New Review: Red And Processed Meats Increase Risk for Disease, Early Death

There really is no shortage of articles and studies out there that raise a red flag over animal food consumption. Here’s another one:

Full article, no pay wall –> Potential Health Hazards Of Eating Red Meat, Journal of Internal Medicine, Online 6 September 2016

There has been growing evidence that high consumption of red meat, especially of processed meat, may be associated with an increased risk of several major chronic diseases. Here, a comprehensive summary is provided of the accumulated evidence based on prospective cohort studies regarding the potential adverse health effects of red meat consumption on major chronic diseases, such as diabetes, coronary heart disease, heart failure, stroke and cancer at several sites, and mortality.

The evidence-based integrated message is that it is plausible to conclude that high consumption of red meat, and especially processed meat, is associated with an increased risk of several major chronic diseases and preterm mortality. Production of red meat involves an environmental burden. Therefore, some European countries have already integrated these two issues, human health and the ‘health of the planet’, into new dietary guidelines and recommended limiting consumption of red meat.

meatrisk2

meatrisk3

50 grams is hardly anything, just 1.76 ounces. A typical serving is 3 ounces which is the size of a small hamburger.

You can read about the mechanisms. I’ve discussed them over the years … heme iron, cholesterol, saturated fat, sodium, nitrites and nitrates, additives, preservatives, chemicals arising from cooking (heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, advanced glycation end-products), hormones, environmental pollutants, e.g. endocrine disruptors, that bioaccumulate in animal tissue.

Take note of that last sentence in my excerpt above:

Some European countries have already integrated these two issues, human health and the ‘health of the planet’, into new dietary guidelines and recommended limiting consumption of red meat.

When the USDA released their Dietary Guidelines late last year, they chose to leave out any impact on environment. USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said:

We do not believe that the 2015 DGAs are the appropriate vehicle for this important policy conversation about sustainability.

Europe is ahead of us again. Both human health and ‘health of the planet’ should absolutely be integrated into the Dietary Guidelines. Our meat industry won that one.

One thought on “New Review: Red And Processed Meats Increase Risk for Disease, Early Death

  1. Bix Post author

    Why is it that these trends don’t go in the opposite direction? That is, why don’t they show that the more meat we eat, the *lower* our risk for heart disease, diabetes, and cancer? As some have claimed.

    Reply

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