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Brown begins: "Eating red meat - any amount and any type - appears to significantly increase the risk of premature death, according to a long-range study that examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for more than 20 years."

Eating any amount of any type of red meat increases the risk of premature death, a new study says. (photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)
Eating any amount of any type of red meat increases the risk of premature death, a new study says. (photo: William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

All Red Meat Is Bad for You, New Study Says

By Eryn Brown, Los Angeles Times

13 March 12


A long-term study finds that eating any amount and any type increases the risk of premature death.

ating red meat - any amount and any type - appears to significantly increase the risk of premature death, according to a long-range study that examined the eating habits and health of more than 110,000 adults for more than 20 years.

For instance, adding just one 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat - picture a piece of steak no bigger than a deck of cards - to one's daily diet was associated with a 13% greater chance of dying during the course of the study.

Even worse, adding an extra daily serving of processed red meat, such as a hot dog or two slices of bacon, was linked to a 20% higher risk of death during the study.

"Any red meat you eat contributes to the risk," said An Pan, a postdoctoral fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston and lead author of the study, published online Monday in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Crunching data from thousands of questionnaires that asked people how frequently they ate a variety of foods, the researchers also discovered that replacing red meat with other foods seemed to reduce mortality risk for study participants.

Eating a serving of nuts instead of beef or pork was associated with a 19% lower risk of dying during the study. The team said choosing poultry or whole grains as a substitute was linked with a 14% reduction in mortality risk; low-fat dairy or legumes, 10%; and fish, 7%.

Previous studies had associated red meat consumption with diabetes, heart disease and cancer, all of which can be fatal. Scientists aren't sure exactly what makes red meat so dangerous, but the suspects include the iron and saturated fat in beef, pork and lamb, the nitrates used to preserve them, and the chemicals created by high-temperature cooking.

The Harvard researchers hypothesized that eating red meat would also be linked to an overall risk of death from any cause, Pan said. And the results suggest they were right: Among the 37,698 men and 83,644 women who were tracked, as meat consumption increased, so did mortality risk.

In separate analyses of processed and unprocessed meats, the group found that both types appear to hasten death. Pan said that at the outset, he and his colleagues had thought it likely that only processed meat posed a health danger.

Carol Koprowski, a professor of preventive medicine at USC's Keck School of Medicine who wasn't involved in the research, cautioned that it can be hard to draw specific conclusions from a study like this because there can be a lot of error in the way diet information is recorded in food frequency questionnaires, which ask subjects to remember past meals in sometimes grueling detail.

But Pan said the bottom line was that there was no amount of red meat that's good for you.

"If you want to eat red meat, eat the unprocessed products, and reduce it to two or three servings a week," he said. "That would have a huge impact on public health."

A majority of people in the study reported that they ate an average of at least one serving of meat per day.

Pan said that he eats one or two servings of red meat per week, and that he doesn't eat bacon or other processed meats.

Cancer researcher Lawrence H. Kushi of the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research in Oakland said that groups putting together dietary guidelines were likely to pay attention to the findings in the study.

"There's a pretty strong supposition that eating red meat is important - that it should be part of a healthful diet," said Kushi, who was not involved in the study. "These data basically demonstrate that the less you eat, the better."

UC San Francisco researcher and vegetarian diet advocate Dr. Dean Ornish said he gleaned a hopeful message from the study.

"Something as simple as a meatless Monday can help," he said. "Even small changes can make a difference."

Additionally, Ornish said, "What's good for you is also good for the planet."

In an editorial that accompanied the study, Ornish wrote that a plant-based diet could help cut annual healthcare costs from chronic diseases in the U.S., which exceed $1 trillion. Shrinking the livestock industry could also reduce greenhouse gas emissions and halt the destruction of forests to create pastures, he wrote. your social media marketing partner


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+21 # bluepilgrim 2012-03-13 16:30
On the whole, I suspect we should be eating mostly what our ancient ancestors ate, figuring that our bodies evolved to handle those things better. That would include some meat, but not much of what we commonly eat now which is fairly new in our biological history. Fish is probably one of the best things if you can get it without the added flavor enhancers from BP oil, pesticide companies, etc.
+3 # wsh 2012-03-14 06:24
This whole survey is suspicious to me. What about the rest of the lifestyle of people who eat red meat daily compared to infrequent ingestors?

The people I know like me, who infrequently eat red meat, go to health clubs, play sports, and are within five or ten pounds of their ideal body weight. While many daily red meat eaters are the ones in their cubicles having Diet Coke and Twinkies for lunch.

I am now of the former lifestyle; I used to be of the latter. So, to me it ain't the red meat; it's the extra 50 pounds that kills you early! Without the perspective of the lifestyle of the survey participants, these findings are useless.
+2 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 14:30
Note that they didn't say cutting out all red meat, merely that the reduction to 3 times a week would be ideal (I live with a Public Health type and they are extremely practical). The goal is to get people to live healthier lives, not follow some "diet of the week".

My family has a history of heart attacks. I cut out meat to reduce the possibility of one. Frankly, I don't care what anyone else eats - that's your choice.
+3 # Nominae 2012-03-14 22:29

Fish is unfortunately often contaminated with very high mercury content. This results from acid rain leaching mercury out of the mountain rocks, and into, say trout streams in the Rocky Mountains.

This problem exists as well for ocean fish such as tuna, and for species that inhabit both ocean and fresh waters such as salmon.

In addition, to say that we should never eat meat fails to explain why human beings are designed with meat cutting (canine) as well as grinding "vegetarian" teeth. We are designed to be omnivores. If eating meat poses any problem at all, we need to more closely examine the meat.

Statistics can be illusive, and seem in many cases to be constantly changing. View recommendations for things such as fats and butter over the past three decades. Statistics have swung back and forth like a pendulum.

Each person does well to listen to their own body on dietary matters.
+5 # Pickwicky 2012-03-13 16:48
The evidence continues to grow. Can I live without bacon? Hell, looks like I can't live with bacon! But alas, what about that infrequent beef filet? We're slowly being reduced to rice cakes.
+2 # Erdajean 2012-03-13 22:19
Yeah, pretty soon all "edibles" will be reduced to pills. "Nutrient pills" will be produced by Big Pharma, sold only by prescription and cost a fortune. Anything you can afford to eat is VERY bad for you.

Nothing said here though about Pink Meat, i.e. Pink Slime -- the ammonia-soaked gut sludge ground up with whatever else is not fit for Alpo. Pink Slime must be OK because the USDA says it's fine for school lunchrooms. Hope that means the Senate Dining Room, too!

Actually, worry about meat -- red, pink, shiny green, whatever is all foolish -- we of the 99 percent never see it. It will soon be extinct anyway, as genetic-tampere d corn, wheat, etc. cuts back on its consumers' reproductive fertility -- livestock's and ours.

See how our problems take care of themselves, if we just stay docile and let the brilliant feds handle things?
+8 # Joe Bob 2012-03-14 10:34
Don't forget Soylent Green.
+1 # 2012-03-14 06:31
My mother who will be 93 in May still eats her occasional beef, and more frequently ham, bacon, pork. She doesn't like poultry but eats fish as well. My dad died at the age of 91 and he ate the same thing. Oh well, according to the statistics, he died young and should have lived another 5-10 years.
+5 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 12:56
Average life expectancy is in the late 70's.

There will always be those who beat the odds - but they are not the norm.

Public health should be governed by science, not anecdotal evidence. It is impossible to take one person and extrapolate that to the population as a whole.

The Harvard School of Public Health is about as reliable as you can get.
+7 # rosaleee 2012-03-14 12:56
Clearly you are unable to comprehend the concept of statistics.

A single exception hardly makes a rule. Individual anecdotes are irrelevant.

If 95% of people have their lives shortened by eating significant amounts of red meat, and your mother had a long life in spite of it, all you are doing is proving that your mother was one of a very small group of people who weren't affected negatively.

It is widely known now that drugs taken for epilepsy during pregnancy can cause severe birth defects. My mother bore five children, all of us normal (and all of us with high IQs). Does that therefore mean that because WE were born without defects that the risk for others is zero?

You need to go back to school!
0 # Joe Bob 2012-03-14 10:32
Ah so, grasshopper... Rice cakes can push your glucose levels higher and make you more likely to get into the Diabetes range....
+2 # rosaleee 2012-03-14 12:57
At 7.3g per cake, not so, potato bug.
+3 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 13:00
Seems odd since the American Diabetes Association seems to believe that they are a good option.

To put this in perspective, 2 plain rice cakes have 15 grams of carbohydrates which is about the same as two clementine oranges.
+21 # nice2blucky 2012-03-13 17:28
I guess it's only illegal to say it's bad if you call it beef. So there it is. Red meat is bad for you.

Let the lawsuits begin.

Only in America, land of the free ... and I guess the brave part entails eating red meat. Sounds very American, where the brave eat red meat and shoot up unarmed civilians throughout the world.

It's illegal to say beef is bad. Illegal to speak your mind. Illegal to protest. Illegal to reveal criminal activity, atrocity, and war crimes. War criminals and perpetrators of banking fraud are either immune from investigation and/or prosecution or beyond the law. Its illegal to smoke marijuana. Legal to smoke chemically enhanced tobacco. Legal to eat beef.

For profit prisons. Leasing of public lands and wilderness ... for (private) profit. Privatized profit. Socialized (corporate) loss.

What does this have to do with beef. Everything. Haven't you been listening. It's the slippery slope. Deny the science. Obscure facts. Encourage confusion and apathy.

Play on people's vices, tendencies, wants, weakness, and ignorance.

Then people confuse right and wrong from personal choices and personal responsibility, from what is legal and "legal" to say from what should be legal -- not criminal -- and what should be legislated.

What does it mean that red meat is bad? That people should be able to say that beef sucks and it is bad and others can still choose to eat it.
+1 # 2012-03-14 06:33
Isn't it all just a bunch of bull?
+4 # Innocent Victim 2012-03-13 17:47
I hardly eat red meat any longer. I substitute other proteins for it. One of them is tofu, which I eat with stir-fried vegetables. I wonder if I am introducing another danger by stir-frying. That is a high temperature process, using very hot oil in a wok. Does anyone have information or comment?
0 # RLF 2012-03-14 05:16
You'll probably live to be 110 but the problem is you'll have alzheimers for 40 years...good luck!
+5 # 2012-03-14 06:37
I have a real life story from a vegetarian friend.Her physical blood work showed she had too much potassium, which can stop your heart from beating. The doctor told her that her meatless diet caused her potassium level to be out of balance. She had to give up her favorite foods-potatoes, strawberries, bananas, etc until her body got back in balance.Common sense-moderatio n is the key.
+5 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-14 12:35
I have a real life story from a vegetarian friend.Her physical blood work showed she had too much potassium, which can stop your heart from beating. The doctor told her that her meatless diet caused her potassium level to be out of balance. She had to give up her favorite foods-potatoes, strawberries, bananas, etc until her body got back in balance. Common sense-moderation is the key.

This is nonsense. I haven't eaten meat, red white or pink for 40 yrs. and enjoy good health. I also avoid doctors, pharmaceuticals and processed foods. Your friend may have reduced her salt intake to the level of creating a sodium/potassiu m imbalance or perhaps she was simply living immoderately on her favorite, potassium rich foods. A well rounded diet need not include any meat.
+9 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 13:30
Mmmm... doesn't sound right. I've been eating a meatless diet for 20 years. I have to get my blood levels checked YEARLY for things like potassium, iron, etc.

Meatless diets have been examined for decades and have shown no deleterious affects. There may be other issues regarding your friend than her not eating meat.
0 # Nominae 2012-03-14 22:15
I have a real life story from a vegetarian friend.Her physical blood work showed she had too much potassium, which can stop your heart from beating. The doctor told her that her meatless diet caused her potassium level to be out of balance. She had to give up her favorite foods-potatoes, strawberries, bananas, etc until her body got back in balance.Common sense-moderation is the key.

Absolutely so. Vegetarians must also supplement in order to get the required 22 Essential Amino Acids.

The supplemental Aminos come either from beef or from tofu, but without them, again, the health will go out of balance.

Listen to your own body. There is no "once plan fits all" dietary regimen.
+3 # feloneouscat 2012-03-15 12:14
Actually, beans and rice will do it (tofu is made from soybeans which are a legume - and there are a jillion legumes).

Legumes and grains, when eaten together, get you your NINE (not 22) essential amino acids.

Eat Grapenuts and Soy Milk everyday and you are done.
+3 # Anarchist 23 2012-03-15 02:34
Dear Innocent Victim-alas I used to eat tofu too-for nearly 20 years-but it turned out I had a thyroid problem and tofu is bad for that- also even though I exercised a lot I could never lose any weight. I now eat mostly veggies, beans, fruit-especiall y here in Thailand-and I can lose weight-I almost never eat red or processed meats. I don't know about other people but I feel a lighter diet is far better in the long run. A a nice benifit-it seems one does not age as fast!
+5 # Innocent Victim 2012-03-15 08:30
Dear Anarchist 23: Your note is appreciated. I am 79 and in good health. In recent years, I have not eaten much red meat, and now, none. American red meat is overly fat, because the steers are confined and fed corn, hormones, etc., to make them heavier. Glad you have found a way of dealing with weight.

I am interested in emigrating. Should Thailand be on my list of possibilities?
+1 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-15 10:28
Quoting Innocent Victim:
I hardly eat red meat any longer. I substitute other proteins for it. One of them is tofu, which I eat with stir-fried vegetables. I wonder if I am introducing another danger by stir-frying. That is a high temperature process, using very hot oil in a wok. Does anyone have information or comment?

I avoid all fried foods. The chemical composition of oils changes at high temperature, reducing their nutritional value and producing carcinogenic compounds. Tofu and other non-fermented soy products are also not recommended (they've been associated with Alzheimer's in Japanese studies). Fermented soy products (tempeh, nato, miso, tamari) seem to be ok. Also avoid homogenized dairy products. All essential amino acids are available in a vegan diet, but I include some dairy and eggs. Above all, stay away from sugar and white flour. These are industrial products and have no nutritional value beyond calories.
-1 # RMDC 2012-03-13 17:51
I think practicing medicine by statistics is just pretty phony. Yes, this is what the statistical analysis says -- any amount of red meat increases your statistical chance of health problems. But did the study also include a study of people who ate no red meat?

Crunching data from questionnaires is bad science or really not science at all. It is bad sociology. What were they other factors in people's lives?

People are inclined to take a phrase "was associated with" as a proof. It is not. It is a hunch or a supposition.

Medicine seems to have fallen prey to these statistical surveys and they come out with contradictory results all the time. In a year there will be a study showing that red meat is associated with heart and brain health. None of this is medicine or proof. these researchers get huge grants to do this work and they really seem to care how silly their reports are.
+2 # Majikman 2012-03-13 23:41
Tend to agree with you, RMDC. What kind of red meat? Feed lot animals given GMO corn, parts of other animals, antibiotics and stressed to the max with overcrowding, filth, disease and inactivity? Or grass fed animals on organic pastures without the hormones & biotics. We're omnivores, designed for a wide variety of foods including red meat on occasion.
+2 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-15 11:05
Quoting Majikman:
Tend to agree with you, RMDC. What kind of red meat? Feed lot animals given GMO corn, parts of other animals, antibiotics and stressed to the max with overcrowding, filth, disease and inactivity? Or grass fed animals on organic pastures without the hormones & biotics. We're omnivores, designed for a wide variety of foods including red meat on occasion.

To say we are "designed" for anything is ridiculous. Any particular genetic strain has succeeded because its traits allow it to flourish in the circumstances in which it has evolved. As those conditions change, these traits can become more or less valuable. New traits evolve through mutation. Those that are beneficial help individuals to survive and procreate, making the mutation the new norm in the new conditions. Humans have evolved in many different environments with many different dietary resources. To think we are all suited by "design" to be omnivores is simplistic and wrong. Think of the many millions in India who eat no meat compared to the Inuit who subsist almost entirely on animal protein.
+4 # Progressive Patriot 2012-03-14 06:13
There's a long term study of people eating a very strict, oil-free vegan diet, to reverse the damage to arteries caused by meat, dairy, eggs, and oils. Most people who get bypass surgery don't change any of the bad habits that created the clogs. They end up getting _another_ bypass, or worse ... dying. The study is by Caldwell Esselstyn, at the Cleveland Clinic. His most dramatic case was one of his colleagues, who had an angiogram, and was told his arteries were so bad they couldn't do a bypass. He was basically given a few months to live. The next day, he started Esselstyn's diet, and 30 months later, a follow-up angiogram showed his arteries were clear.
0 # Granny Weatherwax 2012-03-14 07:59
I second that: there is a difference between knowing and understanding.
Statistics tell us (so that we know) there is a correlation between eating red meat and dying early. Duly noted.
As long as we don't understand (that's science) the mechanism that leads from one to the other, the knowledge itself is quite weak.

This does not mean we should not pay attention to what stats have to say, especially for those of us who research the stuff, but we should not jump to conclusions.
+2 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 13:48
Except that there have been many, many, many studies that show eating lower on the food chain seems to increase longevity. Knowing the mechanism (or more likely cascading events) is irrelevant.

Pan is correct in saying that there was nothing in the study that seemed to indicate that eating red meat was anything but damaging. You don't have to know the mechanism to say "that's a bad thing".
+6 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 14:22
Quoting Granny Weatherwax:
I second that: there is a difference between knowing and understanding.

I KNOW that the Harvard School for Public Health is pretty awesome (my spouse has an Master in Public Health). I UNDERSTAND statistics.

110,000 people is an awesome sample group and to follow them for more than 20 years is similarly awesome. To ignore the results is to turn your back on science.
+2 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-15 11:18
"110,000 people is an awesome sample group and to follow them for more than 20 years is similarly awesome. To ignore the results is to turn your back on science."

Well put. It seems that most people are unwilling to correlate what they consume with their health and well being.
+19 # Willman 2012-03-13 19:03
Modern day health problems to a large extent are really only diseases of consumption or over consumption.
The worlds food supply is also qite suspect in regards to production practices. From soil health to animal and plant health it doesn't look real promising for main stream agriculture.
Modern chemicals or genengineering aren't the answer.
+11 # Progressive Patriot 2012-03-14 06:16
Actually, it is looking very promising ... for organic farmers. Organics are sustainable, and there are more and more cases where the yield per acre is higher with organics than with chemically raised crops.
+9 # 2012-03-14 06:40
Buy local; there are more and more markets, stores buying from the local farmers as well.We have a lot of amish farmers in our area, and I will support them as much as possible in my answer to Big Ag and GMO foods.
+17 # nirmalandhas 2012-03-13 22:17
What kind of people with what kind of income and what kind of jobs and what kind of lifestyle eat red meat? What is their average weight and what do they usually have on their minds?
-1 # 2012-03-14 06:43
There are plenty of people of all income levels who eat not only red meat, but processed meat such as hot dogs, bacon, sandwich meats. I've seen people buying this with food stamps too.
+4 # Innocent Victim 2012-03-13 23:55
These days, red meat at the butcher is processed; that is it is processed while still part of the live steer. The steers, in addition to receiving antibiotics and hormones, are fed an unnatural diet of corn and kept in confined areas to allow them to fatten. Thus, the red meat available is now far more fatty. We know that the fatty tissues store more toxins, some of which are carcinogens. Even formerly lean cuts, such as top round, are now permeated by specks of white fat. There is no more lean beef. The price? More than I am willing to pay. I'd rather spend the money on something I think is better for my health.
+3 # rosross 2012-03-14 00:27
Interestingly, when this story appeared in the Australian press it did so with comments from nutritionists and doctors etc., one of whom made the point that the study was done on health-care workers who, as a group, did little exercise, drank more alcohol than recommended, smoked and had generally 'poor' diets which makes this 'study' meaningless. Apart from the fact that the group worked in stressful jobs - more stressful because they were not senior health-care professionals and would have money worries as do all lower paid workers in the US, they also had living 'habits' which pre-disposed them to illness. It is irresponsible to present such results without detailing who took part in the study as has been done elsewhere in the world.
+7 # sandyboy 2012-03-14 00:28
Adjusting one part of your life choices by cutting down meat won't save you from heart disease or cancer. These figures of risk reduction are very misleading taken in isolation. Balance is the key - even water in excess can kill you, and meat has things we need, like zinc. All things in moderation.
0 # rosross 2012-03-14 00:55
"It is important to note that the findings of the study are specific to nurses and health professionals in the US, hence the findings may not be generally applicable to the Australian population," she said.

"The participants in the particular study were also less likely to be physically active, more likely to smoke, drink alcohol and have a higher body mass index. They were more likely to have a higher energy intake and ate less whole grains, fruits and vegetables," she said.

Australians on the other hand tend to eat red meat fresh, cooked from scratch and with plenty of vegetables, she said.

"The scientific evidence to support the role of lean red meat in a healthy diet is robust; nothing in this study proves otherwise," she said.

Read more:
+2 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 14:04
Quoting rosross:
"she said."

Who is "she"?

"Veronique Droulez, marketing nutrition manager for Meat and Livestock Australia"

Who is "Meat and Livestock Australia"?

'Meat & Livestock Australia (MLA) is a producer-owned company, working in partnership with industry and government to achieve a profitable and sustainable red meat and livestock (cattle, sheep and goats) industry in Australia."

MLA is not a "disinterested" party and I would LOVE to see the "scientific evidence" that was not, well, evident.
+1 # rosross 2012-03-15 08:08
But if you check the sources she - wherever she comes from is right - and the point is, however 'prejudiced' you may think she is, the study itself is 'prejudiced' because of the living habits of the people involved. Go check for yourself if you don't believe what she said.
+1 # feloneouscat 2012-03-15 12:33
Yes, I always check my sources (including the link you posted) and what she was repeating was info that was contained in on of her Marketing presentations (google and you can find it).

Ms. Droulez did not offer any "scientific evidence" - she merely argued that the study didn't prove otherwise without providing any evidence. That isn't science. That's marketing.

Please explain how the study is "prejudiced"? What "living habits" are you talking about? And why would that make any difference? We're talking about death from cardiovascular disease, cancer, etc. Are you saying death is prejudiced?
0 # feloneouscat 2012-03-15 12:34
Here is the published article in case you want to read it.
+3 # seeuingoa 2012-03-14 03:51
The " Neanderthal diet"

meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, only,

was what they as nomad-hunters were
NO bread,maize, rice, butter, cheese or sugar.

Try it and you don´t go back!
+1 # reiverpacific 2012-03-14 11:36
Quoting seeuingoa:
The " Neanderthal diet"

meat, fish, fruit, vegetables, only,

was what they as nomad-hunters were
NO bread,maize, rice, butter, cheese or sugar.
Try it and you don´t go back!

Mind you, they didn't have "studies" and were in a basic survival mode. Probably never figgered out how to make bread, butter or cheese -not too bright these folks. And they died out as a sub-species, didn't they and if I remember a-right, their life-span was pretty short (25-40 years)?
Wonder what their evolutionary survivors "Homo sapiens" ate. I'll bet it was pretty much the same but they learned to cull, cook and preserve eventually, including bread butter and cheese (three of the great gifts of culinary development).
I've heard that cooking is what separates us from the other species and I'd kind of go along with that but nothing is absolute in our evolution. And we all have different needs in our diversity. Try telling an Inuit that Seal-meat and it's accompanying blubber is bad for them and that they should be vegetarian in THAT climate. So it goes on but this "study" is just another way of keeping certain academics employed and the rest of us confused and even guilty, in my 'umble opinion.
0 # rosross 2012-03-15 08:10
Wrong. They lived in the northern hemisphere and during long, frozen winters (and there were no crops per se: anyway) there was not much to gather - neither did they keep animals as flocks - they lived by killing wild animals and eating when they could.
+2 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-15 11:53
DNA sequencing has shown that Homo sapiens are not descended from Neanderthals(th ough there may have been some interbreeding). We know very little about them since they produced few artifacts other than primitive stone tools, so including them in this discussion is irrelevant.
-4 # Progressive Patriot 2012-03-14 06:01
ALL meat is bad for you. It's a source of what clogs your arteries. Eliminating meat, dairy, all oils, and nuts, _will_ clean them out.
-1 # 2012-03-14 06:29
+2 # TGMisanthrope 2012-03-14 07:08
Given the choice of making seventy (70) and fully enjoying my existence or making ninety (90) and grinding my teeth in hungry annoyance I'd choose earlier death, as life's too damn short to be cowed--no pun intended--by the fear of death. However, moderation is always a viable alternative.
+2 # roboct6 2012-03-14 07:24
My grandfather ate bacon and eggs (or some variation of that) for breakfast everyday of his life. He lived to be 95. Yep, I reckon it finally killed him.
+3 # stonecutter 2012-03-14 07:26
Another core area of modern life, where simple logic and common sense, buttressed by some modest education about nutrition, available with just a few clicks on the internet--eat what's good for your body chemistry, what makes you feel and look good, what objective science and education tells you is healthy and nutritious--is trumped by galactic ignorance and canine instincts (a dog will eat virtually anything, until the supply is exhausted or it drops dead), insidious marketing by the processed and fast food industries, complicity and corruption throughout federal and state government regulatory frameworks, and the omnipresent bottom-line demand for profits at the expense of public health.

Take a walk around any Walmart or Costco or airport. There's enough collective lard in any one of these venues on any given day to stanch the flow of the Colorado River at Hoover Dam. For every fit, nutritionally sound individual among the "99%", there are many thousands of obese, sedentary, nutritionally clueless, fast-food addicted adults, and tragically, more and more kids. Surveying any busy food court in a typical American shopping mall is enough to make you lose your appetite real fast.

Perhaps I sound like a food snob, but after fighting weight most of my life, and recently finding a new lease through regular exercise and renewed focus on improving my lousy diet, I realize how insidious this whole problem has become for so many people.
+1 # rockieball 2012-03-14 07:31
Eat right,stay healthy, die anyway. Eat what you want but eat it in moderation. Problem is that people go to fast food places and stuff burgers in their mouth one right after the other.
+1 # feloneouscat 2012-03-14 14:12
OR eat different foods, discover things that you never would have eaten, and get a bigger perspective on the world.

Those who eat meat and potatoes know nothing but meat and potatoes.

I've had a more varied diet and "discovered" foods that I absolutely love now because I'm vegetarian.
0 # Wind in His Hair 2012-03-14 08:16
I eat a lot of red meat, mostly venison that I harvest myself, as my ancestors did, for thousands of years. I don't think tofu is in the future for me. I will live and die as those before me. I am heading for 70 and don't think I will change now. I can guarantee there is no pink slime in my hamburger as I do it up myself. The old ways are the best ways.
0 # reiverpacific 2012-03-14 11:21
Don't worry folks; pretty soon another "Study will show" the opposite.
A balanced diet and ENJOYMENT of good food, common sense and having some cooking skills seems to be the best path. I have a theory that if you only eat for fuel, you'll chow on any over-processed crap that is on offer and miss out on one of the great enjoyments in life.
And much of the red meat on offer in the US is so stuffed with hormones and shelf-life enhancing stuff, factory-farmed in unnatural conditions, it' almost deserves to be re-categorized ("Dead meat"???).
I might also suggest supporting local farmers and try growing stuff yourself even if only in a window box; there's a lot of joy in that alone.
I mean, how much of the produce -even allegedly "Green" you buy at the supermarket has been subjected to similarly enhanced processing?
The native peoples of this country pretty much lived on wild red meat fresh and dried and they had pretty long lives until the invaders got them hooked on commodity rations like plastic cheese and mangy flour which has taken them to the shortest life-spans in the nation.
And then there is the "Monsanto factor" which pretty much compromises anything that it is grown in the vicinity of with GM spores.
Any good studies on processing and GM crops -you bet but they don't get blown up into major issues like this nonsense.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-03-14 16:42
The article says: "Eating...nuts instead of beef or pork was associated with a 19% lower risk of dying.... ...choosing poultry or whole grains as a substitute was linked with a 14% reduction in mortality risk...."

Both “nuts instead of beef or pork” and “poultry or whole grains” are problematic (the latter PARTLY because of the term “or”).

Poultry bears harmful aspects similar to "red" meat's. But most (NOT all) whole grains do not bear any unhealthful chemistry. [Wheat & rye are trouble because of their gluten (quality & quantity), fat (quality & quantity), ratio of chlorine & acid-forming minerals versus alkaline/acid-b inding minerals, phosphate quantity, greatly-phospha te-favoring phosphate/sulfa te ratio.]

Nuts are harmful if regular part of diet. Average nut is 60% fat (E.G., hazelnut/filber t 60.75%, macadamia 75.77%, almond 49.42%, pine nut 68.37%, cashew 43.85%). Most nuts bear much Beta-Sitosterol (toxic if much).

The matter is very complex (a complex matter of ENTIRE diet) — as my follow-up comment will adumbrate. The study was abysmally simplistic.
0 # feloneouscat 2012-03-15 12:50
Mayo Clinic says eating nuts is good and good for your heart. Again, I trust science.

Beta-Sitosterol is found in pecans, Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), avocados, Cucurbita pepo (pumpkin seed), Pygeum africanum, cashew fruit, rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, soybeans - I found nothing that indicated that it is "toxic".
0 # Loupbouc 2012-03-15 15:53
To feloneouscat

Why do you believe the Mayo Clinic's position is "science"? The Mayo Clinic does not oppose eating meat; yet much science shows meat-eating unhealthful. The Mayo Clinic's position does not account for fat content of nuts.

You argue illogically. Beta-Sitosterol is not transmuted to harmlessness because it is a constituent of avocado, pumpkin seed, or anything else. Your argument just begs the question of whether it is harmful.

My comment did not say Beta-Sitosterol is harmful. It said it is harmful if present "much" in a food & one eats the food regularly.

Concerning whether Beta-Sitosterol is toxic, see E.G., (& note "E.G.,") — AND the sources cited there. does not support your belief, but impeaches it.

The source is the US government, which includes FDA & USDA that give us toxins like myriad net-harmful drugs & carcinogenic food-colorings & pesticides & herbicides & multiply harmful GMO crops & regulations that bar labeling of GMO-bearing food-products.

Also, if you READ (scrupulously) the study reported at, you will see (if you are capable of logic & bear adequate relevant education) that the study does NOT show Beta-Sitosterol harmless (PARTLY because of the study's design) but presents evidence suggesting harm.
0 # Loupbouc 2012-03-15 16:47
To feloneouscat

This supplements my reply's content related to the Mayo Clinic.

In the Mayo Clinic web page you cited, one sees the assertion that nuts are great sources of Omega-3 fatty acids and unsaturated fats. But one does not see any recognition of the fat quantities of nuts or even all the qualities of the various particular fatty acids nuts bear - except that nuts have unsaturated fat and Omega-3 fatty acids.

The Mayo Clinic's Omega-3 fatty acids assertion is very misleading, even ultimately false.

Nuts do NOT contain USABLE Omega 3 fatty acids. Their Omega 3 fatty acids are ALA type. ALA is not usable unless converted into EPA, DHA, or DPA.

The conversion rate is 3%-5% in women & 4%-6% in men. Average nut APA quantity is about 20g per 100g. Even if 6% conversion, usable Omega 3 would be only 1.2g per 100g.

Compare, E.G., Chinook salmon: ALA 3.357g per 100g (converts to 0.2g usable); EPA 1.1g per 100g (all usable); DPA 0.301g per 100g (all usable); DHA 0.944 (all usable): total usable 2.55g per 100g (more than twice that of the average nut).

The Mayo Clinic's unsaturated fat assertion is equally misleading, even false. Any fine oil (E.G., grapeseed) supplies much more unsaturated fat. Macadamias maybe the fattiest nuts (75.77g fat per 100g). Their unsaturated fat is 60.38g per 100g. Grapeseed oil's is 86g per 100g.

Mayo Clinic "science"?????? ?
0 # Loupbouc 2012-03-15 18:32
0 # Loupbouc 2012-03-15 19:17
0 # Loupbouc 2012-03-14 16:46
This elaborates my comment of 14:42 today.

Diet is UNhealthful if NOT

35%-40% locally-in-seas on FRESH vegetables/legu mes (but very little or no nightshades) (Particulars depend on individual constitution.)

25%-30% organic brown rice, whole oat, whole barley, whole millet, little or no corn. (Particulars depend on individual constitution.)

5%-10% dried beans & seaweed (Particulars depend on individual constitution.)

2%-5% sesame, pumpkin, sunflower seeds

10%-15% WILD salmon, scallop (no tripolyphosphat e), CLEAN-water oyster & mussel (Particulars depend on individual constitution.)

PURE sea salt

Green tea

West Europe olive & grape seed oils; sesame oil; no other oil

Artesian or well-filtered water (never plastic-stored)

no more than 3 eggs/week (& only FERTILE, free-range-fowl egg)

no dairy except a LITTLE organic yogurt or aged West-Europe or 100% organic cheese (not made/stored in plastic)

no alcohol except well-filtered vodka & 100% organic or West Europe beer or wine

no soft drinks or other such

no processed food

little vinegar (only balsamic or organic brown rice)

few or no nuts

no soy, except if fermented & organic

little or no sweet fruit (1.5% or more fructose)

little raw food or juice (except cranberry juice used to cure urinary tract infection)
0 # Loupbouc 2012-03-14 21:34
In my 14:46 comment that this supplements, RSN's comment-length limit prevented my putting more than the adumbration my original (14:42) comment said I would put. Items and considerations are missing. Examples:

(a) Except the named oils, oysters, mussels, and sesame seeds, all ingredients must be organic or wild.

(b) Raw organic honey and, occasionally, organic maple syrup are okay (the only safe sweeteners).

(c) Every person has near-unique diet needs, including cooking methods.

(d) Ingredient-choi ces and cooking methods must depend partly on season, weather, and time of day.

(e) Various (organic) spices (leaf, seed, other) can be healthful, if they fit the person's condition and constitution, the season, the weather, etc.

Many other considerations abound. This is not a venue appropriate for thorough examination.
0 # lilpat126 2012-03-14 17:28
What a litany of what we should eat. At 71 I have found there are certain things to avoid. Soy products, all corn or corn derivatives, white flour, Grow my own veggies, Salads with all kinds of greens, veggies, nuts cranberries, seeds in them. I love red meat. I buy local grown but do not eat it in excess. Corn gives me joint pain that no OTC pain relievers will kill, soy makes be feel funky. Coincidence they are both all genetically modified. I avoid white potatoes because of the amount of chemicals that are put on them. I grow some of my own and hand pick the bugs off of them. Blue potatoes are my favorite. I an exploring grains more and more. Quinoa is very tasty. I'm growing amaranth for the first time this year. Both the leaves and the grain are edible. Most of all get yourself a good set of ancestors. Mine survived the first 2 winters off the Mayflower and some have lived up to 104. The average age for my parents generation was mid 80's. That is good enough for me. If I haven't done all I want to do by them, oh, well always thought that I should have.
0 # trevorlasvegas 2012-03-15 10:28
If I told you how I went from 209 to 162 pounds without ever suffering or going to a gym you wouldn't believe me. I am 45 and feel as good as I felt at 22, I need neither stimulants nor an alarm clock. It is far more important what NOT TO EAT than what to eat. I figured out what fuels made me run efficiently and eat them. And I am uninterested what opinions other people have about my diet.
+1 # Feral Dogz 2012-03-15 11:31
So how does meat figure in your decisions about what not to eat? What are the things you avoid? I'm not interested in your opinions either, but I am curious about what you might have learned.
-1 # Brady 2012-03-15 12:23
What is premature death? Life is fragile and precious so ultimately we all die. So enjoy all the flavors of life and relax about death - it's just a matter of going to sleep.
+1 # amye 2012-03-15 12:54
Its simple people! Just don't eat meat everyday!! Eat it a couple times a week thats all! Its not that difficult to eat fish or a veggy entree! Try organic bean burritos, or veggy stir fry over rice with cashews! Get creative instead of killing yourself with meat!
0 # tswhiskers 2012-03-16 11:03
I would like to a study comparing the health dangers of grass-fed beef compared to those of corn-fed beef. I have diabetes and apparently unlike the majority of the population I know that corn is largely sugar. I don't eat much corn for that reason. But I do eat meat, can't afford organic or grass-fed. I also know that corn-fed steers, if they were not butchered, would die in another 6 to 9 mos. anyway from malnutrition. I think if people could wean themselves off corn and could afford organic meat there would be less diabetes and perhaps meat would be a bit healthier to eat.

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