A massive, new analysis involving four million people from 61 previously published studies has overturned decades of lies about the supposed dangers of eating red meat. In fact, this team of 14 international scientists found no evidence to suggest that eating red meat—and even processed meat—raises disease risk in any way.
I’ll go into all the details of this groundbreaking study in a moment. But first, let’s back up to get some historical perspective on the red meat debate…
They hid behind ugly lies for decades!
The great red meat myth dates back to the 1960s, when the powerful sugar industry hired scientists to cover up sugar’s role in the development of chronic disease. Instead, they placed the blame on butter, full-fat dairy, and—you guessed it—red meat.
Of course, the mainstream press aided and abetted this effort, most recently by arguing that eating red meat harms the environment.
As a result, they claim we should switch to eating plant-based “fake meat,” which is really just another highly processed product that I now call the “new sugar.” And they say these processed products are somehow better for your health…and better for the planet.
But nothing could be further from the truth.
For one, the only thing “real” about “fake” meat is the real profits it brings in for the big, crony, corporatist agribusiness giants. (This same industry brought us the refined sugar and carb disaster of the past century.)
Secondly, the real science shows that eating red meat has many important health benefits, including:
1.) Protection against chronic disease
Following a balanced, healthy Mediterranean-type diet—which includes grass-fed and free-range red meat—actually protects you against chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and Type II diabetes.
2.) An important source of nutrients
Red meat, poultry, and seafood gives you healthy proteins, fats, bioavailable minerals, and even cholesterol—which are much more difficult to get from other sources.
3.) Complete proteins
Meat is the best source of complete proteins and minerals, plain and simple. And many older Americans don’t get enough protein to maintain muscle mass in the first place, as I’ve reported before. Nor do they get enough calcium (which should never come from supplements), magnesium, selenium, and zinc. Which is why eating meat is so important. Plus, beef (and lamb) contain many more essential fatty acids than chicken.
But as I said earlier, the real culprits for developing chronic disease are processed sugars and refined carbs. And when it comes to the health of the planet, there’s no evidence that raising free-range cattle and chickens (using sustainable grazing practices) is bad for the environment. In fact, there’s plenty of evidence to show these animals are good for the grasslands.
Now—let’s get back to the new analysis…
House-of-cards finally falls apart
The new, three-part analysis reviewed 61 previous studies involving more than four million participants. The first part of the analysis looked at deaths from any cause. The second part looked specifically at red meat and cancer incidence and mortality. And the final part looked specifically at red meat and heart disease.
It turns out, the researchers found no convincing data that suggested eating red or processed meat increases the risk of developing cancer, Type II diabetes, or heart disease. Or that it increases mortality risk!
In fact, they found the exact opposite—that eating red meat in place of other processed foods filled with sugars and refined carbs was associated with a lower risk of developing these diseases.
Of course, the international cabal of “experts,” who built careers out of feeding people dietary myths instead of truth, immediately went on the attack. They even attempted to intimidate the journal that published the study, the Annals of Internal Medicine, by filing a petition with the Federal Trade Commission to block its publication!
The Annals is published by the American College of Physicians in Philadelphia. And when I ran the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, I worked closely with its editors and published some of my own research with them. Indeed, I’ve always found it to be a rock-solid publication.
The American Heart Association—which has become a co-dependent of the crony, corporatist, big food industry—and the American Cancer Society also jumped on the bandwagon. They heaped criticism on the findings faster than they can heap refined sugar on their carb-laden meals.
But, at the end of the day, these so-called “experts” seem to be taking a page from George Orwell’s 1984, by trying to censor the truth because it threatens their misbegotten careers and livelihoods.
Thankfully, my science journalist friend, going back 30 years, Gina Bari Kolata is having none of it. In fact, she wrote a terrific, well-informed report on the analysis in The New York Times. The headline ran, “Eat less red meat, scientists said. Now…that was bad advice.”
All in all, this new analysis was the biggest review of red meat ever conducted. And I can only hope it will help crumble the anti-meat recommendations like a pillar of salt.
People in the U.S., on average, eat red meat three or four times per week, which is right in line with what I’ve always recommended. Just remember to get your meat and full-fat dairy from organically raised, free-range, grass-fed cattle—as part of a balanced, Mediterranean-type diet.
If you still need help cutting through all the myths about red meat, take a look at the September 2019 issue of my monthly newsletter, Insiders’ Cures (“Cage-free, grass-fed, organic…oh my!”). Subscribers have access to all of my content in the archives. So if you haven’t already, click here to sign up today!
“Eat Less Red Meat, Scientists Said. Now Some Believe That Was Bad Advice.” The New York Times, 9/30/2019. (nytimes.com/2019/09/30/health/red-meat-heart-cancer.html)
“Red Meat OK’d in New Guideline But Critics Call Foul.” Medscape, 9/30/19. (medscape.com/viewarticle/919221)
“Unprocessed Red Meat and Processed Meat Consumption: Dietary Guideline Recommendations From the Nutritional Recommendations (NutriRECS) Consortium.” Ann Intern Med. October 2019. doi.org/ 10.7326/M19-1621