Has Red Meat Received a Bad Rap?
Has eating red meat received a bad rap over the years? Is eating red meat really as bad for us as some of the health gurus would like us to believe it is is? Can we link red meat consumption to cardiac disease and cancer? Unfortunately this is one of those cases where there are no quick, cut and dry answers. In this article we will explore what a few of the industry's experts have to tell us on the subject.
- Does consuming red meat contribute to heart disease and cancer?
- What has cholesterol got to do with it?
- The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Does consuming red meat contribute to heart disease and cancer?
Heart disease is the leading cause of natural death among men and women today. In 2008, according to statistics provided by the CDC, over 600 thousand men and women in the United States died of heart disease. In 2008, more than 1 in every 4 deaths in the U.S. Was caused by heart disease. Every year 785 thousand Americans experience their first heart attack. Every year, another 400 thousand Americans who have already suffered a heart attack have another heart attack. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United states today. In 2009 599, 413 people in the U.S. Died of coronary disease, 567, 628 people in the U.S. Died of cancer. How many of these deaths can we lay at the doorstep of red meat?
What has cholesterol got to do with it?
Although many experts in the meat industry claim that there is no direct link between eating red meat and cancer, they cannot deny the link between eating red meats and coronary disease. Some red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises blood cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol,The “Bad Cholesterol”, increase the risk of heart disease.
A recent National Institute of Health/Association for the Advancement of Retired Persons (NIH/AARP) study involving more than 500 thousand older American, showed that those eating large amounts of red meat or processed meat for a 10-year period were more likely to succumb to cancer or cardiac disease than those eating smaller amounts. Those eating just four ounces of red or processed meats a day are more likely to die of cancer or heart disease than those eating just 0.5 ounces a day.
Janet Riley, a senior vice president of the American Meat Institute, and the spokesperson for the trade group claims that “Many of these suggestions could be nothing more than statistical noise,” at best. Many studies have found similar links. Another study that followed more than 72,000 women for 18 years found that those women who ate a Western-style diet, high in red and processed meats, desserts, refined grains, and French fries, had an increased risk of heart disease, and cancer, as well as well as death from related diseases.
The World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Marji McCullough, PhD, a nutritional epidemiologist with the American Cancer Society wrote in a report to the august Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), “The association between consumption of red and processed meats and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, is very consistent.”
After a systemic review of scientific studies, an expert panel of the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research concluded in 2007 that “red or processed meats are convincing or probable sources of some cancers.” Their report says evidence is convincing for a link between red meat, processed meat, and colorectal cancer, and limited but suggestive for links to lung, esophageal, stomach, pancreatic, and endometrial cancers.