Sausages beat up your heart but steak is heart neutral

You’ve heard the mantra – eating red meat causes cardiovascular disease.  You  probably believe that science has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt,  that a  juicy steak issaysage beating a heart a heart attack waiting to happen.  But the science has actually been contradictory.

Now research coming out of Harvard School of Public Health,  suggests the standard health advice to avoid red meat, might have been seriously flawed.

All meat is not created equal

When researchers analyzed the data on “red meat” consumption based on the degree it has been processed – new disease patterns emerged.

Munching processed meat, such as bacon, sausage or processed deli meats,  definitely  caused health problems such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.  But eating meat “off the animal” so to speak, i.e. a good old fashioned steak, really is not a heart attack waiting to happen.

This stunning conclusion was reached after crunching the numbers from 20 different studies which took into account the carnivorous behaviour of 1,218,380 individuals from 10 countries on four continents (North America, Europe, Australia, and Asia).

So what is processed meat ?

Meat that has been preserved by

  • Smoking
  • Curing
  • Salting
  • Adding  other chemical preservatives

 This definition encompasses bacon, sausages, salami, hot dogs, cold meats etc.

So what’s “hazardous” about processed meat ?

Both processed and unprocessed meat both contain more-or-less the same amount of saturated fat and cholesterol , the ingredients we’ve all been told to avoid like the plague.   Processed meat has a lot more sodium, on average 4 x the amount as well as additional preservatives.

This suggests it’s not the fat but the salt and preservatives causing the increased risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Salt has long been associated with cardiovascular disease.  The other preservatives health effects are less clear, but animal experiments have implicated them in glucose intolerance, which contributes to diabetes.

Carnivores are off the hook

This research is good news for human carnivores – that steak for dinner is not the great heart risk you’ve been programmed to believe.  Meat is okay as long as you’re following the example of nature’s carnivores – i.e. eating meat in an unprocessed form.

Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk of Incident Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Circulation (2010) 121:2271-2283.  Renata Micha, Sarah K. Wallace, Dariush Mozaffarian.

Know someone who will find this post useful ? Share it on facebook, linkedin, twitter

Further reading

big thirst
cholesterol for heart attack rescue
Could your salt intake be making you fat ? Salt addiction is triggered by supersensitive taste buds Should you feed a heart attack a high fat meal ?

The 7 Big Spoons™…. are master switches that turn health on.

balance eicosanoids rein in insulin dial down stress sleep vitamin D microflora think
Balance Eicosanoids Rein in insulin Dial down stress Sleep ! Increase Vit D Culivate microflora Think champion

Sign up for the E-spoons E-zine to get a monthly compilation of the posts from 7 Big Spoons delivered to your inbox.

Hire Dr Sandy from a Spoonful of Science to be the keynote speaker at your next event.

Did you learn something new or do you have a different perspective ? I’d love to hear from you so post me a comment below…..

This entry was posted in Heart disease and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>