A recent study (2012) published in the Archives of Internal Medicine comes to a definitive but predictable conclusion: higher levels of red meat consumption causes an earlier death from cardiovascular disease and cancer. The study concluded: “Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of total, CVD and cancer mortality. Substitution of other healthy protein sources for red meat is associated with a lower mortality risk.”
The study, based on lengthy cohort research, involved several researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health. As one article comments on it, “Healthy meat consumption has become an oxymoron.”
There are several simple “bottom lines” to the study:
1. Eat processed and unprocessed meat and you’ll likely die younger.
2. Meat-eaters have other unhealthy habits (less exercise; smoking; alcohol) which also affect them – additively.
3. Processed meat (sausage, bacon, ham, salami, hot dogs, etc.) is worse than unprocessed meat.
4. Additional red meat servings increased the risk of early death by 13%. Processed meats increased it by 20%.
5. Cutting back on red meat to just a bit (1.5 oz./day) could prevent 10% of the early deaths.
6. Fish, bean & low-fat dairy, poultry & whole grain, and nut consumption decrease the risk of early death by 7%, 10%, 14% and 19%, respectively.
7. Why gamble with your life? Take the Red Meat Pledge – and keep it!