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