Has ANY study shown eating lots of meat is good for longevity and health?
First, I'm currently practicing paleo, consisting of about 50% meat (grass-fed beef, natural pork) and 50% fruits and veggies. (With some fermented dairy mixed in.)
However, I am very aware of "cognitive dissonance". I've noticed that myself (and many other paleo enthusiasts) tend to look for data that backs up what we believe. Also, if anything goes against what we believe, we trounce the study or article and point out everything wrong with it.
As I've studied "healthy longevity" more, it makes me wonder if I am on the right track. I look at cultures who live long, healthy lives, and they seem to eat way less meat, more fish, and even more veggies than we do. In fact, it doesn't appear that any group of healthy centenarians lived on a diet similar to ours. They tend to be much more vegetable heavy, with much less meat, and dare i say it, much less exercise. (Though, not less ACTIVITY, which is a different animal.)
As we look at the Okinawans, Sardinians, Cretes, and others, none of them follow a diet like ours. (Other than they do eat lots of natural foods.) Some eat wheat, some don't. Some eat rice, some don't. Some eat dairy, some don't. Most eat beans. However, NONE eat lots of meat relative to what we eat.
Are we on the right track? Have we ignored evidence right in front of us? Or, have we taken those ideas and improved on them? Keep in mind, these groups I've singled out are not just living longer than others, but living longer independently, which is key. (I don't want to live 8 years longer, but in a home.)
So, basically, give me some data showing something POSITIVE about eating our relatively high quantities of meat. Even an article (not a study) telling a story about a population thriving on meat would give me some hope that I haven't chosen this diet based on my love of meat and butter, rather than true health value.