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Photo by Stijn te Strake

Good news for carnivores!

Well, maybe.

Or, maybe not.

It seems as though the jury is still out on this one, but we always want to provide the most recent news and info. In a recent study looking into the consumption of red meat, the findings look pretty unfavorable for red meat-eaters, associating the link between increases in red meat consumption with mortality in American men and women. This isn’t shocking of course, because we’ve known for years that red meat consumption, especially processed red meat is linked to all sorts of health-related issues, including obesity, cardiovascular disease, colo-rectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes, in both men and women.

But the exact opposite is being declared according to a new study that analyzed data from five studies of around 54,000 people, researchers did not find a significant association between meat consumption and the risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer. They also found a vegetarian diet provided few, if any, health benefits.

The panel of researchers from Dalhousie and McMaster universities in Canada, along with the Iberoamerican and Polish Cochrane centers, published new guidelines in the Annals of Internal Medicine, is basically telling everyone to eat as much red meat as they want without any regard for their health.


So is everyone else.

The medical community is up-in-arms over these new guidelines because it goes against everything they’ve been preaching for years. For good reason too. Study after study has proven that excessive consumption of red meat is linked to a myriad of health issues above and beyond the ones stated earlier.

Elizabeth Klodas, a cardiologist and member of the American College of Cardiology’s nutrition group was dumbfounded by the new, contradictory-to-common-sense guidelines exclaiming that “We’re collectively appalled that this is being pushed in the way that it’s being pushed. It just adds to the confusion for patients…The conclusions are not the conclusions of the medical community. They were selective in the studies included and the weight they gave them.”

She says the guidelines are like comparing heavy smoking to moderate smoking over a relatively short period of time and concluding that “frankly, ‘people have a hard time quitting smoking, so let’s just let them smoke.’ We eat 220 pounds of meat per person per year in this country. That’s 15 servings a week. And you’re going to tell Americans, just keep going? Today we’re spending $315 billion per year treating heart disease; on our current trajectory, it will be nearly $800 billion by 2035.”

That’s a lot of beef. The medical community-at-large is calling bull on these new guidelines. While there’s just too much contradictory evidence on both sides to give a clear “do this, not that,” there are some guidelines we’ve always encouraged that haven’t changed: Eat your colors. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. Processed anything isn’t a great idea. Live whole foods (and meats) are best. Eat your colors. Look into Mediterranean style diets. LISTEN TO YOUR BODY. Did we mention “eat your colors?”