Do you eat meat?

Posted on March 24th, 2009 – 8:04 AM
By Josephine Marcotty

Red meat is as American as apple pie and the wild wild west. But eating it every day will likely hasten your death, according to one of the largest studies ever done. Researchers looked at 500,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans, and those who ate at least a small hamburger every day were thirty percent more likely to die in the following 10 years from heart disease and cancer. Processed meats also increased the risks.

They also found that people who ate fish, chicken turkey and other poultry decreased the risk of death. Even pork, long heralded as the “other white meat” by pork producers, is believed to increase the risk of cancer because of it’s high iron content.

The study was conducted by researches at the National Cancer Institute and published today in the Archives of Internal Medicine. An editorial¬† in the journal described it as the “Rolls-Royce of studies on this topic.”

The American Meat Institute dismissed the findings as unreliable because it relied on information provided by the study recipients.

Do you eat red meat? Will this change your mind about how much is healthy for you and your family? What will you eat instead?


11 Responses to "Do you eat meat?"

Matty says:

March 24th, 2009 at 8:38 am

I haven’t eaten any meat for about 13 years now, but I bet I still have a few pounds of red meat that I carry along in the depth of my bowels. That stuff is nasty and really sticks with you.

This study only reinforces what I know about food and why I choose to not put meat in my body. And the American Meat Institute dismissing this study is on the same level as the Coal and Nuclear industries calling their products “clean”.

DebateWeary says:

March 24th, 2009 at 8:41 am

I stopped eating meat every day a couple of years ago and hardly ever eat beef. I can’t tell the difference.

JDM says:

March 24th, 2009 at 9:24 am

I don’t think this study necessarily shows causality. It seems to me that people who eat red meat every day are less likely to live a healthy overall lifestyle. Are they getting enough exercise? Are they getting enough fruits and vegetables? What kind of portions are they consuming? There are a lot of variables.

On top of that, I’d also strongly caution anybody to read into this study and say “DON’T EAT RED MEAT.” That’s not what it says. It says “DON’T EAT TOO MUCH RED MEAT.” Duh.

pinkpoodle79 says:

March 24th, 2009 at 10:14 am

Yet another reason not to eat meat (beef, in particular). It’s certainly nothing special, nutritionally, and it’s way too resource-intensive to produce. Plus, almost all factory farms/processing plants mistreat the animals and workers. We need to stop subsidizing this and the corn industry.

TB says:

March 24th, 2009 at 12:09 pm

I haven’t eaten any meat for two years for so, so many reasons.
I feel healthier than ever.

warehaus says:

March 24th, 2009 at 12:26 pm

My family has cut back on meat a lot over the last decade. When I was a kid, it was an everyday thing. We usually have chicken instead, but only once a week. We’re eating more cheese, beans, soy products, and pasta in different combinations. Usually we only have red meat for special occasions or when we eat out (not every week).

CAH says:

March 25th, 2009 at 2:50 pm

Maybe they should do the “Rolls-Royce of studies” on what is in the meat we eat. Portions are important but there are other nutrients in animal protein that are essential to other processes in the human body. If our meat sources were cleaner we could and would feel better not just about eating but for eating it.

jenyuki says:

March 26th, 2009 at 1:31 pm

But red meat is so tasty! Yum. I love me a big steak and hamburger… MMMMM!

That being said, we don’t eat red meat very often. Most of the meat we do eat is chicken, and even that we only eat a few times a week.

Isn’t moderation the key in all of this?

Tricky says:

March 26th, 2009 at 4:12 pm

i read a great book this winter on how damaging animal proteins are to our bodies . (eat to live by dr. joel fuhrman) … and i was someone who ate (often red) meat everyday. i avoid it completely now and feel 100 times better physically. it’s really not good for you people!

Tricky says:

March 26th, 2009 at 4:14 pm

and CAH, meat has nothing “we need” that we can’t get from phyto-nutrient rich beans, grains and vegtables. it is like poison to your body. read the china project results!

Tricky says:

March 26th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

* Plasma cholesterol in the 90-170 milligrams per deciliter range is positively associated with most cancer mortality rates. Plasma cholesterol is positively associated with animal protein intake and inversely associated with plant protein intake.

* Breast cancer is associated with dietary fat (which is associated with animal protein intake) and inversely with age at menarche (women who reach puberty at younger ages have a greater risk of breast cancer).

* For those at risk for liver cancer (for example, because of chronic infection with hepatitis B virus) increasing intakes of animal-based foods and/or increasing concentrations of plasma cholesterol are associated with a higher disease risk.

* Cardiovascular diseases are associated with lower intakes of green vegetables and higher concentrations of apo-B (a form of so-called bad blood cholesterol) which is associated with increasing intakes of animal protein and decreasing intakes of plant protein.
* Colorectal cancers are consistently inversely associated with intakes of 14 different dietary fiber fractions (although only one is statistically significant). Stomach cancer is inversely associated with green vegetable intake and plasma concentrations of beta-carotene and vitamin C obtained only from plant-based foods.

* Western-type diseases, in the aggregate, are highly significantly correlated with increasing concentrations of plasma cholesterol, which are associated in turn with increasing intakes of animal-based foods.