Red meat not a healthy choice study says

By Luis Cabrera

We all know that red meat should be consumed in moderation, but in the real world out there, only a few of us follow strict guidelines. Is there a safe amount we can eat without any harmful side effects or long-term risks to our health? Recent results of a 20-year study suggest the answer is no.

The long-range investigation tracked the eating habits and health of 110,000 adults for over two decades, and the evidence against meat-eating habits was convincing. For example, those individuals who added a single 3-ounce portion of unprocessed red meat to their daily diet had a 13 percent higher chance of dying within the course of the study.

Furthermore, the risk of death for participants who enjoyed an extra daily portion of processed red meat, such as a hot dog or two slices of bacon, was associated with a 20 percent increase in mortality.

Numbers varied, but scientists also noticed a reduction in death risk when servings of pork or beef were substituted with nuts, fish, low-fat dairy or legumes. For example, people consuming more fish seemed to lower their risk by seven percent, a figure that rose to 10 percent for the ones preferring the legumes.

The lead author of the study, An Pan, holds a postdoctoral degree at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston. From the raw data, Pan and his fellow researchers hypothesized that excessive consumption of red meat is probably related to a higher risk of death from any cause. This theory was backed by the sheer-number comparison in the study; mortality rate was much higher in general for those with the larger portions of red meat in their daily intake.

There have been scares involving processed meats in public health lately, such the “pink slime” controversy and other recent studies linking nitrites in bacon and ham to cancer risks. In their investigation, Pan concedes that they were expecting processed red meat products to be much worse than their raw, machine-free counterpart. However, the evidence suggests that both processed and unprocessed are bad for our health when consumed in excess.

Carol Kropowski is a professor of preventive medicine at USC who did not take part in the study, but he cautioned that it can be hard to jump to exact conclusions because some of the input offered by people may not be scientifically accurate. Kropowski pointed out to potential discrepancies and errors that could result from asking participants to fill out a questionnaire with detailed, daily food intake.

Still, Pan argues that all red meat is bad for us. “If you want to eat red meat,” he says, “eat the unprocessed products,” and, “reduce servings to two or three per week.”

Most of the study’s data came from people consuming at least one serving of red meat daily.

Lawrence Kushi, a cancer researcher with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research based in Oakland, California, said that studies like this show the bottom line for everyone when it comes to red meat consumption. “Basically,” Kushi offered, “the less you eat, the better.”

We will read your comment immediately so leave a remark!

RSS Guardian Express

  • Chris Brown Trial Delayed for Months April 24, 2014
    The assault charge trial for Chris Brown has been delayed for months because his bodyguard, who is a key witness in the singer’s case, was denied immunity. Bodyguard Christopher Hollosy said that he would not testify without immunity until he has finished appealing his own case. Immunity would allow Hollosy to testify without putting his […]
    Twanna Harps
  • Hawaii Announces Bruno Mars Day Again April 24, 2014
    Hawaii announced December 19 as Bruno Mars day, and then once again, Hawaii governor Neil Abercrombie declared Monday, April 21, 2014, as Bruno Mars Day. Usually when a state announces a holiday, it is a one-time event. The new day coincides with his three-day concert that was sold out in Honolulu. He is not the […]
    Heather Tillman
  • American Idol The Super Six Perform (Review & Videos) April 24, 2014
    American Idol tonight is down to the final six competitors of the season. The Super Six will perform twice, each one singing a country and a rock song, and then their fates will be in your hands, America! Vote on the one or ones you think did the best, or who you simply like the […]
    Douglas Cobb
  • Daniel Franzese of ‘Mean Girls’ Comes Out April 24, 2014
    In a heartwarming letter to his character, “Damien,” from the movie Mean Girls, Daniel Franzese is ready to come out of the closet. It has been close to 10 years since the release of the hit movie, and his letter is not only inspirational, but also sad in places. He tells “Damien” that he wished he had […]
    Kristi Cereska
  • Johnny Cueto Dominates for Cincinnati: Reds Report April 24, 2014
    For a team still trying to find their way Johnny Cueto is doing his part; dominating opposing hitters, making his case for the pitcher of the month in the National League in April and keeping the Cincinnati Reds afloat. Cueto is now 2-2 on the season with a 1.38 ERA and a WHIP of just 0.77. […]
    Mick Varner

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 627 other subscribers