| A new study has some good news for cows and pigs, but bad news for chicken. They found that people who eat the most red meat (beef and pork) have a 20% to 30% increased risk of premature mortality. I guess pork is NOT the "other white meat." So much for that marketing slogan.
From the Washington Post:
The study of more than 500,000 middle-aged and elderly Americans found that those who consumed about four ounces of red meat a day (the equivalent of about a small hamburger) were more than 30 percent more likely to die during the 10 years they were followed, mostly from heart disease and cancer. Sausage, cold cuts and other processed meats also increased the risk.
Previous research had found a link between red meat and an increased risk of heart disease and cancer, particularly colorectal cancer, but the new study is the first large examination of the relationship between eating meat and overall risk of death, and is by far the most detailed.
This doesn't come as a surprise to me, but it's always nice to back up hunches with facts. What I think WILL be surprising to a lot of people is how little red meat (4 oz/day) made a difference. Four ounces is within the Food Pyramid's guidelines for how much meat you should eat daily, although they do encourage you to "choose [fish, nuts, and seeds] frequently instead of meat or poultry." (The Food Pyramid does NOT tell you to avoid beef - just "choose lean cuts" of beef.)
From the nutrition advice I've seen during my work in hospitals, these study results don't result in new dietary advice. Any doctor would tell you that red meat is a good idea, and red meat every day (particularly processed meats) is a bad idea. No surprise there. Best headline I've seen on this? "Steak and Hot Dogs Linked to Early Death"