Do you ever wonder if eating meat is bad for your health?
Meat and high protein diets have come in for some pretty bad press recently, but is it justified?
It seems the vast majority of studies that suggest a correlation between eating meat and disease are ‘observational’ studies.
he fundamental problem with observational studies in this context is that they don’t take into account that many people who eat a high protein diet also have other VERY bad dietary habits which could be a more significant cause of their poor health.
The fundamental problem with observational studies in this context is that they don’t take into account that many people who eat a high protein diet also have other VERY bad dietary habits which could be a more significant cause of their poor health. This is the opposite to the ‘healthy user bias’ found when studying vegetarians who usually demonstrate other health promoting activities besides what they eat.
If you think about it, many people who eat high quantities of meat also eat high quantities of refined carbohydrates – perhaps grain fed burgers with a sugary refined bread bun washed down with cola!
Some people who eat meat will smoke, drink, sit on their bums all day and eat sweets. Others will be fit, eat a huge range of nutrient dense vegetables, de-stress with yoga and only eat organic meat.
Correlation is NOT causation.
These studies never distinguish between high-quality nutrient-dense animal proteins – like those from 100% grass fed animals, and meat from intensively reared animals that have eaten mainly grain. The effect of these two types of meat on your body is profound.
There are countless great reasons backed up with credible evidence that eating good quality meat is a very healthy thing to do.
Here is the respected Functional Medicine Doctor Dr M Hyman on the topic of ‘Is eating meat bad for your health’.
Frankly spinning scientific research one way and another to suit a moral standpoint isn’t of much help, who said we have to have empirical evidence to make sound judgements anyway?
In these situations, I personally try and bring it back to good old common sense.
My qualifying question is this; Does it make sense that the very food that we are designed to eat and have thrived on, for 100,000s years would suddenly cause a wide range of diseases unknown to our Palaeolithic ancestors? I think not!
What has changed is the quality of the meat we eat and the other things we eat, drink and do.
We will be diving into these subjects in more detail in upcoming articles.
Here is my friend Diana on Meat, Cancer and Sustainability.
This is a fantastic post on the healthiness of eating meat.
Here is Chris Kresser on Eating Meat
Zoe Harcombe has written a wonderful in-depth response to the WHO meat and Cancer report.