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Red Meat is bad for you? Proof that this is bull?

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  • Red Meat is bad for you? Proof that this is bull?

    I'm not sure how to respond to red meat being bad for you. What are the studies that say it is and what say its great for you? I'd like to do a blog post about it eventually.
    My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

  • #2
    The studies I've seen generally look at two groups of people, one of which will be the big meat eaters. This group will eat all sorts - preserved meat full of nitrites, fast food, grain-fed meat, and presumably some good meat too. But the design of the studies don't account for the possibility that high quality meat deserves a group of its own, i.e. that it may have different effects on health to junk. That group fares worse and all red meat gets a bad name because of it. They're also usually retrospective studies which are pretty useless and full of confounding factors.
    I'm not aware of useful studies so I rely on evolutionary/anthropological arguments to decide, and that gives me no cause for concern eating good red meat. Also I think, but can't prove, that fit paleo/primal folks with low inflammation and low insulin and masses of nutrients, antioxidants etc, are less at risk from environmental toxins in general than the sick majority who form the populations studied.
    Here's an example:
    Dietary patterns and colorectal cancer: sy... [Eur J Cancer Prev. 2011] - PubMed - NCBI
    The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you're still a rat.
    (Lily Tomlin)

    I take life easier than almost anyone I know, but when I exercise I do it as though my life depends on it (which it does).
    (Arthur De Vany)

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    • #3
      I would also add that because of the stigma surrounding red meat, people who eat it in these studies self-select a lot of other things that might be bad. For example, if you eat a lot of hot dogs, you also eat a lot of white bread and HFCS (ketchup). If you eat a lot of ground beef, you probably also eat a lot of white bread, coke and French fries.

      In other words, people who tend to eat a lot of meat even though they think it's bad for them, generally don't care about their health.

      People who do care about their health tend to eat less processed flour, sugar and chemicals than people who don't care and eat meat.

      ~rc

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      • #4
        I'd also look at how most of the red meat sold in our country is raised. I'd love to see comprehensive studies on health differences in people who eat corn fed vs grass fed beef. "Fat Land" by Greg Critser is a great resource for this.
        I blog :http://raisinggodzillas.blogspot.com/
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        "We have all the food groups- meat and chocolate".

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        • #5
          Originally posted by sixpack-rc View Post
          I would also add that because of the stigma surrounding red meat, people who eat it in these studies self-select a lot of other things that might be bad. For example, if you eat a lot of hot dogs, you also eat a lot of white bread and HFCS (ketchup). If you eat a lot of ground beef, you probably also eat a lot of white bread, coke and French fries.

          In other words, people who tend to eat a lot of meat even though they think it's bad for them, generally don't care about their health.

          People who do care about their health tend to eat less processed flour, sugar and chemicals than people who don't care and eat meat.

          ~rc
          In a society that has demonized fat since the 90's... this post nails it.

          Sadly, you can find similar studies showing HFCS is evil, artificial sweeteners are evil, eggs are evil, grapefruit causes cancer, etc.

          Rarely is lifestyle taken into account and when it is, it's used to support erroneous assumptions that cannot be backed up with logic and evidence.

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          • #6
            Good question! I've been trying to figure out the red meat question for awhile. I started eating paleo to correct my endometriosis. There is actually an endo-diet, part of which is eliminating red meat and eggs because they "promote the pro-inflammatory prostaglandins". Endometriosis - Diet and Nutrition

            I assume the inflammation is a result of the toxins in industrial meat and eggs. But I can't find any info on it.

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            • #7
              Ok. I looked a little farther on the endo website. While I couldn't find the actual studies, This page Research into Diet for Endometriosis and Immune System summarizes studies. Here is the main quote regarding meat...

              "These toxins tend to accumulate in animal fat, and the major route of human exposure is through food, particularly fish. They also show up in meats and dairy products. (Ahlborg 1995) Chickens, cattle, pigs, and other animals are fed grains treated with pesticides and sometimes contaminated with other organochlorines, and they tend to concentrate these compounds in their muscle tissues and milk. While there may also be organochlorine pesticide residues on non-organic fruits or vegetables, they are less concentrated and are easier to remove. Organic produce is grown without chemical pesticides.

              To measure the concentration of organochlorines in a woman's body, researchers sometimes check samples of breast milk. Breast tissue is a natural target for chemicals that dissolve into fat, and, in fact, during breast-feeding, a woman can excrete up to half of all the dioxin she has accumulated in her body tissues. (Koninckx 1994) Unfortunately, the recipient of these chemicals is the nursing baby. (Ahlborg 1995)

              A vegetarian diet has obvious advantages. By avoiding fish, other meats, and cow's milk, you avoid the foods that harbor most organochlorines. Indeed, researchers have found that vegetarian women have much lower levels of pollutants in their breast milk, compared to other women. (Hergenrather 1981) The earlier in life that a plant-based diet is begun, the better. "

              So it seems they are just assuming that industrial meat is the only option for people.

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              • #8
                Unfortunately I can't get grass fed kosher meat affordably. I eat ribeyes, briskets, chuck roast, and occasionally lamb. Ribeyes the most. The brand is Meal Mart. Koh foods is kosher grass fed by very expensive and limited supply.
                My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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                • #9
                  Also is there that much O6 in grain fed red meats? I would think that would have to be in the fat areas. Brisket and chuck have a lot of fat, and taste great too. But I assume they are where the problem o6 concentrations might happen.
                  My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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                  • #10
                    Red meat is good for you! After all the warnings, Sunday roast not linked to heart disease | Mail Online

                    Takes the side that fat is bad, but interesting to note that red meat has less fat than other types of meat.
                    My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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                    • #11

                      If red meat were bad, then all those American Indians eating buffalo wouldbe sickly as well. They weren't. However they did get to be one of theunhealthiest populations in the US when they when on the food the governmentsupplied the reservations. Those studies are not double blind, placebocontrolled studies. They are based on surveys.

                      What is bad is the hormones we ingest and the off balance Omega 3vs6 ratiosfrom CAFO beef.

                      And yea, if they are eating beef, then the survey respondance are alsoeating buns with a lot of that...

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                      • #12
                        ISn't the fat only where the O3/06 concentration is? A lean meat CAFO wouldn't be that much of an issue.
                        My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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                        • #13
                          I usually respond by first laughing, then asking how it is bad. If they say saturated fat, I point them to the studies that show the opposite.
                          Lifting Journal

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                          • #14
                            What about the colon cancer arguement? The meat rotting in the colon also? I don't know what else in red meat would cause an average person to not eat it other than the saturate fat myth.
                            My journal where I attempt to overcome Chrohns and make good food as well

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                            • #15
                              Don't know how meat would make it to your colon if you chew it well and don't overeat.
                              Crohn's, doing SCD

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