Thursday, April 25, 2013

Poor research once again misleads the public

With recent health news headlines making unwarranted connections between red meat consumption and heart disease, I thought this was a good article to help clear things up and set things straight.

Will eating red meat really increase your risk of heart disease?

The latest in a long line of unwarranted conclusions linking red meat with poor health is once again based on incomplete cherry picked biased data led by the false notion, accepted by the medical community and many nutritionist alike, that red meat should be avoided.  Only this time the focus of the research was not on the ever popular 'fat and cholesterol' angle but rather what happens when the body metabolizes L-carnitine (a substance found in red meat) producing a byproduct called TMAO.  And it's this byproduct (TMAO) that they're suggesting encourages "fatty plaque deposits" to form in the arteries, and from this linking red mead to heart disease.

The problem with this conclusion however, is that in an earlier study from over a decade ago where over 40 different foods were analyzed it turned out that red meat generated no more TMAO in the urine of the subjects who participated than many fruits and vegetables.  And in fact red meat fell somewhere in the middle, with vegetables like peas and cauliflower generating far higher levels.  But the biggest culprit of all was the very food that is touted by all of the so called experts as being part of the healthiest diets... fish! 

So if we look at all of the facts, rather than just pull out what coincides with a predetermined baseless conclusion, we find that if the metabolization of red meats (producing TMAO) was a direct link to heart disease (which of course it's not) then many of the foods in a vegetarians diet as well as the key food in the so called healthy Mediterranean diet would be even worse for you since they've been found to generate far greater levels.

It's a shame we have people out there wasting research money on trying to support some predetermined conclusion (like red meat = heart disease or saturated fat and cholesterol = heart disease) with no true evidence to back them up.  Unless of course they cherry pick the data that works best for them, and message the results into whatever coincides best with the false baseless notion or assumption that is driving the research in the first place. 

It's time to accept the fact that saturated fat and cholesterol and meat be it chicken, beef, or pork when raised right (organic pastured) are indeed part of a HEALTHY diet!

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