Eating red meat has its good points but more than its share of bad. Here, 10 slides with bite-sized bits of health information you’ll want to share with your patients.
Equally as many, and perhaps more scientific articles delineate the drawbacks of eating meat. The slides that follow summarize 10 health problems likely caused by eating red meat.
Consuming red meat may increase appetite and disease risk. Dietary iron intake, equivalent to heavy red meat consumption, suppresses leptin, a hormone that regulates appetite. The more iron is consumed, the greater the likelihood that leptin levels will drop, resulting in increased appetite and the potential to overeat. High iron has been implicated as a contributor to diabetes, fatty liver disease, and Alzheimer disease.
Gout has long been associated with overindulgence in meats, seafood, and alcohol. Recent gout research says: some foods should be avoided, not all foods with purines should be eliminated, some foods should be eaten to control uric acid levels. A gout diet should cut back on saturated fats from red meats, fatty poultry, and high-fat dairy products. Also avoid liver, kidney, and sweetbreads, which have high purine levels and contribute to high blood levels of uric acid.
Red meats generally have more cholesterol and saturated fat than chicken, fish, and vegetable proteins.Cholesterol and saturated fat can raise blood cholesterol levels and worsen heart disease. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fish and some plant sources, may reduce cardiovascular disease risk.
Elevated Breast Cancer Risk. Red meat consumption may be associated with breast cancer risk.In the U.S. Nurses’ Health Study II, the risk of breast cancer was 22% greater in women who ate 1.5 servings of red meat per day than in those who ate 1 serving of red meat per week. The risk increased by 54% per additional daily red meat serving in current oral contraceptive users.
Ground Beef “Superbugs” Cause GI Bugs. All meat may contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning if not destroyed by proper cooking. Ground beef cooked at rare or medium-rare temperatures under 160Â° F. is particularly problematic. E. coli O157:H7 may cause abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and life-threatening kidney damage. Contributing to ground beef’s high bacteria level: Meat and fat trimmings often come from multiple animals.
First in Male Fertility, the Chicken or the Eggs? Sperm from men attending a fertility clinic who reported a diet high in processed meat had less success fertilizing eggs than that from men who ate more chicken. Men’s total meat intake, including intake of specific types of meat, was not associated with implantation, pregnancy, or live birth rates. The amount of processed meat men eat could be a marker of how generally healthy their diet is, or how healthy they are in general. Both may influence sperm development and fertility.
Doing Blood Pressure No Favors. Red meat has an unfavorable effect on blood pressure, though the effect is small. Eating meat of any type is associated with an increased incidence of high blood pressure. A vegetarian diet may be advisable for patients who are at increased risk for high blood pressure.
Healthy Diet May Trim Alzheimer Risk. Researchers looked at the effects on Alzheimer risk of 3 diets: a standard Mediterranean-type diet, the Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension diet (DASH), and Mediterranean-DASH Intervention for Neurodegenerative Delay (MIND). Alzheimer disease was less likely to develop in older persons whose usual diet was close to any one of these healthy diets-eating plenty of green vegetables, whole grains, and legumes and less red meat-than in those eating less healthful foods.
Mechanism for Colon Cancer. The rise in diagnoses of colorectal cancer correlates with an increase in red meat’s portion size and frequency of consumption. The gut microbiota may be pivotal in the heme-induced epithelial damage that leads to hyperplasia. Study mice that did not receive antibiotic treatment showed subsequent epithelial damage and intestinal cytotoxicity associated with cancer development.
Trans Fats Linked With Heart Disease, Stroke, and Type 2 Diabetes. Saturated fats are not associated with all cause mortality, cardiovascular disease (CVD) and associated mortality, coronary heart disease (CHD) and associated mortality, ischemic stroke, or type 2 diabetes, but the evidence is heterogeneous with methodological limitations. Trans fats are associated with all cause mortality, total CHD, and CHD mortality, probably because of higher levels of intake of industrial trans fats than ruminant trans fats.Dietary guidelines must carefully consider the health effects of recommendations for alternative macronutrients to replace trans fats and saturated fats.
Health Tips for Carnivores: American Heart Association. Eating red meat may be OK as long as you limit the amount, says the AHA. Share these tips with your patients to lower the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol they get when they eat meat: Choose lean cuts (the package usually contains the word round, loin, or sirloin). Trim off as much fat as possible before cooking. Pour off the melted fat after cooking. Use healthier cooking methods-baking, broiling, stewing, grilling. Limit lean meat, skinless chicken, and fish to less than 6 oz/d.
Â “With a satisfactory explanation forthcoming, the medical profession is now in a position to know the facts and to be able to conjecture the preliminary treatment which meat retaining characteristic hues has received.”-JAMA, Saturday, February 27, 1915Medical discussion of red meat has come a long way. This 1915 JAMA article describes the use of saltpeter in curing meat. Now journal articles are addressing the health ramifications of eating meat.Some of these articles point to benefits in eating meat. For example, meat contains:
• protein, which improves overall health and well-being; repairs and builds body tissues; and produces antibodies to protect the body from infections.
• iron, zinc, and selenium, which help form hemoglobin, help tissue formation and metabolism, and break down fat and chemicals in the body, respectively.
• vitamins A, B, and D, which promote good vision, build stronger teeth and bones, and support the CNS.Â (Please continue with the first slide, above)