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Thread: Has ANY study shown eating lots of meat is good for longevity and health? page

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    bob loblaw's Avatar
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    Has ANY study shown eating lots of meat is good for longevity and health?

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    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.

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    Grumpycakes's Avatar
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    Are you including fish and eggs in your definition of "meat?"
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    I don't think there is data supporting eating a high meat diet. The reason for that, in my opinion, is that the availability of meat increases as a population has more wealth. However, with the wealth comes the major influx of processed food, industrial oils, etc. So it is very hard to tease apart what happened when disease rates increase.

    I think that a diet that is low is processed foods will promote longevity in general. Whether that be a high carb, lower meat (compared to primal) kitivan and okinawan diet, or a primal diet. If you find that data more compelling, you could certainly experiment and see how you feel. Many people here do a lower meat/fat higher veggie and fruit version of primal and are successful.
    Using low lectin/nightshade free primal to control autoimmune arthritis. (And lost 50 lbs along the way )

    http://www.krispin.com/lectin.html

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    Yes.

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    bob loblaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpycakes View Post
    Are you including fish and eggs in your definition of "meat?"
    No, though I could. Oddly enough, it appears both Okinawans and Sardinians actually didn't eat that much fish, though it made up a higher percentage of calories than the SAD. (Mainly because their overall calorie ingestion was quite low.)

    My thread is mainly concerned about beef, pork, and chicken...the meats that seem to make up most of our diets on here. (I know there are exceptions, some may eat way more eggs and fish, with little beef or pork.)

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    bob loblaw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jammies View Post
    I don't think there is data supporting eating a high meat diet. The reason for that, in my opinion, is that the availability of meat increases as a population has more wealth. However, with the wealth comes the major influx of processed food, industrial oils, etc. So it is very hard to tease apart what happened when disease rates increase.

    I think that a diet that is low is processed foods will promote longevity in general. Whether that be a high carb, lower meat (compared to primal) kitivan and okinawan diet, or a primal diet. If you find that data more compelling, you could certainly experiment and see how you feel. Many people here do a lower meat/fat higher veggie and fruit version of primal and are successful.
    I agree, I was just curious if any group has an actual sustained time of relatively high meat eating to compare to.

    I am quite comfortable eating a very decent amount of natural/pastured meat, but I am considering cutting back. (Not based on how I feel, I feel great. (But I also feel great if I eat pizza, I'm not very food sensitive overall.)

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    Grumpycakes's Avatar
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    Also, the definition of "meat" in most traditional cultures would include organs and marrow -- the whole animal -- not just the muscle meat that we backwards North Americans eat.
    You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpycakes View Post
    Also, the definition of "meat" in most traditional cultures would include organs and marrow -- the whole animal -- not just the muscle meat that we backwards North Americans eat.
    Yeah, this...so the answer to your question is YES there are many traditional and/or hunter gatherer societies that made their primary source of calories "meat", however I would define that to include mammals, fish, reptiles, birds, eggs....it is all MEAT. I'm sure you've heard of them massai, inuit, blah blah blah.....I can't recall them all right now, but you get the picture.

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    Most of the imperical data available are about conventional meat and that is why more often you would read that meat is not good for an individual. The paleo way eating encourages people to eat grass fed beef and lean meat ie pork or chicken. If you eat eggs then try to get an Omega 3 enriched ones. It is always better to eat wild salmon than farm raised ones.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cayla29s View Post
    Most of the imperical data available are about conventional meat and that is why more often you would read that meat is not good for an individual. The paleo way eating encourages people to eat grass fed beef and lean meat ie pork or chicken. If you eat eggs then try to get an Omega 3 enriched ones. It is always better to eat wild salmon than farm raised ones.
    No it doesn't.....old paleo might have, but PRIMAL and most of the paleosphere these days recognize that if you meat is well sourced (grass fed...which you got right) then preferring the FATTY cuts (as our ancestors have) is more beneficial.

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