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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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August 16, 2011

Does Eating Red Meat Increase Type 2 Diabetes Risk?

By Mark Sisson
181 Comments

If you already eat Primal, your email inboxes are most likely filling up with links to the story. Concerned mothers clutching the local paper’s “Health” section are calling (or, if they’re hip, texting). Smug vegetarian Facebook friends are posting the story on your wall, sans commentary. Yes, it’s about that time again. It’s another week, it’s another observational study by data-mining researchers hoping to establish a solid link between red meat and some chronic, horrific illness. So, what’s killing us this time? Well, considering that they’ve already done studies linking red meat to colorectal cancer, heart disease, and outright death, type 2 diabetes is next.

Here’s a link to the full study (PDF). Researchers drew on data from three large-scale dietary habit questionnaires of medical professionals to explore how red and processed meat intakes associated with the incidence of type 2 diabetes. The first set was the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study, which comprised 37,083 male physicians followed for 20 years; the second was the Nurses’ Health Study I, which included 79,570 female nurses followed for 28 years; and the third was the Nurses’ Health Study II, which followed 87,504 women for 14 years. These data were pooled with additional data from 442,101 participants in existing studies, so it was a big pile of numbers with which to work.

Sure enough, they found a link between processed meat intake and type 2 diabetes, with a smaller link between unprocessed red meat and the illness. A daily 50 gram serving of processed red meat was associated with a 51% greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, while a 100 gram serving of fresh red meat represented a 19% increased risk. Unprocessed meat included “beef, lamb, or pork as main dish” (roasts, steaks, chops), “hamburgers” (but I’m sure they got bunless burgers, right?), and “beef, pork, or lamb as sandwich or mixed dish” (served up on coconut flour bread, no doubt). Processed meat meant “hot dogs,” “bacon,” “sausage, salami, bologna, and other processed red meats.”

To give a complete picture of the data, I’ll briefly discuss what the “heavy meat eaters” did when they weren’t eating red meat. You tell me if you notice any alarming trends that might have something to do with type 2 diabetes. Folks in the highest quintiles of meat intake were the least active and the most sedentary. They exercised the least and smoked the most tobacco. They drank more alcohol than any other quintile. They guzzled more soda and other sweetened beverages. In the high meat quintiles, folks ate 800 more calories per day than folks in the low meat quintiles. They were much heavier, too (all muscle, I’m sure). Trans fat intake was higher in the high-meat quintiles, too, as was potato intake (since these data included the years before trans fats were taken out of fast food deep fryers, I’m thinking these guys enjoyed a burger and French fry value meal on occasion). They ate the least amount of fiber from grains, indicating they probably ate the most refined grains, drank the most coffee, and ate the fewest fruits and vegetables. In short, people who ate the most red and processed meat were also the unhealthiest by both Primal and mainstream standards. And if what they were doing was actually healthy or neutral (like drink coffee and avoid fiber from grains), it wasn’t by design. These people (all health professionals, ironically) most likely didn’t particularly care about their health.

There are also variables that weren’t even considered that could have impacted the results. Added sugar, which many people heap into their coffee, wasn’t covered. They did cover the polyunsaturated fat:saturated fat ratio, but those numbers only incorporated the fat content of whole foods like nuts, meat, eggs, and dairy, not whatever cooking oils were used to fry up all that meat. So there are a couple other significant confounders.

You know how we’re always making the point that people who eat the most meat, except for us weirdo Primal types, are also the most likely to be unhealthy in other areas, to eat fast food, to be sedentary, and to smoke? Well, here’s direct evidence that this actually is the case.

And then there’s the issue of relative versus absolute risk (for a good primer on relative risk, check out Dr. Eades’ post on the subject). 51% greater risk sounds pretty awful, right? I mean, that’s over half. And when most people hear a figure like that, they take notice. They don’t really think about what the number means in terms of absolute risk, but they immediately link whatever risk factor is being highlighted to the big scary percentage figure – and the damage is done. In reality, the effect size is tiny. The absolute risk of getting diabetes was rather small for a participant of the studies mined for their data – about 7% over the course of the 14-28 year range. A 51% increase in risk bumps that up to about 10.5%, not 58%, while a 20% increase bumps risk up to around 8.4%, not 27%. I don’t fault the researchers for using statistics, because they’re totally valid, but I worry that the average person will see those big percentages and think that represents absolute risk. And then they give up their meat.

So what’s the problem with observational studies?

It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with an observational study. In fact, they’re extremely useful and downright necessary for generating hypotheses, but they cannot establish causality. As both Mat Lalonde and Tom Naughton consistently emphasized during their presentations at the Ancestral Health Symposium, we do science and we do our cause a disservice when we overstate the evidence drawn from an observational study. The same goes for health researchers, who to their credit usually do a good job keeping their conclusions (if they make any at all) conservative. It’s the science reporters that love definitive headlines and concrete conclusions.

“Associated with”? Ha!

“Relative risk”? Never heard of it!

“Causes”? Now we’re talking!

Check out the headlines, which range from the conservative “Red Meat Linked to Increased Risk of Type 2 Diabetes” to the bordering-on-unequivocal “Bacon ‘increases risk of diabetes.” The former hails from the Harvard School of Public Health’s PR department, which actually conducted the study, while the latter comes from the Irish Independent. It’s a perfect example of what’s wrong with science reporting. Those headlines are designed to draw you in and precondition your expectations for the content. Heck, you might not even have time for the full text, in which case you’ll be left with the idea that bacon causes diabetes. Maybe it does, maybe (probably) it doesn’t, but we can’t know from observation.

As I read the study, I was pleasantly surprised by the restraint of the authors. Sure, the science reporters took the limited evidence and ran with it, but you expect that from them. It doesn’t surprise me anymore. The actual researchers, though, seemed to make it abundantly clear that no concrete conclusions about causality could be inferred from the data analysis. They even went on to propose a few potential mechanisms, as if to suggest that, I dunno, more studies were required to establish any sort of causality. In fact, they fully and continually admitted the limitations of the study as they composed the text. Until, that is, the very last sentence of the full text:

“Therefore, from a public health point of view, reduction of red meat consumption, particularly processed red meat, and replacement of it with other healthy dietary components, should be considered to decrease T2D risk.”

In other (my) words, “Despite our repeated insistence on the limitations of observational data analyses, and the fact that both causality and biological mechanism have yet to be established and indeed cannot ever be established through an observational study such as the one described in this paper, we recommend that the public reduce their consumption of red meat. The evidence in favor of such a recommendation is weak, poor, inconclusive, and highly confounded by listed variables like sedentary lifestyles, smoking, alcohol consumption, caloric intake, soda drinking, and bodyweight, plus the variables we didn’t even consider, including the oil the meat was cooked in, the baked goods the meat was served upon, and sugar intake, but do it anyway. We’re from Harvard, by the way.”

So, in the end, should this observational study cause red meat-eaters to worry? No. The confounding variables are vast and the absolute risk is low. Plus, remember: you are not the typical meat eater. You cook your meat in good fats, you eat plenty of vegetables, you lift heavy, you walk, you enjoy life, you savor relaxation and understand the pitfalls of stress, seed oils, sugar, and sunlight deprivation. Should any observational study in the future force you screaming from your butter/red meat/full-fat dairy/deep squats/barefoot running, remember that fact. No observational study should make you fear anything – not if you’re thinking clearly, can make the distinction between relative and absolute risk, and are able to identify potential confounding variables. But it should keep you questioning things, which is exactly what we need if we’re to keep learning, growing, and progressing.

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181 Comments on "Does Eating Red Meat Increase Type 2 Diabetes Risk?"

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Primal Rob
Primal Rob
5 years 1 month ago

When this story hit last Thursday, my mother made sure to tell me about it, in an effort to get me back on a government-approved diet so I don’t die of a heart attack. Everything you said in this post is exactly the reasons I gave her for disregarding this sensationalist observational study. But nope, I’m not a scientist, so therefore I am not reliable on any kind of dietary/health advice. Good article, makes me feel like I really am learning something! (7 months primal)

Joanne - The Real Food Mama
5 years 1 month ago

Isn’t’ that nuts!! My stepdad was told that he is pre-diabetic and so in an effort to decrease his blood sugar levels they told him to take out sugary foods and drinks, starchy veggies and white processed grains, and in the same breath made sure to tell him to get his 6 servings of WHOLE GRAINS!!! GAAAHHH! Conventional Wisdom is madding!! Its so hard to break our loved ones of CW, but like you said I’m not a scientist so what do I know!! Geeze!

ruben
5 years 1 month ago

The confusing part about that study is that they put red meat and processed meats in the same category, and that is a huge mistake, they dont account for the unsurmountable quantity of additives that deli meats have added to them.

Marnee
Marnee
5 years 1 month ago

Hmm. I bet the inclusion of unprocessed meat actually brought the risk down a little. HAHAHAHA. I mean, funny-weird.

Primal Recipe
5 years 1 month ago

Also, you have to wonder what they would find if the red meat came from 100% grass fed animals.

I bet they didn’t look at that, they never do.

They can make any study have an outcome with any story they want to tell. Similar to the China Study.

Victor Venema
5 years 1 month ago
Many studies do, this one did not. They had 2 categories “processed meats” and “red meat”. That is what makes this observational study somewhat more interesting than most. I assume they have tried to corrected for confounding factors, but there is always the risk of missing ones. That is one of the dangers of observational studies. As Mark wrote: Unprocessed meat included “beef, lamb, or pork as main dish” (roasts, steaks, chops), “hamburgers” (but I’m sure they got bunless burgers, right?), and “beef, pork, or lamb as sandwich or mixed dish” (served up on coconut flour bread, no doubt). Processed… Read more »
craig almaguer
5 years 1 month ago

True!!

Susan
Susan
1 year 6 months ago
I am borderline preD. I decided to join up with the PreD center in Austin. They take extensive blood work every quarter with diet, exercise and a few supplements. They have a very high success rate in reversing PreD w/o drugs. I was Gestational as well. My first initial BW everything looked great except the insulin. My diet consisted of grassfed milk, butter, GF meat, fermented foods, etc. and I was overweight not able to lose it, about 50 lbs. Since I have been on their diet plan my results have been short of amazing. Even the doctor couldn’t believe… Read more »
Susan
Susan
1 year 6 months ago

I want to add, that I have never been overweight till menopause. The pic of me was in my 40’s. When I became pregnant I weighed 125 lbs, at a height of 5’7, I was 30yo. I gained only baby weight, yet I was diabetic during my pregnancy. When you are pregnant your risk of Diabetes when you are older is 50%.

Mike
Mike
5 years 1 month ago
In other (my) words, “Despite our repeated insistence on the limitations of observational data analyses, and the fact that both causality and biological mechanism have yet to be established and indeed cannot ever be established through an observational study such as the one described in this paper, we recommend that the public reduce their consumption of red meat. The evidence in favor of such a recommendation is weak, poor, inconclusive, and highly confounded by listed variables like sedentary lifestyles, smoking, alcohol consumption, caloric intake, soda drinking, and bodyweight, plus the variables we didn’t even consider, including the oil the meat… Read more »
Timothy
5 years 1 month ago

Devastatingly well put.

DHT
DHT
5 years 1 month ago

Very good prose, Mark!

tess
tess
5 years 1 month ago

yeah, i “pointed” on that, too…. 🙂 those people sure put drs. Emily and Shou-Ching in poor company!

Primal Palate
Primal Palate
5 years 1 month ago

After I read this article I went to the freezer and took out a grassfed/finished fatty steak…boy am I hungry!

Primal Toad
5 years 1 month ago

LOVE it. I am getting hungry too… lunch is something with chicken but dinner will be some BABY BACK RIBS!!

Ay, can’t wait!!

Peggy The Primal Parent
5 years 1 month ago

And as long as you don’t couple that with smoking, refined carbohydrates, alcohol, soda, inactivity, and obesity, you might just steer clear of T2D…

Doug
5 years 1 month ago

These types of studies are so frustrating.

Primal Toad
5 years 1 month ago

I hate 99% of all studies. I love people but studies like these kill people.

When will it change?

Peggy The Primal Parent
5 years 1 month ago

It won’t. Stupidity is just another natural disaster, like hurricanes and earthquakes. Nature’s gotta take care of population explosion somehow.

Primal Palate
Primal Palate
5 years 1 month ago

LOL !!!

DThalman
DThalman
5 years 1 month ago

yeah i just wish nature would take care of this problem without the long slow deaths that cost us so much of our health care dollars

Primal Toad
5 years 1 month ago

Ha! Maybe it is mother nature taking over?!

Most of us are safe from natural disasters in todays world. We get warned about hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, severe t-storms, etc.

I guess your right – it has to happen somehow!

marc
marc
5 years 1 month ago

“Stupidity is just another natural disaster”

Wow! That is funny, sad and true. I’m going to steal that one.

cancerclasses
5 years 1 month ago

@Primal Toad Not until they stop making money by employing such tactics.

Google ‘Relative Risk — Absolute Deception
Why “Studies” are Misleading — Studies Aren’t Science.’

Anne
5 years 1 month ago

It confuses our friends that they know my family highly values things that are “healthy” AND that we eat a ton of red meat.

I get a little weary of defending ourselves….thanks for this post. It’s very encouraging to those of us with non-primal friends and family!

Ed
Ed
5 years 1 month ago

I defend myself by how I look with my shirt off. No words needed.

Meg
5 years 1 month ago

Lol! 😀 Love this.

Tim
Tim
5 years 1 month ago
I love your comment Anne, precisely because it draws attention to the mental short hand that people use. Thinking in depth is expensive (metabolically) and a lot of us prefer to make snap judgements so we can easily make decisions without having to dig into it. Advertisers and industry know this very well, which is why they choose what healthy is and market it to us as a set of choices: Healthy whole grains coupled with gallons of pasteurized skim milk, low fat chicken, vegetables out the wazoo and truckloads of soy. These are the prescribed healthy choices. When they… Read more »
Bles
Bles
5 years 1 month ago

Tim, I completely agree. Generally anyone I tell about my eating habits has already guessed them from our spending lots of time together and my constant refusal of grains.

I find its better to not give much of a reason other than I don’t like that food. (I also try to sneakily go to restaurants where I know there is a variety of dish choices so I can choose something primal.)

Samantha
Samantha
5 years 1 month ago

I agree. If I try to explain Primal/Paleo to people, they respond with “Oh, so you’re just doing Atkins?” or “Oh, so its low-carb?” I’ll say kinda, and try to explain further & their eyes just glaze over. It’s very sad & frustrating to me that people don’t and won’t take the time to learn about what they are eating.

Amy
5 years 1 month ago

Great post! Definitely clears up some misconceptions in the world of food.
Thanks!

Lily Marie
Lily Marie
5 years 1 month ago

So this means I can go live off of fast food meals, as long as there’s no burger involved.

Yay health!
Awesome(or not)

Dennis
5 years 1 month ago

I just wonder what kind of people do these studies…

I mean it baffles me that so many people listen to these “health experts” when in reality the experts themselves aren’t even healthy!

My advice, eat foods that make you feel good about yourself. Nothing better than having a nice piece of steak with some vegetables and feeling great afterwards!

Once people give Primal eating a try, they will realize how awesome it is.

cTo
cTo
5 years 1 month ago

Unfortunately, there are a lot of problems in the System of scientific research, and most of them revolve around funding. Medical studies funded by pharmacy companies often are pressured to find favorable results. Even independent, academic-only studies have to fight the endless fights for grants, and having a pedigree of showy conclusions that grabbed national attention ups your likelihood next time NIH grants roll around.

I am by no means condoning what my fellow scientists do, but I do understand why they are often forced into this position.

ruben
5 years 1 month ago

I agree, specially of those Dr Oz fans, he looks like a wax figure, wtf that is not healthy

Joanne - The Real Food Mama
5 years 1 month ago

I hate when crap studies are passed around to continue to make people think that CW is the way to go!! I am sure CW people reading this study are appalled and will go back to their whole sandwiches licky split!! To bad when they read the articles/studies they don’t even get that these people were eating all kinds of grains and sugars, so what does that really say!!

Daniel
Daniel
5 years 1 month ago

Excellent takedown. I wish there was a way to instill this skeptical mentality into every persons brain… sigh.

Mark, we need to find a way to get articles such as this (your post, not the study) as overtly in the public eye as possible!

Peggy The Primal Parent
5 years 1 month ago

It’s so funny that I don’t have colorectal cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and I’m not dead. I eat red meat every single day, oh and extra lard and bacon grease on EVERYTHING!

cTo
cTo
5 years 1 month ago

As a scientist, I 100% approve the deconstruction of the conclusions of the study as described in this post here.

Tim
Tim
5 years 1 month ago

Mark didn’t mention that they tried to correct for the differences in other health factors between the high meat and low meat populations.

Adjusting for BMI reduced the correlation with diabetes a little, other adjustments such as sugar-sweetened drinks did not.

rose
rose
5 years 1 month ago

Aw Mark, give ’em a break. These science writers are just playing. It’s a game to see how far they can bend science. They learned it from Big Pharma. lol

Raphael
Raphael
5 years 1 month ago
I love red meat, I can’t help it. I’ve got fresh baby chicken legs that have been sitting in my freezer for a couple of weeks now, but I pass by Whole Foods on my way home every day. I pass by the fish section thinking that I should buy fresh salmon instead since as with most things, and especially food, variety is the spice of life. But not tonight, I have got leftover veggies (plenty of them of the T-boosting cruciferous variety) and steak that I plan on stir-frying with garlic butter and Braggs’ Aminos. More red meat tonight,… Read more »
Chris Tamme
5 years 1 month ago

Is beef heart considered red meat? I still have some left in the fridge and was unsure whether I would catch the diabetes as soon as I finished it. What is life without risk? mmmmm tasty risk.

cTo
cTo
5 years 1 month ago

Nooo, if you eat the heart, then it will make your heart stronger!

Good logic, just like this study.

Jen
Jen
5 years 1 month ago

It is possible red meat can trigger diabetes, but we have to practise caution the amount we eat. I used to eat two steaks a day, no exercise, and developed insulin resistance during the course of several months.

Stabby
Stabby
5 years 1 month ago

How do you know that it was the steaks and not the lack of exercise? Or something else that you haven’t thought of? Unless you have a detailed log of everything you did during that period and controlled for the one difference (the steaks), which you didn’t, then you can’t make that inference.

David
David
5 years 1 month ago

Seriously… a fit and active person could easily get away with 2 steaks per day in the context of a healthy paleo diet rich in vegetables and natural foods. What an absurd conclusion.

“We have to practise caution [in] the amount we eat” is true for anything, and depends on our own fitness and activity level amongst other things.

fritzy
fritzy
5 years 1 month ago
It is possible but it’s also possible that bowling causes you to be fat–just look at all the fat bowlers then next time you go to a bowling alley. Jen, all the studies done on the subject of red meat so far have neglected to control for other factors. So while red meat might make you insulin resistant (with the knowledge we have of human physiology, there is nothing in red meat alone that should cause this) there is no way we could honestly know, because no one has run CONTROLLED experiments on red meat. You were inactive. Allow me… Read more »
Timothy
5 years 1 month ago

I used to wear shoes, and I never had a suntan. When I started wearing vibrams instead, I got a tan.

Vibrams cause suntan. Can I have a Harvard fellowship now?

cTo
cTo
5 years 1 month ago

zomg i have hella vibram suntan on my feet all the time.

Primal Recipe
5 years 1 month ago

This is funny 🙂

Finnegans Wake
Finnegans Wake
5 years 1 month ago

I got moved over an aisle in the cubefarm at work, and lost 25 pounds! If everyone would move to my aisle they too could lose weight! My old aisle causes weight gain!

Steven
Steven
5 years 1 month ago

It is possible for high fat, low carb diets to cause non-pathological insulin resistance, which can be measured by a glucose intolerance test. In this scenario fasting insulin and fasting glucose would be low.

T2D isn’t entirely about insulin resistance, a more accurate description could be: insufficient insulin production for the level of insulin resistance. Insulin production can be reduced from inflammation.

adamel
adamel
5 years 1 month ago

If I recall correctly (and I may not), insulin resistance doesn’t necessarily imply T2D. Those on low carb diets become insulin resistant as their bodies adjust to low glucose levels, saving the available glucose for the brain. The difference between low carbers and T2 diabetics is that T2 diabetics display insulin resistance AND hyperglycemia. Perhaps your carb intake was sufficiently low during the blissful two-steaks-a-day period to induce insulin resistance?

Paysan
Paysan
4 years 1 month ago

Read up on Arctic explorer Vilhajmer (sp) Stephenson, who lived with the Inuit and was healthy. He recreated an Inuit diet by eating only steaks (they were all grassfed in those days) and monitored by a NY hospital for one year. He was in great health at the end of it.

DillPickle
DillPickle
5 years 1 month ago

And besides, how can you have your pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

Larry
Larry
5 years 1 month ago

LMAO! I hope I’m not the only one who got that…

Uncephalized
Uncephalized
5 years 1 month ago

LOL, not even close.

Primal Palate
Primal Palate
5 years 1 month ago

I didn’t get it, explain please 🙂

Hopeless Dreamer
Hopeless Dreamer
5 years 1 month ago

PinkFloyd…album called “the wall”,song called”we dont need no education”

mindyk
mindyk
5 years 1 month ago

🙂

John
John
5 years 1 month ago

Please forgive my pedanticism. The song is called “Another Brick in the Wall.” Great album. God I’m old.

Animanarchy
5 years 1 month ago
Strangely, it tends to be after evenings and nights of piggish gluttony and binging on red meat (some nuts and cheese too) that I’m able to fast and grease the groove for a big chunk of the next day, only falling back on unsweetened coffee and or tea, perhaps with a dash of blood-sugar regulating cinnamon, to keep me sated and elated while I work on conditioning my muscles to be able to function during times of starvation. If I’m working on getting diabetes by doing this, I must be some sort of anomoly, because I keep getting more comfortable… Read more »
fritzy
fritzy
5 years 1 month ago

For every piece of red meat that people don’t eat as a result of this study, I will eat two. It’s a sacrifice I’m ready to make.

Todd
Todd
5 years 1 month ago

WARNING: reading of comically bad research papers while eating grass fed Roast Beef may constitute a choking hazard.

craig almaguer
5 years 1 month ago

that’s funny

Alison Golden
5 years 1 month ago

Thanks for posting this. I hadn’t heard of this study and as I’m going to be posting shortly on going Primal which will be a new concept I suspect for most of my readers, I feel better armed.

I already get enough stick in RL for my choices (I had a friend looking up toxic levels of parsley and celery after I offered her a green smoothie last week) and coming out on my blog makes me feel I need to be prepared.

Harry
5 years 1 month ago

Did some of you folks miss the following from Mark?

“As I read the study, I was pleasantly surprised by the restraint of the authors…. The…researchers…seemed to make it abundantly clear that no concrete conclusions about causality could be inferred from the data analysis. They even went on to propose a few potential mechanisms, as if to suggest that, I dunno, more studies were required to establish any sort of causality. In fact, they fully and continually admitted the limitations of the study as they composed the text.”

bbuddha
bbuddha
5 years 1 month ago

And yet came up with the conclusion that we should reduce our intake even though the study was weak and flawed in so many ways. This is sloppy, sloppy work. It is COMPLETELY USELESS if you don’t control for other factors.

Victor Venema
5 years 1 month ago
I am with Harry. And I am with Mark: “It’s not that there’s anything inherently wrong with an observational study. In fact, they’re extremely useful and downright necessary for generating hypotheses, but they cannot establish causality.” It is a scientific paper, which is written for scientists. The scientists will read the article and use it as inspiration for much more expensive double blind interventional studies, which can establish causality. For scientists this study is thus not “completely useless”, nor is it sloppy; the scientist reading the study will know the limitations of an observational study. And at least they make… Read more »
Ron McCallum
Ron McCallum
5 years 1 month ago

How about real evidence from type 2 diabetics who are Primal and now have the lowest numbers ever… blood glucose readings, A1c lowered, and weight loss. Such research is always flawed, and I believe people just have to do what’s right for them. Do I miss grains and dairy? Heck no. Do I love bacon and sausage…you bet! Thanks for debunking these studies.

HutnerP
HutnerP
5 years 1 month ago

Heh. Mark, your quote “In other (my)words” is awesome.

trackback

[…] from Marksdailyapple.com, goes into depth on why the latest observation study linking type 2 diabetes with eating red meat is essentially worthless. Primal News […]

Eryn
Eryn
5 years 1 month ago

Mark you have a wonderful way with words. The last two paragraphs were my favorite, I wanted to shout Halleluja across campus from my office window.

Well here’s at least a mental Hurrah! for all of us Primal beings.

And here’s to many more people doing their own critical thinking and questioning blanket statements in the media.

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
5 years 1 month ago
As soon as I read the article in last Thursday’s newspaper, I just knew we’d be hearing about it on MDA this week! This weekend we went to a wedding. There was a nice mix of young people and old folks from about ages 10 years old to around 80 years old (my DH being one of the 80 year olds). Of everyone there except for several of the teenagers and early 20’s types, my DH and I (at 80 and 67 respectively) were the best looking people there as far as body weight, no bulging bellies and activity level!… Read more »
sqt
sqt
5 years 1 month ago

People *really* don’t understand when you turn down cake. I got some odd looks when I declined dessert at a baby shower. I’m thinking of just saying I have a wheat allergy to avoid the hassle.

Lisa
Lisa
5 years 1 month ago
Dieticians still push the idea that having “treat foods” in moderation (whatever the hell that means) is okay. The one I visited years ago pre-Primal was astounded that I didn’t like junk food. I told her I’d had enough of it as a kid and no longer wanted it. (I was one of those eat-all-burn-it-off-later types, which worked well for me before puberty struck.) Even as a kid, people loved having me at their birthday parties because I’d scrape the icing off my cake and give it to them. Never had much of a sweet tooth. But oh no. She… Read more »
Sarah
Sarah
5 years 16 days ago

I took ONE blood test that gave me a fasting glucose of 110 one time…since then I just say, “Oh I can’t eat that, I’m pre-diabetic.” According to CW, I am, so what the heck, I’ll use the CW in my favor for once! It’s easier than explaining all the other stuff that people just tune out anyhow. Now if someone ASKS how I’m losing all this weight, then by all means, I am more than happy to illuminate…

David
David
5 years 1 month ago

You forgot to add…

‘This study was brought to you by The Dairy Association and your Leading Cereal Manufacturing Company”

Primal Palate
Primal Palate
5 years 1 month ago

Just imagine all those poor american indians that evolved on red meat. They had such a hard time to even survive with all those heart attacks, cardiocascular diseases, strokes and diabetes!
They are so lucky white man came along and introduced them to grains and sugar, so they can finally be healthy.

Tim
Tim
5 years 1 month ago

Love it, awesome. You can’t beat good sarcasm, especially when pan fried in butter. I wish there was a like button here, cuz you’d get one.

Glamorama
Glamorama
5 years 1 month ago

Not to mention the alcohol…

kem
kem
5 years 1 month ago

Did I miss the part where you explained how the researchers collected the data regarding individuals food intake?

Jennifer
Jennifer
5 years 1 month ago

That’s SO interestig! I guess the 25 point reduction in my fasting blood sugar in 6 weeks was from all the…. oh, I don’t know, all I ate was red meat. But it couldn’t be that.

DThalman
DThalman
5 years 1 month ago

i think i’ll head downstairs now and chow some of the leftover grass fed NY steak that i cooked over madrone coals in my backyard fire pit last night, with a bunch of greens dressed with grapeseed oil and a little balsamic.

Mike
5 years 1 month ago

Isn’t there another study out there claiming that eating eggs and delicious processed bacon for breakfast helps control the appetite and aids in weight control?

Tamara
Tamara
5 years 1 month ago

As a PRIMAL statistician with an epidemiology background who works in Public Health, I loved reading your story, especially your comments about confounders, limitations of observational studies, relative risk, etc. (words like that just excite me anyway!) I write scientific articles much like the one discussed here and felt you gave the field credit for what it does well and constructive criticism to be careful about overstating the results that we find. Thank you for your well-reasoned critique of this article!

Milestone
Milestone
5 years 1 month ago

All this talk about bacon is making me hungry… maybe its that I’m IFing (another thing CW claims to be unhealthy).

Becky
Becky
5 years 1 month ago
I don’t even tell my mom about the fat that I eat. I know where it would lead and I just don’t want the argument or the constant comments. The funny thing is, I eat EXACTLY like she ate growing up. She was raised on a farm and they provided most of their own food. Sadly, neither of my parents eat that way anymore because it’s too “expensive”. My dad even comments a lot that “…we used to have pastured eggs, grass fed beef, etc. growing up and now you have to pay a small fortune for it…” I just… Read more »
PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
5 years 1 month ago

Agreed! I’d rather spend my hard-earned money on good quality, fresh/organic foods that are not only a joy to eat but a joy to prepare, as well. Beats giving that money to the pharmacist and adding to your nice collection of little plastic containers with child-proof caps!

Peter
Peter
5 years 1 month ago
Last week I researched the clinical trials that were used to get approval for Plavix, which my mother is prescribed $300 per 30 pills!) I was shocked what I found. The test groups were given Aspirin alone, or Plavix alone. The number of re-occurrences of strokes/heart attacks, etc were only 9.8% of the Plavix users. Fantastic! Less than a one in ten chance of a re-occurrence using this wonder drug (with a host of side effects). The aspirin only users: 10.6% reoccurrence. I was floored. The manufacturer even states that the difference between plavix and aspirin was “marginal.” But the… Read more »
Peter
Peter
5 years 1 month ago

And I’ll add that mom (81 years old) is mostly primal but doesn’t know it. She is with me for the summer. Very little whole wheat bread, NOTHING refined. Mostly meat and veggies,and fruit. The blood pressure meds are next on my hit list.

Becky
Becky
5 years 1 month ago
Peter, I’m impressed that you’re doing so much for your mom. I’m doing what I can for my husband. We’ve only been eating primal for about 3 months but we’re hoping it will help him get off the meds for his recently diagnosed Type 2 Diabetes. I started cooking low sodium about a year and a half ago because his blood pressure was creeping up so we went to a diet of 500-1,000mg sodium per day. Worked like a charm. His blood pressure is the best it’s ever been. Then he goes for his yearly and they tell him he… Read more »
Peter
Peter
5 years 1 month ago

Fantastic! There is no question that nutrition and exercise are the keys to better health. But so is research and knowing the facts about these drugs. Many drugs to wonders, others…what a joke. Plavix was the #3 drug in the U.S. in 2010, with $4.6 billion in sales. And it’s virtually no more effective than a 3-cent aspirin!

Good luck with hour husband…keep the faith and keep trying!

bbuddha
bbuddha
5 years 1 month ago

Good for you getting her off the expensive and dangerous drug. change her bread to sprouted grains (if you can) just that little bit better 🙂

CathyN
CathyN
5 years 1 month ago

Do you have a link to that study?

Peter
Peter
5 years 1 month ago

Kathy, here it is. The bit I was referring to was section 14.2. Look at the chart comparing just aspirin, to just Plavix. The graph they include tells the story…virtually no difference! The other studies cited show similar unimpressive results.

http://products.sanofi.us/PLAVIX/PLAVIX.html

Davidr
Davidr
5 years 1 month ago
I get blood tested every 6 weeks to document my progression starting in mid April. My father is a physition and became concerned of my liver enzymes and lipids when I aproached him with this diatary concept. I am one example of a pre diabetic, high cholesteral, morbid obese individual. Lost 50 lbs 80 to go, Glucos numbers are normal, Cholesteral is still a little high but trending better on all counts. Energy is way up, but not able to be measured other than the Honey Dos are almost caught up on, oh and I perform plyometric circut training twice… Read more »
Laws of the Cave
5 years 1 month ago

I eat a pound of red meat per meal.

If this was true I would have lost a foot by now.

J. Stanton
5 years 1 month ago

Let’s not forget that the data from the Nurses’ Health Study is complete trash, as Chris Masterjohn has already proved:

http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/09/new-study-shows-that-lying-about-your.html

“Epidemiological studies about meat intake usually tell us less about the risk or benefit of eating meat and more about people’s propensity to lie about how much hamburger they eat.”

Tanis MacDonald, DVM
5 years 1 month ago

“We’re from Harvard, by the way.”

Thnaks for making me spray water out my nose onto my laptop. 🙂

PrimalGrandma
PrimalGrandma
5 years 1 month ago

ROFL!(Hey – good excuse for getting a new comp!)

shadia
shadia
5 years 1 month ago

I snorted my coffee when I read that line 🙂

Animanarchy
5 years 1 month ago
I watched someone snort coffee grinds up their nose once. He was saying how he’d snort anything for kicks and someone mentioned coffee and he said he’d probably snort it. I had a ziplock bag full of instant coffee in my backpack so I mentioned that and he said he was up to the challenge, sniffed up a huge line, and ended up with a really sore nose and a headache. I also saw someone snort nutmeg and salt and pepper, and I think he might have actually snorted ketchup too though I can’t remember for certain. I didn’t see… Read more »
Animanarchy
5 years 1 month ago
My mom gets migraine pills sometimes that cost $15 each. Such a waste! I told her that I bet her migraines are caused by inflammation or something else that can be cured by changing her diet, but no…. food can’t be a factor in these sort of things at all. Migraines just happen, right? Of course our family doctor, who says that you can eat junk like granola bars and “fruit” snacks throughout the day for satiety and be healthy eating “one healthy meal” like a pasta dinner a day, isn’t going to provide any useful information. She doesn’t look… Read more »
Animanarchy
5 years 1 month ago

P.S. I know I had bronchitis because I eventually saw a doctor in rehab (a check-up there was required) when the bronchitis was pretty much gone and after listening to my breathing he told me I had a slight case of it, but didn’t prescribe anything since it was going away.

Primal Palate
Primal Palate
5 years 1 month ago

I saw a lady in the store the other day with her brandnew spankin baby. The baby was so tiny, it still was purple and wrinkled.
The Lady looked extremely exhausted, holding the baby in 1 arm, and a bottle of childrens Nighttime Tylenol in the other hand.

I almost said something…or slapped her…

Dave Sill
Dave Sill
5 years 1 month ago

How about this research linking dietary fat to diabetes?

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2011-08/smri-hfd081011.php

alex
alex
5 years 1 month ago

A grass fed ribeye stake is so much more than the equivalent protein,fat and vitamins from other sources, and It makes you feel fantastic all day long.

It’s also possible that these people demonstrating the higher risk link are quite sick from other causes and the meat is having a protective effect.

Last time I checked spam was better than starvation.

fitmom
fitmom
5 years 1 month ago
I know the primal community isn’t attached to red meat the way big tobacco is attached to cigarettes, despite the snark. It seems quite reasonable that cafo beef WOULD be bad for people. First, it tastes like sh&*. Second, cows are fed toxic crap, confined, their intestines full of genetically modified grains & antibiotics & growth hormones, creating a growth medium for superbugs. Then, all the fat & organs that aaccumulate the toxins are mixed w/nitrates for processed meat! I don’t find it hard to believe at all that eating those animals is unhealthy. Studies like this, however weak, spur… Read more »
Tim
5 years 1 month ago
Great post as always Mark!! You saved my life buddy!! Considering that I cured my T2 by eating hardly any other meat except red meat these past 3.5 months I can clearly de-bunk anything that any idiot doctor can come up with. I’ve lost 35 lbs, dropped 10% body fat, and now have normal levels of fasting BG when just 3 months ago, my doctor wanted me on Lipitor for having total cholesterol of 212, hdl 48, LDL 130 and trigs of 78…oh yea, and wanted me on insulin too!! I said no thanks, I’ll figure it out, and I… Read more »
Pieter
5 years 1 month ago
Mainstream media pisses me off! Journalists that probably don’t even have their weight in check writing this kind of stuff! The media loves this hype. Today I saw an article in Portuguese newspaper stating that “Fatties May Be Healthier Than Thin People”. They dug up a Canadian study that said that obese people with no physical or psychological diseases were healthier than the non obese or overweight people. Basically they compared a minority of obese people with “super genes” to the general population of non overweight people. All the overweight people were commenting and were relieved that they could go… Read more »
Dasbutch
Dasbutch
5 years 1 month ago

people are destoried due to lack of knowledge, seek the truth and the truth shall set you free. question all wisdom!

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