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Thread: Huge study shows red meat boosts risk of dying young

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  1. #1
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    Huge study shows red meat boosts risk of dying young

    Eating a portion of processed red meat daily can boost a person's risk of dying young by up to 20 per cent, says a long-running US study of more than 120,000 people.

    While the research by Harvard University experts offers more evidence that eating red meat increases the risk of heart disease and cancer, it also counsels that substituting fish and poultry may lower early death risk.
    "This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death," said Frank Hu, senior author of the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

    Researchers gleaned their data from a study of 37,698 men who were followed for 22 years and 83,644 women who were tracked for 28 years.

    Subjects answered surveys about their eating habits every four years.

    Those who ate a card-deck-sized serving of unprocessed red meat each day on average saw a 13 per cent higher risk of dying than those who did not eat red meat as frequently.

    And if the red meat was processed, like in a hot dog or two slices of bacon, that risk jumped to 20 per cent.
    However, substituting nuts for red meat lowered total mortality risk by 19 per cent, while poultry or whole grains lowered the risk by 14 per cent and fish did so by 7 per cent.

    The authors said between 7 and 9 per cent of all deaths in the study "could be prevented if all the participants consumed fewer than 0.5 servings per day of total red meat".

    Processed red meat has been shown to contain ingredients such as saturated fat, sodium, nitrites and some carcinogens that are linked to many chronic ailments including heart disease and cancer.
    "More than 75 per cent of the $US2.6 trillion ($2.5 trillion) in annual US health care costs are from chronic disease," said an accompanying commentary by Dean Ornish, a physician and dietary expert at the University of California, San Francisco.

    "Eating less red meat is likely to reduce morbidity from these illnesses, thereby reducing health care costs."
    A separate study, also led by Hu but published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation, found that men who drank sugar-sweetened beverages daily faced a 20 per cent higher risk of heart disease than men who did not.

    The study tracked more than 42,000 men, most of them Caucasian, over 22 years. It found higher heart risks, and higher levels of inflammation and harmful lipids known as triglycerides in daily sweet-drinkers.
    The effects were not seen in men who drank as many as two sugar-sweetened beverages per week.
    According to Hu, the research "provides strong justification for reducing sugary beverage consumption among patients, and more importantly, in the general population".

    Heart disease is the biggest killer in the United States and top risk factors include obesity, smoking, lack of exercise, diabetes and poor eating habits.

    Full article: Huge study shows red meat boosts risk of dying young
    I realise a lot of you guys think that "conventional wisdom" is a load of bollocks, but I certainly do not. I strongly believe in science, and that includes contemporary medical science. It's a lot more reliable than gym-junkie pseudo-science.

    I also believe in paleo eating. But only because that makes sense: our bodies have adapted and evolved over millions of years to efficiently consume a certain diet. Mother nature has fine-tuned as to eat certain foods. I have no problem believing that. BTW, I also do not believe paleo dieting means "ultra low carb". All the scientific evidence suggests our ancestors would have had a steady supply of fruit, vegetables, berries, seaweed and root vegetables.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaineight View Post
    I realise a lot of you guys think that "conventional wisdom" is a load of bollocks, but I certainly do not. I strongly believe in science, and that includes contemporary medical science. It's a lot more reliable than gym-junkie pseudo-science.

    I also believe in paleo eating. But only because that makes sense: our bodies have adapted and evolved over millions of years to efficiently consume a certain diet. Mother nature has fine-tuned as to eat certain foods. I have no problem believing that. BTW, I also do not believe paleo dieting means "ultra low carb". All the scientific evidence suggests our ancestors would have had a steady supply of fruit, vegetables, berries, seaweed and root vegetables.
    I think the keyword, there, is processed red meat. Hence, I typically buy quality red meat. And, I've reduced my red meat intake on the whole, out of blood sugar concerns.

    you should also check out Robert Su M.D.'s podcast, Carbohydrates Can Kill. It goes into a lot of scientific detail, and he's talking about cancer in this series, I'm listening to right now. I previously finished a series he did on inflammation and Alzheimer's. Also, he detailed how a lack of saturated fat (which the study you're referencing still demonizes)/cholesterol contributes to the onset of Alzheimer's; another thing I gathered from the series is the development of Alzheimer's begins at a much earlier age (like 30 years of age, or older).
    Last edited by lssanjose; 03-12-2012 at 03:53 PM.

  3. #3
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    were they eating junk food as well as red meat? This study tells me nothing about their diet overall. I doubt any of these people that died were eating primally. And what did they die from? They asked them what they ate every four years? I can't remember what I ate four days ago. Just because Harvard conducted a study doesn't make it intelligent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sketcha View Post
    were they eating junk food as well as red meat? This study tells me nothing about their diet overall. I doubt any of these people that died were eating primally. And what did they die from? They asked them what they ate every four years? I can't remember what I ate four days ago. Just because Harvard conducted a study doesn't make it intelligent.
    +1. We need to see the full journal article (if there's one around).

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    Eating a portion of processed red meat daily can boost a person's risk of dying young by up to 20 per cent
    It's the processed part, not the red meat part. And most "processed red meat" (bologna, hot dogs, pepperoni, etc) is almost always eaten in conjunction with bread (sandwich bread, hot dog buns, pizza crust) so it's really hard to say it's "red meat" when it's 2 different kinds of meat and eaten with gluten and sugar.

    regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death
    And how could they claim they are both to blame when they never separated the two?

    Processed red meat has been shown to contain ingredients such as saturated fat, sodium, nitrites and some carcinogens that are linked to many chronic ailments including heart disease and cancer.
    Saturated fat does not cause heart disease or cancer.
    And again, sodium is not in red meat, just processed meat.
    Same with nitrites - only in processed meats.
    Carcinogens are present if you sear or overcook meat.

    And this:

    Subjects answered surveys about their eating habits every four years.
    Makes this:

    Those who ate a card-deck-sized serving of unprocessed red meat each day on average saw a 13 per cent higher risk of dying than those who did not eat red meat as frequently.
    ...pretty much pointless. Self-reporting is absolutely the worst kind of way to get info. All kinds of bias and confusion and memory problems and wanting to make the researcher happy. It's a waste of time. Nothing at all as to what else they were eating with that red meat.

    And I'd be willing to bet the guys that said they didn't eat processed meat actually did. Hell, it's hard for me to resist, and I get a brutal migraine for 3 days when I do.
    Durp.

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    Quote Originally Posted by RitaRose View Post
    And most "processed red meat" (bologna, hot dogs, pepperoni, etc) is almost always eaten in conjunction with bread (sandwich bread, hot dog buns, pizza crust) so it's really hard to say it's "red meat" when it's 2 different kinds of meat and eaten with gluten and sugar.
    None of those things are red meat. They're all pork, and pork isn't red meat. It's dark and white meat, much more similar to chicken, especially in terms of lipid profile. Red meat generally refers to ruminants - beef, lamb, goat and deer is red meat. They have much higher levels of saturated and monounsaturated fats with very little polyunsaturated fat, unlike dark and light meats (poultry and pig).

    Nonetheless, studies like this will track someone that ate pepperoni pizza every day for 20 years and when they die of a heart attack, the study will blame the pepperoni. It wasn't the 100 lbs of wheat flour a year or the liter of Coke you chased it down with. It was that greasy pepperoni.
    Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.

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    Don't get me wrong, I'm not fan of unnaturally high-carb diets (which our modern diets most certainly are!). That is ESPECIALLY true of high-GI carbs. If there's anything "evil" about carbs, it's high-GI carbs. Highly processed sugars from candy, soda, white bread, etc. Have you ever found that McDonalds hamburger buns stick to your teeth like fairy-floss? No wonder people get so obese eating that crap.

    My thoughts are that our ancestors ate lean game meat. Not the processed crap and fattened farm animals you buy in the supermarket today. I think that the most important thing for health is to eat a lot of fresh green vegetables, including a substantial fibre intake. I believe a person who does a lot of weight training needs a lot of protein, which can be healthily sourced from lean meat, fish, poultry and whey protein powder for that extra "unnatural" boost (in as far as our caveman ancestors weren't downing protein shakes).

    A significant amount (most?) of my red-meat comes from hunted kangaroos, which I buy in the supermarket or local butcher ("Gourmet Game" brand). I've seen pictures of buffalos with a lot of fat in them, etc., posted by people trying to prove that our ancestors ate bucket-loads of saturated fats. I think these are the exception rather than the rule, and also show-off the fattiest cuts. The truth is - and any hunter will confirm this - that game meat is a hell of a lot leaner than the stuff you buy off the supermarket shelf.

    I think the study misses that point, but then again, they're hardly coming at it from the point of view of a paleo dieter. I think there is still a lot to be learned here.

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    Quote Originally Posted by captaineight View Post
    Don't get me wrong, I'm not fan of unnaturally high-carb diets (which our modern diets most certainly are!). That is ESPECIALLY true of high-GI carbs. If there's anything "evil" about carbs, it's high-GI carbs. Highly processed sugars from candy, soda, white bread, etc. Have you ever found that McDonalds hamburger buns stick to your teeth like fairy-floss? No wonder people get so obese eating that crap.

    My thoughts are that our ancestors ate lean game meat. Not the processed crap and fattened farm animals you buy in the supermarket today. I think that the most important thing for health is to eat a lot of fresh green vegetables, including a substantial fibre intake. I believe a person who does a lot of weight training needs a lot of protein, which can be healthily sourced from lean meat, fish, poultry and whey protein powder for that extra "unnatural" boost (in as far as our caveman ancestors weren't downing protein shakes).

    A significant amount (most?) of my red-meat comes from hunted kangaroos, which I buy in the supermarket or local butcher ("Gourmet Game" brand). I've seen pictures of buffalos with a lot of fat in them, etc., posted by people trying to prove that our ancestors ate bucket-loads of saturated fats. I think these are the exception rather than the rule, and also show-off the fattiest cuts. The truth is - and any hunter will confirm this - that game meat is a hell of a lot leaner than the stuff you buy off the supermarket shelf.

    I think the study misses that point, but then again, they're hardly coming at it from the point of view of a paleo dieter. I think there is still a lot to be learned here.
    Humans didn't evolve hunting tiny things like kangaroos. We hunted fat-rich very large game that was largely selected for it's fat/protein ratio.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Apex Predator View Post
    Humans didn't evolve hunting tiny things like kangaroos. We hunted fat-rich very large game that was largely selected for it's fat/protein ratio.
    Tiny? Kangaroos? They're pretty darn big. Probably bigger or about as big as a deer.

    If you ask a mass of Americans to jeep track of their red meat consumption, what's the likelihood that that red meat will be eaten:

    - in conjunction with a high carb diet
    - as a hamburger at a fast food restaurant
    - as grain-fed beef
    - as muscle meat and never organ meat
    - in conjunction with a diet low in vegetables
    - in conjunction with a diet high in industrial oils and HFCS

    I'm guessing the odds are pretty good for one or all of the above.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sbhikes View Post
    Tiny? Kangaroos? They're pretty darn big. Probably bigger or about as big as a deer.

    If you ask a mass of Americans to jeep track of their red meat consumption, what's the likelihood that that red meat will be eaten:

    - in conjunction with a high carb diet
    - as a hamburger at a fast food restaurant
    - as grain-fed beef
    - as muscle meat and never organ meat
    - in conjunction with a diet low in vegetables
    - in conjunction with a diet high in industrial oils and HFCS

    I'm guessing the odds are pretty good for one or all of the above.
    Kangaroos and deer are smaller that the Elephants, Autunuach and other megafauna we evolved eating. They are the leftovers, and likely part of why we devoloped agriculture.

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