|red meat: not the culprit!|
Recently, Harvard came out with a study claiming that eating red meat may lead to a shorter life. Researchers examined thousands of people and correlated red meat consumption with an earlier death compared to those who consumed less red meat.
Here is the study if you'd like to take a gander at the charts: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
I am not going to break this down in detail because plenty of similar studies have been put out there, but I do want to emphasize that CORRELATION does not imply CAUSATION. Is it true that shoe size is correlated with reading ability? Yes. Is it because bigger shoe size causes people to read better? No. The answer is that a twenty year old will typically have a better reading level compared to a five year old (and incidentally, also have a bigger shoe size)
You know what else the researchers found? "Men and women with higher intake of red meat were less likely to be physically active and were more likely to be current smokers, to drink alcohol, and to have a higher body mass index." Here's the table if you'd like to see for yourself.
Also, let's talk about how they used data that was only taken from participants every 4 years. Every 4 years?? Yes, in the third line of the study researchers say "Diet was assessed by validated food frequency questionnaires and updated every 4 years." How reliable and consistent could this data be? Considering these questionnaires require participants to remember what they ate, I'm going to say not very.
Let's face it, although red meat consumption may be correlated with increased mortality rate, it in no way proves that red meat CAUSES it.
In this CNN article, Staffan Lindberg gives his take on it:
Staffan Lindeberg, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the University of Lund, in Sweden, says singling out red meat may be counterproductive. A bigger threat to health is the sugar- and starch-heavy Western diet as a whole, says Lund, who studies heart disease and diabetes and advocates a version of the so-called Paleolithic diet, which emphasizes lean meats, fruits, and vegetables."We need to focus more on common foods, like grains, dairy foods, refined fats, and refined sugar," Lindeberg says.
|if you prefer meat of the dried variety, make your own Homemade Jerky|
I also couldn't believe that these researchers were villianizing saturated fat from the start. I thought media was heading in a good direction, but this clearly puts us two steps back. Plenty of vegetarians and vegans will use this as ammo when trying to talk you out of eating red meat. IGNORE THEM!
I don't disagree with the researchers recommendations to increase seafood intake, especially if it's omega-3 rich salmon, sardines, etc. As for cholesterol, you should already know that people's numbers normalize after taking SUGAR and GRAINS out of their diets, not meat. We are biologically omnivores, whether you want to admit it or not. So feel free to order that burger (especially if it's grass-fed!), just don't eat the bun and get it wrapped in lettuce instead. Yum.