Monday, March 23, 2009

CNN Article on Health Risks Associated with Consuming Red Meat


"Cattle Jail" by etahaholic

Just came across this article entitled, "Want to live longer? Cut back on red meat," at CNN.com. A study of nearly half a million people revealed that people who eat red meat daily have a higher risk of dying over a 10-year period by way of cardiovascular disease or cancer, compared to persons who eat less red or processed meat.

In addition, the article reports that:

The American Institute of Cancer Research recommends that people consume less than 18 ounces of red meat (the equivalent of a child-size fast-food hamburger) per week to reduce the risk for cancer, and the American Heart Association recommends limiting saturated fats to less than 7 percent of total daily calories. (Animal products, such as meat and dairy, tend to be higher in saturated fat.) The United States Department of Agriculture food pyramid recommends two to three daily servings of protein, which can include lean meat, but can also come from plant sources.
Ultimately, though, the article comes down in favor of simply reducing, as opposed to eliminating, consumption of red meat, stating that:
[Barry M. Popkin, Ph.D., from the University of North Carolina] says that consuming meat in moderation is important for our diet, as well as the health of the planet. Americans consume around four times more meat and dairy than the rest of the world, which may contribute to a number of global concerns, including an increased demand and price for meat, increased greenhouse gases, and a rise in disease, he says.
It seems that if meat consumption, particularly red meat consumption, poses a risk to our individual health and to our planet, then these effects would be effectively countered by adopting a vegetarian lifestyle, an option not mentioned in this article.

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