health

How bad is red meat for you? Health risks get star ratings

33 Comments
By Daniel Lawler

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Red meat is a great source of proyein and other essentials. However, leaner meats can be just as good. Like anything else, it's essential yet moderation is the key.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

There seems to be a lot of propaganda out there at the moment against eating red meat. I wonder if a certain wealthy individual who is investing in artificial meat and buying up huge tracts of land in the US is funding it...

4 ( +15 / -11 )

There seems to be a lot of propaganda out there at the moment against eating red meat. I wonder if a certain wealthy individual who is investing in artificial meat and buying up huge tracts of land in the US is funding it...

If you read the article this is exactly the opposite of what you are complaining about, that the relationship between eating red meat and disease is very limited or even found unrelated. That would mean it would go against the interests of whoever individual you are talking about.

The relationship with processed meat is of course much more important, but that has never been in doubt because it has been well described and characterized already.

-2 ( +9 / -11 )

Eat a balanced diet of meat, vegetables, dairy, and fruits, and exercise regularly. And avoid stressing too much about red meat. You should be fine, assuming you don't have a hereditary disease, don't get killed by a drunk driver or nuclear war....

7 ( +9 / -2 )

@Aly

I 100% agree.

If I always would follow what I should not eat or what is determined as risky for my health, then there is nothing much left for me to eat.

And additional, where is the fun of enjoying a good meal in life if I always have to think if this food is risky for my health?

And where is the fun of watching a movie without Chips and Coke?

I remember one nutrition expert in the TV, he told people what they better should not eat because it is very risky for their health, and this expert was so much overweight, that I guess he is the main customer of many junk food restaurants.

And yes, like you also said, don't put yourself under stress according what you eat or drink.

Let's enjoy a good meal and a good drink, before the world gets destroyed by a nuclear attack from the mass murdering idiots from Russia.

-4 ( +4 / -8 )

As long as you aren't smoking tobacco and drinking more than the recommended amount of alcohol, I don't see any serious health issues emerging from eating red meat. There are things much worse for you out there like French Fries, soda pops, and processed meats and cheeses. Microwave popcorn is also pretty bad. I doubt people in their 80s and 90s eat much microwave popcorn though, let alone huge steaks or French Fries. Many are still smoking and drinking though.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

The link between high red meat consumption and colorectal cancer has been well researched.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4698595/

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/food-guidelines-and-food-labels/red-meat-and-the-risk-of-bowel-cancer/

Any suggestions otherwise are most probably influenced by certain industries and lobbies.

My country has the lowest rate of colorectal cancer in the world and it’s because many folks in my country are vegetarians. Those who relish non vegetarian cuisine stick to chicken and fish. 

Lower or non existent red meat consumption leads to lower incidences of colon cancer and in this case, correlation implies causation.

-4 ( +3 / -7 )

prionkingToday  07:56 am JST

There seems to be a lot of propaganda out there at the moment against eating red meat. I wonder if a certain wealthy individual who is investing in artificial meat and buying up huge tracts of land in the US is funding it...

Absolutely, that is the direction the media is going.

The whole star rating described in the article is simplistic and arbitrary anyway.

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

The whole star rating described in the article is simplistic and arbitrary anyway.

What of the well supported arguments of the classification is arbitrary? giving a 5 point classification of the weight of the evidence on relationship is not simplistic, it is just simple (as opposed to unnecessarily complicated) and can be very informative.

Each of the rankings given is clearly substantiated on statistical data that control carefully between very heterogeneous sources of information, just saying that this is arbitrary without any actual argument of why this would be the case has no value.

-1 ( +7 / -8 )

If you could only eat one thing for the rest of your life, red meat is one of the very few things that could sustain you. Shame its so expensive otherwise id try to eat some every day.

"Red meat is bad for you" is a lie peddled by governments to stop you paying attention to inflation, and multinational agricultural corporations to keep you eating their low-sustenance grain products.

4 ( +8 / -4 )

What of the well supported arguments of the classification is arbitrary? giving a 5 point classification of the weight of the evidence on relationship is not simplistic, it is just simple (as opposed to unnecessarily complicated) and can be very informative. 

Each of the rankings given is clearly substantiated on statistical data that control carefully between very heterogeneous sources of information, just saying that this is arbitrary without any actual argument of why this would be the case has no value.

The medical experts agree with me;

“The star rating, I think, is a bit simplistic and arbitrary,” says Frank Hu, a professor and chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health. 

New System Ranks Evidence for Health Risks of Eating Red Meat, Smoking, and More—But Critics Say It’s Overly Simplistic

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/new-system-ranks-evidence-for-health-risks-of-eating-red-meat-smoking-and-more-but-critics-say-its-overly-simplistic/#:~:text=New%20System%20Ranks%20Evidence%20for%20Health%20Risks%20of,smoking%2C%20eating%20unprocessed%20red%20meat%20and%20other%20factors.

-3 ( +5 / -8 )

The medical experts agree with me;

No, only some do and there is a huge difference between being simplistic and "a bit" simplistic.

For example the editorial team of Nature are a well recognized group of professionals that obviously consider this report useful and correct.

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-022-02039-z

A new set of papers in this issue of Nature Medicine describe the development and implementation of a novel meta-analytical tool for assessing the quality of evidence for risk–outcome relationships. In the flagship paper, Murray and colleagues describe the burden of proof risk function (BPRF), an open-source, quantitative approach to examining the quality of evidence that supports risk–outcome relationships. The risk–outcome relationship is then converted into a ‘star’ rating on the basis of the most conservative interpretation of evidence, wherein one star refers to no true association and two or more stars suggests an association, with five stars supporting a very strong association of harmful or protective factors.

There is nothing wrong with saying that the conclusions or methods could be improved, but just calling the classification simplistic and arbitrary (not just "a bit") requires proving the methods do not support the conclusions made, not just saying they could be improved.

2 ( +8 / -6 )

The link between eating vegetables and type two diabetes received only one star.

Some information to keep away from our children.

I would give broccoli 3 stars.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

All in moderation and a bit of exercise thrown in...nothing top worry about!

The psychological benefits of eating a fantastic wagyu steak also should be under estimated :)

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Pigeon peas have proteins

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I think meat is mostly fine for your body.

Meat eating is a disaster for the planet though, as the "70% fall in animal populations since 1970" story indicates. As with climate change and fossil fuel consumption, forever chemicals, microplastics in breastmilk etc. pointing this out does not mean you have to care about it or do anything to stop it.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

MontyToday  08:56 am JST

@Aly

I 100% agree.

If I always would follow what I should not eat or what is determined as risky for my health, then there is nothing much left for me to eat.

And additional, where is the fun of enjoying a good meal in life if I always have to think if this food is risky for my health?

And where is the fun of watching a movie without Chips and Coke?

I remember one nutrition expert in the TV, he told people what they better should not eat because it is very risky for their health, and this expert was so much overweight, that I guess he is the main customer of many junk food restaurants.

And yes, like you also said, don't put yourself under stress according what you eat or drink.

Let's enjoy a good meal and a good drink, 

My grandfather lived to age of 85. He drank, smoked (heavy tar cigarettes), ate red meat, drank a mix of Pepsi + whiskey to thin his blood, ate ice cream every night. He was a farmer most of his life but most of the time I knew him he was retired, and he loved to watch TV (it was good in the 80s). What ended his life? A stroke. Actually, the loss of my grandmother to cancer - his wife of sixty years is what did it. He was a yang w/o a yin and after about 18 months of being a widower, he joined her.

What you eat isn't the be-all.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

It's a lot less healthy for the animal involved, that's for sure. And the planet too. But who gives a toss, eh? I like it and everything else is of no consequence.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

What a bunch of propaganda BS, meat isn't bad for you, highly processed foods and fruit and vegetables swimming in pesticide and herbicide are bad for you, not exercising is bad for you. This is just more WEF propaganda in line with their stance on the environment and meat, ironically most of the WEF members are happy eating meat, just not happy with us plebs eating it.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

Nothing wrong with red meat! In moderation of course. The real threat to health which should be given more focus on is processed sugars, oils, and carbohydrates. People eat too much of these. So far I’ve lost 8 kg going on a low carb diet. I’m eating red meat too and plenty of vegetables!

4 ( +5 / -1 )

What a bunch of propaganda BS, meat isn't bad for you, highly processed foods and fruit and vegetables swimming in pesticide and herbicide are bad for you, 

Did you read the article at least? the whole point is that the evidence linking consumption of red meat and health problems is weak while the evidence from other things (like processed foods or smoking) is much stronger. You are criticizing a study and then repeating their conclusions.

2 ( +5 / -3 )

So far I’ve lost 8 kg going on a low carb diet. I’m eating red meat too and plenty of vegetables!

I lost over 12 kg in 3 months by going on a ketogenic diet. My cholesterol, blood pressure, and triglyceride levels all improved too, despite the fact that I ate much more red meat and cheese during the diet.

There seems to be something bad about eating animal fats and processed high-carb foods together, though. It has been theorized that all that fat in your bloodstream has more of an adverse effect when your body is simultaneously releasing insulin after all the carbs. So if you do eat the high-carb foods, you might want to avoid fatty meats.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

It seems clear no evidence that eating meat is bad for you the study shows clearly that a balance diet is needed.

So moderate meat and sufficient vegetables and you are healthy.

The one thing we do know the that vegan diet is unhealthy and only available to the rich.

Don't confuse vegetarian and vegan.

Look at India they understand the need for certain protein and vitamins only available through animal products, so honey, Milk ( a lot of milk products) even eggs in many cases.

Vegans need pills every vegan I have ever met was taking supplements, because the real vegan diet cannot provide certain vitamins.

So the real and only fact is balance.

The Japanese eat meat and fish, but always in moderation along with grain and a variety of vegetables and this is why the long life expectancy.

As for the false claims of colon cancer and red meat.

Japan is in the top 10 countries with high Colon Cancer rates but a low meat consumption among the developed countries.

To be exact not one of the top 8 meat consuming countries in the world is in the top 10 countries with the highest Colon cancer rates.

So if the highest meat eating countries are not even in the top ten Colon Cancer countries clearly there is no connection.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Meat eater, like dog owner or gas-guzzler driver, means not giving a stuff. Even if they could prove it kills you there is no way the average meat eater would stop it; it's like cigarettes. And has a massive propaganda organ behind it as well. Hell, you never see any resistance to the idea in Japan and meat pollutes almost everything you buy.

And what is this about vegans needing pills? What difference does it make? The whole of the meat-eating world is on pills anyway, some to counteract the effects of mindset that is so blasé about the utter desolation it causes. I mean this is a mindset devoid of love, peace and beauty.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

There seems to be something bad about eating animal fats and processed high-carb foods together, though.

Also red meat and white potatoes. Something not good mixing starches with red meat I feel. I stopped eating white rice, pasta, bread, noodle ect. Those foods are delicious but I gain weight when I eat those. Dr Gundry has a lot of interesting opinions on nutrition. He's against grains and white potatoes.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

People with bad hearts should reduce their red meat intake.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

wallaceToday  10:43 am JST

People with bad hearts should reduce their red meat intake.

Right on. And the evidence is out there.

The medical experts agree with me;

No, only some do and there is a huge difference between being simplistic and "a bit" simplistic.

I'll listen to experts like this Harvard professor who is in the industry:

“The star rating, I think, is a bit simplistic and arbitrary,” says Frank Hu, a professor and chair of the department of nutrition at Harvard University’s T. H. Chan School of Public Health. 

Then of course if you read the article we got another expert (hence, the plural of experts):

Experts not involved in the research called it interesting, but warned against over simplification.

Kevin McConway, a statistician at the UK's Open University, worried that "a great deal is inevitably lost" when complex studies were boiled down to a star rating.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

I'll listen to experts like this Harvard professor who is in the industry:

That clearly said something very different from your personal opinion? again saying something can be improved because he feels it is "a bit" simplistic is not the same as your personal disqualification of the study as invalid because of being simplistic.

And again, The editorial team of Nature is also conformed by experts that clearly contradicted you in the quoted text and consider the study perfectly valid for publication and a valuable piece of information that can guide risk management.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

We have evolved as people that we need various foods from the plant AND animal kingdoms. We are natural omnivores, plain and simple.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Also red meat and white potatoes. Something not good mixing starches with red meat I feel.

Agreed. Red meat in itself is not bad but mixing with starches seems to be problematic. White rice was traditionally eaten with mostly vegetables in Asian countries, but now we are seeing people in Asia having health isssues due to introducting lots of red meat mixed with the white rice.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Proteins found only in meat? Absolutely nonsence. In fact, I personally think that the human cancer epidemic is due to humans eating too many animals. The horrendous suffering humans cause amimals to suffer every second of time the earth spins round through the days, months, years and,

hundreds of centuries is unthinkable and unimaginable. Perhaps the pain and suffering of animals in the world's slaughterhouses releases unknown

poisons into their bodies to revenge their suffering on humans who slaughter them cruelly to eat their bodies.

Horses, cattle and all hoofed animals who live on grass get plenty of proteins. Scientists of the future may discover ways of turning grass into a delicious food to save the world. All greens, vegetables, fruits are fortified by the sun's healthy rays and energy with an abundance of protiens. Humans who are 100% vegetarian can be more healthy than meat eaters and live longer healthier lives. The writer of this comment has proof of that statement because he is a healthy nonageranian enjoying life, playing the piano, has many friends, cycling year round in one of Canada's colder provinces, sleeps well and lives the life of his great great grand child.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Humans who are 100% vegetarian can be more healthy than meat eaters and live longer healthier lives.

Some of the longest living people do in fact eat meat but in small amounts. The Greeks and the Okinawans. There are a few issues with vegetables. Lectins! Dr Gundry talks about this in his book "The Plant Paradox". Some people have issues going on an 100 percent vegetarian diet. Dr D'Adamo claims people with blood type A are well suited to a 100 percent vegetarian diet. Type O will have a hard time with a 100 percent vegetarian diet. I believe cancer is causes from overconsumption of processed carbohydrates along with overconsumption of animal protein, milk products with next to no vegetables. It's all about balance.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

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