Eat Red Meat, or, I Love Being Right

A few days ago I wrote a little bit about a study on diet, heart disease and stroke. The basic conclusions of the study were:

  • Eat less meat to reduce your risk of heart attack (by about 13%)
  • Eat less meat to increase your risk of stroke (by about 20%)

Well, a new study, (from my Alma Mater, no less) disagrees with that first conclusion.

A panel of international scientists led by researchers at Dalhousie and McMaster universities systematically reviewed the evidence and have recommended that most adults should continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat.

The researchers performed four systematic reviews focused on randomized controlled trials and observational studies looking at the impact of red meat and processed meat consumption on cardiometabolic and cancer outcomes.

In one review of 12 trials with 54,000 people, the researchers did not find statistically significant or an important association between meat consumption and the risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

In short, they conclude that you can keep on eating red and processed meats at your current levels and that cutting down has little to no effect on your health.

So, that bacon cheeseburger you love to eat? Go right ahead.

Now, why do I say that I love being right? Because I spilled 700 words on the topic here. My basic premise is to ask the question; would your grandmother recognize it as food (Grannie was healthy as a horse, and lived to 91 on a basic meat and potatoes diet)? If the answer is yes, go ahead, if not (within the limitations of our much more international diet nowadays), then don’t.

Now, having said all that, please do consider my plea to you to eat less crap.

And just because they’ve concluded that eating at your current levels is acceptable, do not take this to mean I’m suggesting you go eat a 20 oz. steak for dinner every night, and a rasher of bacon for breakfast.

Instead, try this:

  • Watch your diet, don’t keep an eye on your weight by putting it out front where you can see it, and
  • Exercise; exercise hard and exercise regularly.

I’ve been doing this for decades and if you do it too, I think you’ll be healthier, happier and less stressed out.