Michael Teplitskyis a doctor who has been practicing alternative and holistic medicine for over 20 years. Here is his take on the “politically correct” view that you should stay away from red meat because it causes heart disease and even cancer:
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (April 2010) examined the association between eating red meat, processed meat, poultry and fish and the risk of developing cancer of the ovaries. The researchers compared 2049 women with ovarian cancer to 2191 women without cancer and obtained their dietary information.
They found no association between meat and cancer. In other words, women who ate meat did not have increased risk of ovarian cancer. But there was a significant increase of cancer in women who had high intake of processed meat. Poultry had a mild beneficial effect, while fish reduced the risk by about 25%, probably because fish supplies beneficial omega-3 fatty acids.
I wrote previously that in all the studies that showed an association between meat intake and health problems (heart disease, cancer, etc.), the category “meat” included not only red meat, but also bacon, hot dogs, cold cuts, etc. But in the studies that consider red meat and processed meat as separate categories, negative health effects are only associated with processed meat, not red meat. In other words, red meat is good for you, while processed meat is harmful, especially in large quantities, because of added chemicals, such as cancer-promoting nitrites.
And if you think about it, it makes a lot of sense. People have been eating meat for thousands of years with very beneficial results. Heart disease and cancer, which are #1 and #2 causes of death today, were very rare until the 20th century. They reached epidemic proportions after people switched from traditional diet, which included red meat and whole milk dairy, to unnatural low-fat or non-fat products, from animal fats to vegetable oils, and from unrefined grains to white rice and white bread.
Red meat is the best source of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a fatty substance that has cancer-preventive properties. Grass-fed beef is also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, just like fish. So enjoy your steak or hamburger and relish the fact that you are protecting yourself against cancer.
Oops! Just finished two brats (no buns) watching the Green Bay Packer’s pre-game. Does it help I ate them, covered in raw, fresh tomato, onion, broccoli and cauliflower? Add some spiced mustard and–well I guess it was worth the risk! Besides, last time I checked–no ovaries! My wife, Pattie had a brat as well–she doesn’t have any overies either,
All kidding aside, staying away from meat in general as often as possible isn’t the worst idea. Grass-fed beef, free range chicken, bison–OK, not so bad. Whole Foods, a regional grocery chain, features an awesome bison sausage.
Feel good, keep smiling and Go Packers! Pat