Health & Wellness Coach

Health & Wellness Coach

Jamie Oliver – Perfect Steak

Does red meat increases the risk of cancer and heart disease?

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Nutrition Myth #5: Red Meat increases Cancer & Heart Disease

red meatNutrition Myth #5: Consumption of red meat increases the risk of cancer, especially colon cancer; also, the saturated fat increases the risk of heart disease.  TRUTH: There have been NO research results correlating UNPROCESSED red meats with cancer or heart disease.

Studies claiming a correlation of red meat consumption with cancer do not stand up to careful scrutiny.  In many of these studies, saturated fats were combined with hydrogenated vegetable oils, known to be carcinogenic.  Actually, the pathway for colon cancer is well understood.  It involves high levels of omega-6 and hydrogenated fats, which in the presence of carcinogens and acted on by certain enzymes in the cells lining the colon lead to tumor formation.  This explains why colon cancer is prevalent where there are many carcinogens in the diet and where consumption of vegetable oils and sugar is high: but where sugar and vegetable oils are very low or absent and food is free of additives, meat eating is NOT associated with cancer.

Red meat forms an integral part of a healthy diet.  It is an excellent source of protein, minerals (especially iron and zinc), and B vitamins, especially B12.  Make an effort to purchase meat that has been pasture-raised; its’ fat will be rich in vitamin E and CLA, a substance that protects against cancer.  Most of these nutrients are in the fat, so be sure to eat the fat with your meat!  If your only choice is meat from the supermarket, red meat is still the best choice.  Of all the meats, beef and lamb are the cleanest.  Still, whenever possible, it is best to purchase USDA-certified organic meat.

Red meat in the category of processed meats should be avoided.  Such meats would be hot dogs, breakfast sausage, bacon, bologna, salami and chemically treated jerky’s.  These meats often contain preservatives that act as potential carcinogens.

Just remember that conventional wisdom will lead you away from red meat and its saturated fat. Yet, both are a protection from cancer and heart disease.  That’s correct, the TRUTH is red meat, along with its fat, from pasture-raised cattle is very healthy and an essential part of a healthy diet.  So. ENJOY with no guilt!

Want more support information regarding Nutrition Myth #5, check out this video: Jamie Oliver

The Scandalous Vilifying of Cholesterol

The big drug companies, FDA, AMA and other reputed health agencies have done an effective job of vilifying cholesterol (also saturated fat) as the major cause of atherosclerosis and heart disease.  Let’s examine what is generally kept quiet.

Cholesterol is NOT the cause of heart disease but rather a potent antioxidant against damaging free radicals in the blood, and a repair substance that helps heal arterial damage.  Note: arterial plaques contain very little cholesterol.

Like fats, cholesterol may be damaged by exposure to heat and oxygen.  This damaged or oxidized cholesterol seems to promote both injury to the arterial cells as well as buildup of plaque in the arteries.  Such damaged cholesterol is found in powdered eggs and powdered milk (added to reduced-fat milks to give them body) and in meats and fats that have been heated to high temperatures in frying and other high temperature processes.

High serum cholesterol levels indicate that the body needs cholesterol to protect itself from excessive free radicals and oxidation causing damaging inflammation which is driven primarily by poor food choices, excessive insulin production and all forms of stress.

Low thyroid function often results in high cholesterol levels.  When thyroid function is poor-usually due to a diet high in sugar, low in usable iodine, fat-soluble vitamins and nutrients, the body floods the blood with cholesterol.  This is an adaptive and protective mechanism, providing a super abundance of materials needed to heal tissues and produce protective steriods.  Hypothyroid individuals are particularly susceptible to infections, heart disease and cancer.

Taking a statin drug, which inhibits the liver’s enzyme for making cholesterol, lowers one of the body’s main defenses AGAINST this damaging inflammation and hypothyroidism.  Why not simply adjust the diet to reduce inflammation and improve thyroid function rather than prescribe a statin drug?  Such an approach could essentially eliminate the 60 billion dollar a year statin drug market.  Do you think this may be a reason the simple diet solution is not heavily promoted?

One of the most respected research studies, refuting the CONVENTIONAL lipid hypothesis of heart disease, is the Framingham Heart Study.  This study followed the dietary habits of 15,000 participants (residents of Framingham, Mass.) over three generations.  It is considered the longest and most comprehensive study of health and illness in medical history; it lead to the publication of more than 1200 research articles in leading journals.  Among the study’s highlights are these:

  • THERE IS NO CORRELATION between dietary cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol levels.
  • FRAMINGHAM RESIDENTS WHO ATE THE MOST cholesterol, saturated fat, and total calories actually weighed the least and were the most physically active.

Ironically, recent research indicates that oxidation and inflammation might be made worse by consuming (cholesterol-free) polyunsaturated fats in vegetable and grain oils that the medical profession and media lead us to believe are healthier than animal fats.  The millions who use statin drugs (having serious side effects) show little or no reduction in heart disease-just a reduction in the all important cholesterol.

Much of what we are told about nutrition is dictated by BIG MONEY.  But, it is possible to sieve through these untruths by considering the diets around 1900.  They ate lots of raw milk products, meat and eggs from healthy free range animals and fresh organic fruits and vegetables.  They were essentially devoid of degenerative diseases. What’s you’re feelings on the cholesterol issue?