Steak and processed foods will be the death of us, right? What if that science isn’t quite as ‘settled’ as they once thought?
Good news, folks!
Actually, yeah. That IS the good news.
Cutting back on red and processed meat brings few if any health benefits, according to a review of studies involving millions of people, a finding that contradicts dietary advice of leading international agencies and raised immediate objections from many health experts.
Most people can continue to eat red and processed meat at current average intake, typically three or four times a week for adults in North America and Europe, said a study’s authors, who also made new recommendations based on the analysis.
“Based on the research, we cannot say with any certainty that eating red or processed meat causes cancer, diabetes or heart disease,” said Bradley Johnson, an associate professor at Dalhousie University in Canada who co-led the review published on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine journal.
Finally, some GOOD news coming out of Canada!
The study is getting pushback by those who still hold to the belief that red meat causes cancer, and who recommend dropping meat, and bumping nuts and other proteins in their place.
Some experts not directly involved with the reviews said the work was a comprehensive, well-conducted analysis of the available evidence on eating meat and human health.
“This study will, I hope, help to eliminate the incorrect impression … that some meat products are as carcinogenic as cigarette smoke, and to discourage dramatic media headlines claiming that ‘bacon is killing us’,” said Ian Johnson, a nutrition expert at Britain’s Quadram Institute of bioscience.
And here’s the big takeaway:
There are reasons some people might want to cut meat consumption. But if you are doing it explicitly because you think it will make you healthier, you don’t have much evidence backing up your rationale.