stool has never been as solid as is now. I was overweight, highblood pressure, diabetes was knocking on my backdroor, I WAS on meds, for these issues. NOT ANY MORE!!! I will never go vagan or any other form of extremism. COMMON SENSE, THAT IS THE ORDER OF THE DAY.
      So much info out there pro’s & con’s, on both sides of the fence. I say take what you like, from both sides of the camp. I eat whatever I like NOW, and just 6 months ago a doctor I see for checkups told me that my blood work was soo good she had never seen test results like mine, THAT IS THE PROOF!

      • That’s what I have been doing I am raw vegan some days and others I eat meat or squash or yams or raw eggs everything in moderation j haven’t excluded anything except dairy and pork I won’t eat and I eat very little fruit if any and of course wheat and soy I don’t eat and well most grains lol

      • Same here!!! I was paleo for a few months and GAINED 15 pounds!! I am vegan about 80% of the time now and I feel incredible and I’ve lost 3 pounds in the last week and a half. My digestion was also a WRECK before, even after working with a nutritional therapist and taking supplements to help digest all that meat. I truly believe the only “diet” that has worked for me is the blood type diet- I follow it about 90% now. The way I feel is like night and day. I’m a type A so all that meat was making me gain weigh and screwing up my digestion, I felt like pure hell. I had major hypoglycemic symptoms and I had gained a lot of weight over the past few years. I now find that if I separate the meat I eat from my other meals (eating meat afterwards) then my digestion is even better and I don’t gain weight. I suggest anyone to look into food combining, I really think it works!

    • Why are grown people telling other grown people how to eat and being so hateful about it? If you’re a vegan for health or ethical reasons, good for you. It’s nobody’s business. I’m a meat eater, but since I’ve gone Paleo 3 years ago I eat many more vegetables and healthier fats (olive, coconut, avocado) than I used to. I’ve also lost 85 pounds, my lipid panel and blood pressure are excellent, and I’m not starving all the time! I pay for my own food, so it ain’t your business. If you want to rescue farm animals on your own dime, fine. I will not sneak onto your property and eat your animals. Promise.

    • Free range grass fed cows like those found in Switzerland- and today in some parts of California- is healthy in small amounts. The nutrient make up is amazing. Not to mention if you ate red meat as a child and/or while growing up you should eat a 1/4 lb once or twice a week to maintain the previous decades of powerful b12 and fats.

    • I eat 400 grams of beef everyday with lots of fat in it and i am slim(6ft and 68kg), healthy and active.

    • Well my diet is probably 80% red meat, the rest is dairy products and Vegetable soups. Recently I’ve been to a doctor to check on my health as I was worried of Cholesterol, Sugar levels and other things, to my surprise my test results came out almost perfect despite the fact that I’m 40 and do not exercise on a regular bases!
      Yes Humans are created as Omnivores, but what did the first men eat? meat! for centuries man hunted animals for food, then later on they have learned that vegetables and fruits can also be eaten and learned how to grow crops.
      If God intended for us to be vegetarians he would have done so!!

  3. Sandy wrote today, 6 January 2015, “Amen to that”. It didn’t seem clear what she was saying Amen to. May I suggest that, as there have been at least 242 comments on Kriss’s blog since the beginning of 2013, it would be very helpful if anyone commenting on another’s post gave a name/date to help us connect. Since nearly two years have passed, may I say thanks to all who have made interesting comments and wish you and Kriss all the best for 2015.

  4. I keep coming across a section of the article where I can’t make head nor tails of the meaning. I can only guess that a word was left out, or that the wrong word was inserted. Could you please enlighten me to the actual meaning? Here it is (see capitals):

    “Since red meat has been vilified for years in the mainstream press, people who eat less of it ARE ALSO MORE LIKELY TO LESS OF OTHER FOODS THAT ARE ACTUALLY UNHEALTHY (i.e. refined sugar, trans-fats, processed foods, etc.) and engage in healthier lifestyle choices (i.e. they are physically active, don’t smoke, etc.).”

    DId you mean that people who eat less red meat, or are generally prone to avoid it, are more likely to eat less of other foods that have been classified as unhealthy foods, OR that they are more likely to eat more of other foods that have been classified as unhealthy?

    In my 15 years of eating raw meat several times everyday (and generally more raw veggies in each meal that a vegan does all day), I have noticed that people who do not research what they consume generally don’t have good diets overall, and their bodies speak volumes. The longer a person lives with a nutrition deficiency, the greater the damage becomes.

    • He means that people who don’t eat red meat are less likely to consume other foods that are actually unhealthy.

  5. I went Paleo about 2 years ago and feel great, but I have recently read some rather convincing medical studies regarding the strong carcinogens created when grilling it. Marinating the meat before cooking shows to diffuse only some of these “dangerous” compounds. The studies suggest also that women that consume the most red meat are at a much higher risk for breast cancer. I didn’t see anyone address this issue here. I love my diet and really enjoy grass fed organic meats but now I am concerned I may be harming my health. Any comments on this?

    • Both these issues are important to consider. The components of meat that cause the carcinogens to form when grilled are present in all types of meat, whether grass-fed organic or conventionally raised.

    • to answer your question, read about raw paleo. ie eating meat raw. there is a lot of usefully info on line. If worried about pathogens then freeze the meat for 2 weeks and that should sort it out then marinate and enjoy.
      Lots of benefits of eating meat raw, you get all the enzymes, nutrients etc

  6. Why is the China study still being quoted in arguments as a strength?? Its the shoddiest study ever conducted and anyone who quotes is is pretty much admitting he’s an idiot. Look it vegans the facts are there. There is something called evolutionary theory. Our bodies evolved to eat a certain way, which was eating beef. There were no cancers until grains(as well as their derivatives) and sugars were introduced into society. Its common sense, for the most part vegans are underfed,miserable and malnourished. To get the lesser bioavailable nutrients from plants would require a depressing amount of work. The worlds strongest men are meateaters but there may be a possible vegan exception or 2. Meat-eaters have more energy. As quoted above veganism is no more than a cult, and they won’t listen to reason.

    I mean anecdotally you guys get crushed, the amount of people who tried vegan and then tried paleo(talk about a contrast). I don’t actually believe there is one person on the planet veganism works for they just delude themselves. Why am I even bothering?? Their not going to abandon their religion in light of logic or common sense.

    • I got colon cancer at the age of 38Y.O. being a vegetarian. I ate a lot of grains. Now I notice grains actually make me feel terrible. It’s all so confusing and I believe it comes down to our genetic make-up what our body requires. The GMO’s in food is damaging many individuals immune systems!

      • Have you been tested for celiac? Undiagnosed celiac disease can lead to serious colon issues, including cancer.

    • So true it’s like a religion to them I live with one it’s sad he knows he would probably be thriving if he would budge it’s sad

  7. How does the “China Study’ fit into the discussion about meat in the diet? Didn’t it show that a plant-based diet was associated with lower disease rates than diets rich in dairy, meat and fish?

    • Yes, it showed that populations consuming an unprocessed plant-based diet had much lower (nearly nonexistent) rates of obesity, heart disease, many cancers, and type 2 diabetes than those consuming a diet high in animal and processed foods.

      • The China Study has been sliced and dice and shredded to bits.

        The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published in July 2013 the results of a huge analysis of ecological data from the United Nations comparing country-specific meat consumption in Asia, specifically the countries of Bangladesh, China, Japan, Korea, and Taiwan.

        112,310 men and 184,411 women were followed for 6.6 to 15.6 years. During that time, 24,283 all-cause, 9558 cancer, and 6373 cardiovascular disease (CVD) deaths were recorded.

        The researchers concluded that while meat intake in Asian countries has increased in recent years, there was no evidence of a higher risk of mortality as a result. In fact, the analysis provided evidence of an inverse association with red meat, poultry, and fish/seafood consumption and cardiovascular mortality in men and cancer mortality in women!

        This means that higher meat consumption has actually been correlated with fewer heart disease deaths in Asian men and fewer cancer deaths in Asian women:

        “Red meat intake was inversely associated with CVD mortality in men and with cancer mortality in women in Asian countries.”

        It seems the vegan bible has suffered yet another blow to its cherry picked conclusions. Unlike The China “Study”, this large analysis of Asian ecological data is a Real Study published in a Real (peer-reviewed) Scientific Journal. Not a blockbuster work of fiction designed to sell books through promotion of outrageous black and white nutritional propaganda.

        http://www.thehealthyhomeeconomist.com/the-china-study-more-flaws-exposed-in-the-vegan-bible/#more-11970

        • Dr. Campbell is a fraud:

          Denise got hold of the raw study data and took it apart with a fine-toothed comb. And what she found is that the claims Campbell made in his China Study book are not supported by the data. She also found important data points Campbell never bothered to mention in the book because they didn’t support his vegan agenda.

          For example, Campbell conveniently fails to mention the county of Tuoli in China. The folks in Tuoli ate 45% of their diet as fat, 134 grams of animal protein each day (twice as much as the average American), and rarely ate vegetables or other plant foods. Yet, according to the China Study data, they were extremely healthy with low rates of cancer and heart disease; healthier, in fact, than many of the counties that were nearly vegan.

          http://chriskresser.com/rest-in-peace-china-study

  8. I’ve been 8010101, raw vegan, and vegetarian,… or instincto vegan,…. and clearly as shown by my body I’m healthiest as a prudent cooked and customarily raw(fruits, some vegetables, some other things) omnivore,… per what humans have been all along for the most part, for apparently several species of our Homo lineage. Wanna know what’s optimum for human health? Get an idea with living in the wild. And you’ll need to make fire too. Veganism is a cult, with environmentalist, save the earth, and compassionate/karmic leanings. For a bit of time it can be beneficial in some cases,… but not normally.

  9. I can’t see any compelling reason why a few minor nutritional benefits would justify having the horrors of factory farming, the environmental destruction or the diseases that are firmly linked to excessive meat consumption. Even the standard USDA food pyramid only recommends 5.5 ounces of meat per day based on a 2,000 calorie diet and this is actually far less than most people eat. So even if I agreed eating meat was healthy for me as 1 human being, how could I justify eating it to benefit my selfish needs at the expense of the planet and knowing full well the suffering endured by the animals raised for slaughter or used in dairy operations? For me the balance of the decision would have to be “if you don’t meat for 10 days in a row you will fall over and die”. That clearly is not the case as thousands of healthy vegans illustrate and as more and more vegans showcase every type of physique from body builders to endurance athletes we are busting all the myths that meat eaters use as an excuse to justify the torture and killing of animals. Animal abuse hasn’t been trendy for a long time and what meat eaters have to grapple with is that it’s hard to make the argument that a person who pays others to cause pain to animals is not an animal abuser.

    • eat grass fed beef from non CAFO farms… Dave Asprey has written in detail about how eating grass fed animals that are free to roam around actually improves the soil.. But I agree, CAFO meat should be avoided..

    • Since when is killing animals wrong? Yeah sure we take it to another level with factory scale slaughter but you know what, people have been shepherds, hunters, and scavengers as far back as we can trace. We are animals. Your pet cat probably kills birds for fun and if it doesn’t then your neighbor’s does. If I had a mouth full of flat teeth, no desire to kill and eat, and lacked the enzymes to digest animals, I would obviously gnash my gabber on leaves all day. But this isn’t me, it isn’t most people, it never will be. If you’re in any branch of veganism or vegetarianism, that’s on your head, don’t preach to people who don’t feel bad about mass murder of animals to feed our race. If plants moved around, had cute faces and everyone were as soft as people like this, we’d all starve.

  10. Wow. This article is action-packed with utter BS. Want to know how much meat you should have in your diet? Look up the recent studies at Harvard which indicate that the optimum meat intake is precisely 0%. Or maybe the the work known as the Comparative Anatomy of Eating, by Milton Mills MD, which clearly indicates that we are simply not equipped for the consumption of meat… or look up the many other sources, maybe even take it a step further by looking up the vast amounts of vegan athletes and bodybuilders, including Patrik Baboumian (Germany’s Strongest Man) and Billy Simmonds (Mr Universe).

    Or just use your common sense. What’s more likely to clog your arteries, a steak or a carrot? Who’s ever had a heart attack because of too much broccoli? Who has high cholesterol or high blood pressure as a result of eating to many apples?

    Don’t be absurd. Claiming that red meat doesn’t have a DIRECT link with heart disease, colon/bowel cancer, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, clogged arteries and diabetes is ridiculous, and absolutely false.

    The guy that wrote this only wrote it so he could look like he knows what he’s talking about while stubbornly refusing to admit the truth. He knows he’s lying, but he obviously likes meat, so he’s trying to justify it by spreading lies.

    All nonsense.

    • Good points. You know, there really is no science behind the notion ‘we need to eat meat for our health’. Look at gorillas; there’s not a man on earth whom could contend with the feeblest one. Or horse, or bull, or elephant, or…the list goes on and on.The Seventh Day Adventists are primarily vegetarian, and they live longer as a matter of statistical fact.
      My personal feelings about meat have more to do with ethical concerns. Specifically, I do not like the idea of killing a cow (for example), ‘cleaning’ the carcass, etc.. And it doesn’t help to know there are people willing to do those things for me. Basically I am choosing to not be a hypocrite by eating only things I don’t mind killing, and cleaning. Fortunately or not, I still eat some fish, and will very occasionally eat a bird, and still I struggle with conscience over the bird..

      • Gorillas convert plants to predominantly saturated fat in their cecums. They absorb a large portion of nutrients as fat. Humans don’t have that same sort of digestive functionality, so we get fat directly in the food we’re genetically adapted to eat.

        Just like the end result of digestion in gorilas, humans eating meat take in healthful fats. Unprocessed natural grass fed meat is optimal.

      • You do know, of course, that gorillas, elephants, and horses have massive hindguts in which they ferment the fibrous plant foods they eat? This fermentation provides a considerable amount of the nutrients absorbed in the colon. Bulls and other ruminants have an enormous foregut (rumen) in which their plant foods are fermented by huge hordes of microganisms. When the rumen dumps into the true stomach, the microorganisms are killed by the stomach acid, and digested in the intestine, providing protein and other nutrients. The bull also benefits from the digestion products resulting from microbial activity.

        So let’s cut out the silly comparison between humans and elephants, bulls and horses. Other primates – gorillas, chimpanzees, orang utans – have very different gut proportions to those of humans, as they’re hindgut fermenters. In comparison to humans, nonhuman primates have markedly shorter small intestines, much bigger caecums, and much bigger large intestines. The animals whose guts are closest to those of humans are pigs and bears – both omnivores.

  11. Would you say red meat is good or bad for eczema, has anyone who suffers from the skin condition noticed?

    • Hi Natalie. I would say that red meat may be good for your eczema. Once you develop cancer or heart disease, you will hardly notice the eczema at all.

      • I completely agree that red meat might have a seemingly positive effect on one’s health. Skin looks fantastic because of high level of nutrients in red meat, you might even feel more alert and more energetic, especially if grass fed beef is consumed. However. And that’s a big “however”… If you eat beef regularly and are on one of those all-protein diets, including the Paleo diet, your body will eventually collapse. It might take a few years but your body will ring an alarm because if you are making meat staple you are excluding by defat a range of food that are optimal for health – and yes grains are one of them. It is absurd to claim that gazillions of studies by top medical professionals would make unsupported claims regarding consumption of red meat and give the public false information. Really? That’s just absurd. Not to mention the treatment of animals is atrocious on mass production farms. And one more piece of evidence…Americans eat more beef than people in any other country in the world – and guess what, we have the highest rate of heart disease and cancer, No. 1 and 2 killers, respectively. There are other proteins that are much, much less harmful for your health – eat some chicken and fish, if you need your protein. But do yourself a favor: listen to science. Ignore a pseudo-scientist.

    • Natalie, studies have shown that eczema (and asthma) improve significantly or even disappear with a whole foods, plant-based diet.

  12. Every study I have looked into classified (and included) bacon , hot dogs and bologna as “red meat.” And (of course), how the animals were raised, and what they were fed is of NO importance/significance to the researchers.

    I suspect most of us already know that processed meats like hog dogs and bacon are unhealthy. And, we already know that most commercial cattle are fed genetically modified grains, that may also be heavily contaminated with pesticides and or toxic mold. And, if that were not enough of a concern, we know that the cattle are prophylactically fed bgh and antibiotics.

    In order to increase corporate profits, many factory farms will feed “byproduct feedstuffs” to the cows. These byproducts may include things like heat treated garbage stale candy bars, and even chewing gum (still in the aluminum wrappers). Some byproduct feedstuffs are high in protein and are considered a welcome addition to a high-grain diet. This list includes chicken feathers, salvaged pet food, ground-up laying hens (known as “spent hen meal”) and urea.

    Once the meat reaches the local butcher, it chemically treated again (to make it look fresh and pink). Then it’s most likely will be wrapped in plastics (leaching more carcinogens and/or and xenoestrogens into the meat.

    Finally, once the consumer gets the “red meat” home, it’s cooked at high temperatures on the barbi grill, or in the old Teflon coated frying pan.

    As almost always, it’s not the food, not the red meat….it’s the processing!

    If a study that only included “red meat” from cattle which were fed and finished on grass, were fed NO antibiotics, growth hormones, animal by-products, gmo’s, grains, or heated garbage, it might be credible.

    Oh, and one more thing, I prefer my meat (be it red, white, or blue) not come from a cloned animal.

  13. These results indicate that high consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, may increase all-cause mortality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24148709 Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, CVD, and cancer mortality. Substitution of other healthy protein sources for red meat is associated with a lower mortality risk. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22412075 Red and processed meat intakes were associated with modest increases in total mortality, cancer mortality, and cardiovascular disease mortality. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19307518 Red meat intake was associated with increased risk of ischemic heart disease mortality (HR = 1.41, 95% CI = 1.05-1.89) and with decreased risk of hemorrhagic stroke mortality (HR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.45-0.87). There were suggestive inverse associations of poultry intake with risk of total and all-CVD mortality among men, but not among women http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23451121 Our results suggest that low consumption of processed meat and higher consumption of poultry and fish may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20392889 Our data confirm that colorectal cancer risk is positively associated with high consumption of red and processed meat and support an inverse association with fish intake. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15956652 Total, red, and processed meat intakes were associated with an increased risk of gastric non-cardia cancer, especially in H. pylori antibody-positive subjects, but not with cardia gastric cancer. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16507831

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_lifespan#Life_expectancy_variation_over_time

    “A Theory of Human Life History Evolution: Diet, Intelligence and Longevity”. Evolutionary Anthropology 9 (4): 156–185.

    Life expectancy (LE) during Upper Paleolithic era was from 15-39. For 2010 world average LE was 67.2 while eating all sorts of grains in their

  14. Love this article! Red meat does not only have to be eaten in moderation. There are many lean cuts of red meat that allow them to be healthy. Also, hypertension and cardiovascular disease risks are increased by eating these meats due to the way they are prepared/cooked. The amount of salt added to the dish is what increases the risk of these meats. In addition, if the meat has a high level of fat the risks of chronic disease can occur. A go to method when purchasing lean meats is to look for USDA “Select” meats and to look for meats that contain the works “Round” or “Loin.” Hope this helps :). Here is the full article on choosing lean meats http://www.simplelivehealthy.com/2014/02/26/the-ultimate-guide-to-healthy-meats/

    • No. If u didn’t read, or learn anythin, from the article and Dr. Kresser’s series on red meat — its the fat and fatty acid profile of red meat that makes it so good and nutritionally beneficial.

      Saturated fats are not only very good, but NECESSARY in the diet ESPECIALLY if u are eating animal products. The healthiest meats are NOT lean and high in fat (ex. organ meats).

      In fact, its animal PROTEIN -NOT fat – thats recently been linkd to cancer in a reasonably designed, *somewhat* legitimate-seeming study — a concept around methionine wich Chris Kresser addresses in this series later on.

  15. Interesting article! A while back, I decided to do a test to not consume red meat for two weeks. It is now the 10th day and the past 3 days now I have no energy to sleeping over 14+ hours and feeling weak most of the time, Attention span is minimal, ears ringing and poorer vision. When meat is a part of my diet, these symptoms seem to not exist. Now I have a better insight that yes, Red Meat is necessary for my diet.

    Is there anyway to tip you with Dogecoins?

  16. I think moderation is the key to most things in life, As for colon cancer, I think it has to do more with lack of fiber and water in the diet. More fruits, veggies and water along with eating red meat a couple times a week.

  17. Ok, I’ll look up those links when I get a chance (unfortunately it’s easy to listen to podcasts at work but not so easy to read stuff!). Again, thanks for your input!
    🙂

  18. Hi Alyssa,
    Of course I am trying to conform my diet at the moment to me individually; however I am really interested in what is the basis for a healthy diet for humans generally, & hope that once my digestive system is healed that I will be able to come at least very close to that diet.
    The only fats I’ve been eating for months now are (not right now on the elimination diet) coconut & olive oil, nuts & avocados, & right now flaxseeds & flaxseed oil & cashews & duck fat. I’ve phased vegetable oils out gradually since last year. I certainly wouldn’t think about trying to up my fat content with those bad fats!!
    I should be able to consume poultry organ meats, however I have no idea where to source such high quality organ meats in Australia.
    Concerning butter & other dairy, I guess I want to know all the research & opinions on it, so even if I seem to be able to handle it, I may not eat it if I decide the evidence doesn’t stack up for it being good for us.

    I know right now I can’t change what my body tolerates, but I want to know whether cutting back the carbs too much & not getting enough fats is possibly going to be detrimental at all…
    Because I’ve felt quite a lot better in the last few months on the diet I’m on, which regularly includes white jasmin rice & quinoa, plus chickpeas & lentils, to fill out my vegetable soups, which is the bulk of my diet right now.

    I am doing a lot of research into diet but at the same time am feeling a bit rushed because I want to find a solution & have limited time to do that research…hence me wanting to get other peoples’ opinions…

    thanks again for your comments

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