Read this and let it sink in: Consuming red and processed meat at current levels is safe, according to recent guidelines from the American College of Physicians.
I’ll give you a minute to pick your jaw up from the floor. Because honestly, I can’t believe it either. Obviously, I would have arrived at the exact same conclusion myself. But as usual, I thought pigs would fly before the powers-that-be actually agreed with me…
A cooked up controversy
These new guidelines are based on data from four different reviews that looked at overall mortality, heart health, and cancer risk. And they suggest that most people can eat red and processed meats without worrying about their health.
Their evaluation featured a dozen randomized controlled trials. And the panel didn’t uncover any statistically relevant link between curbing meat consumption and reductions in chronic disease.
So researchers concluded that there’s no evidence that red or processed meat causes cancer, diabetes, or heart disease. (Something you and I have known all along—in fact a high-quality cut of meat can help prevent most of those diseases, but I’ll come back to that.)
These authors didn’t go that far, though. They simply concluded that, if red meat is risky, the risk itself is actually negligible.
But of course, critics are already up in arms. In fact, I’ve been on several radio shows and talk shows, sticking up for this unpopular stance. Because as you likely recall, our ridiculous U.S. guidelines recommend just one serving of red or processed meat weekly.
And that’s just for starters…
Ignoring the obvious
Do you want to hear something else that’s ridiculous?
A spokesperson for the American Cancer Society compared this new advice to giving people permission to ride bikes without helmets. (As if high-quality grass-fed and finished meat didn’t have a host of nutritional benefits.)
The criticism didn’t stop there, either. Harvard researchers dismissed the recommendations as “irresponsible” and picked apart their methodology. Controversy burned for days, with guideline authors being exposed as having industry ties. (Though show me one who doesn’t and I’ll have a bridge to sell you.)
Look, it’s true that a lot of the research on red meat looks bad. But even a cursory glance at the details often reveals a failure to account for some pretty critical factors. Like the quality of the meat, for one… and overall carbohydrate intake, for another.
Because let me tell you: I’ve been in practice for almost three decades now. And I’ve advocated a high-meat diet that entire time. It’s what I eat myself, and there’s a very good reason for that.
When you eliminate bread and other carbohydrates, triglycerides plummet and HDL (“good” cholesterol) skyrockets. Because at the end of the day, it’s sugar—not red meat, or even bacon—that kills. And I’ve witnessed this in action, time and time again, in thousands of patients.
Yet how many times do you see meat lumped in with refined grains and sugar as part of a “Western diet” in supposedly compelling studies? This is quite possibly the most important nutritional distinction you can make. And yet our best scientists can’t seem to put two and two together.
It’s sheer idiocy. And personally, I’m sick of the powers-that-be spewing forth venom and lies in the name of misguided science.
So you know what? Anyone who’s ready to stop the insanity and speak the truth about meat gets my wholehearted seal of approval. Maybe if we all yell loud enough, the message will finally get through.
P.S. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines are notoriously misleading. In fact, I discussed exactly what you should be wary of—including limiting your meat intake—in the March 2015 issue of my monthly newsletter, Logical Health Alternatives (“’Big changes’ to the US Dietary Guidelines for 2015”). Subscribers have access to this and all of my past content in the archives. So if you haven’t already, consider signing up today.
“Red Meat OK’d in New Guideline But Critics Call Foul.” Medscape Medical News, 09/30/2019. (medscape.com/viewarticle/919221)