Avoid stroke by eating more steak!

Big pharma loves to promote Low-T drugs as a way for men to counteract changes in muscle tissues and performance as they age. But popular as these drugs are, taking one is a huge mistake. I’ll get into more detail about the risks these drugs pose in the upcoming August issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter. But in the meantime, let me tell you about the fundamental nutrient most men with flagging energy and stamina do actually need more of…

We know for a fact most men don’t get enough of it as they get older. Especially if they follow the government’s paltry recommendations about eating meat.

In fact, as I reported last year, if a man follows the government’s misguided dietary advice, he only gets half the protein he needs to maintain muscle mass, vitality and performance as he ages.  Plus, as I’ll explain in a moment, men and women with low protein intake run a greater risk of suffering a stroke.

Of course, a century ago doctors knew we all need this basic nutrient. But about 30 years ago, government studies on diet, nutrition, and health often could not separate the effects of protein from those of fat and calories–since these three macronutrients naturally go together in many whole foods. (They are “nutrient dense”–which was once considered a good thing.)

Some of these studies showed poor outcomes for men and women who consumed more calories, fat, and (by default) protein. Now we know many of these participants probably followed a poor diet filled with high-fat, low-nutrient junk foods.

But the government didn’t bother with those details then. And, as the saying goes, the devil is in the details.

So government experts made fat the scapegoat for all weight gain, obesity, and chronic diseases. (Astoundingly, they firmly believed until relatively recently that sugar and carbohydrates were not involved.) And they advised everyone to limit all foods that contain fat, even nutritious sources like meat.

Of course, we now know trying to follow this misguided advice has been a complete disaster for your health.

Meat contains hard-to-get vitamins, such as A, D and E. It’s also high in B vitamins. You also get key bioavailable minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, and zinc when you eat meat.

Of course, protein itself may easily be the single most important nutrient found in meat compared to other foods.

Just how important is it?

In a massive, new analysis, researchers from Nanjing University, Jiangsu Province, China looked at the effect of protein on stroke risk. The analysis included seven studies with more than a quarter million participants.

The researchers discovered that men and women with the highest intake of animal protein were 20 percent less likely to suffer a stroke, compared to those who ate little to no protein. Plus, for every 20 grams of protein eaten per day, stroke risk decreased by 26 percent.

“If everyone’s protein intake were at this level, that would translate to more than 1.4 million fewer deaths from stroke each year worldwide, plus a decreased level of disability from stroke,” the study’s lead researcher said in a news release from the American Academy of Neurology.

I’m certainly glad to see good, solid research coming out of the city of Nanjing. This city has been a center of Chinese civilization for thousands of years. The name means literally “southern capital.” And it was the center of the Han Chinese civilization until the Manchu Dynasty took over in Beijing, which means “northern capital.” Nobel laureate Baruch Blumberg and I worked with medical scientists in the Jiangsu Province between 1987 and 1991. Our work was supported by competitive grants from the National Institutes of Health.

But in some ways, the Chinese scientists who worked on this new analysis appear to  mimic their politically correct counterparts in the West. When they don’t understand (or accept) their solid factual findings, they give us their misguided opinions.

For example, the data in this new analysis showed that animal protein offers more than twice the protective benefit against stroke as vegetable protein. So, protein from beans and tofu won’t protect you as much as a nice, juicy steak.

The researchers just couldn’t seem to accept this “unusual” finding. They suggested that perhaps a statistical glitch caused the difference in benefits. Because these vegetables just have to be better than more nutrient-dense meat. (But of course, their statistics were fine when it came to all their other findings!)

The researchers also tried to explain away their findings in another way…

They said two of the studies in the analysis came from Japan–where fish consumption is high. They suggest that it must have been fish consumption–not red meat consumption–that brought down stroke risk.

Fish is generally a very healthy food, but that suggestion is purely an unfounded opinion when it comes to these studies. Once again, mainstream medicine’s clear bias against meat shines through.

And what about the four studies in the U.S. that showed a 29 percent stroke reduction in men and women with high animal protein intake? You can rest assured, most Americans, in most parts of the country, most of the time, mainly eat meat–not fish–when it comes to animal protein intake. So their fishy theory doesn’t work on us.

Now, let’s put aside the scientists’ misguided opinions and their politically correct anti-meat bias. Instead, let’s focus on the facts and apply a little knowledge of human biology, diet and nutrition…

Animal protein does indeed protect you against stroke better than vegetable protein.

But, why?

Foods with animal protein contain high levels of all the beneficial nutrients I mentioned earlier. Plus, animal protein contains a “complete” set of amino acids needed by humans. On the other hand, vegetable protein is “incomplete.” And to make matters worse, most vegetables grown in today’s starved soil don’t contain as many bioavailable vitamins and minerals as they did 100 years ago. The nutrient content of vegetables fell lower every decade it was measured during the 20th century.

Bottom line?

Set aside the “slippery” (or perhaps “fishy”) interpretations provided by the politically correct authors of this new stroke study. The facts show animal protein–whether it’s meat or fish–protects against stroke more than vegetables. So go ahead and enjoy some extra protein this week. Choose grass fed beef, free-range chicken, or wild-caught fish.

In the coming weeks, I will report on important, new research about other nutrients that support muscle mass, performance, and vitality in men.


1. “Quantitative analysis of dietary protein intake and stroke risk,” Neurology, published on-line, June 11, 2014

2. “Diets Rich in Protein May Help Protect Against Stroke,” MedlinePlus (www. nlm.nih.gov) 6/11/2014