Red and White Meats Are Equally Bad for Cholesterol

Flying in the face of popular belief, new research suggests both red meat and white meat can drive up your cholesterol levels.

The study was conducted by researchers from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), part of the University of California, San Francisco. The analysis is reportedly the first to comprehensively compare the impact that red and white meat have on cholesterol.

Red meat, such as beef and lamb, has become unpopular in recent years because of its association with heart disease, and government nutrition guidelines have encouraged consumers to eat poultry as a healthier alternative, the researchers noted.

“When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but we were surprised that this was not the case,” said study senior author Dr. Ronald Krauss. “Their effects on cholesterol are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent.”

Krauss is senior scientist and director of atherosclerosis research at CHORI.

After tracking how red meat, white meat and plant protein all impacted cholesterol levels, Krauss and his team determined that both red and white meat prompted higher blood cholesterol levels than diets containing an equivalent amount of plant protein. (Grass-fed beef, fish and processed meat products such as bacon were not included in the analysis.)

The finding held up even after accounting for a high intake of saturated fats, investigators noted, and it suggests that the best way to keep cholesterol under control is to turn to non-meat proteins, such as vegetables, legumes and dairy products.

“Our results indicate that current advice to restrict red meat and not white meat should not be based only on their effects on blood cholesterol,” Krauss noted in a university news release. “Indeed, other effects of red meat consumption could contribute to heart disease, and these effects should be explored in more detail in an effort to improve health.”

The findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Source: University of California San Francisco


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New York’s Green New Deal will Slash Red Meat in City Facilities by 50%

Joshu Caplan wrote . . . . . . . . .

New York City plans to reduce the amount of red meat served in municipally-run facilities by half to combat climate change as part of the city’s recently-approved “Green New Deal.”

The city’s $14 billion “Green New Deal” includes plans to cut purchases of red meat by 50 percent and phase out purchases of processed meats in its city-run schools, hospitals, schools, and correctional facilities by 2040. The city would be first in the world to adopt a policy of this kind. The announcement comes after New York schools adopted Meatless Monday in an effort to encourage students to abstain from consuming meat one day a week to improve their health and the environment.

Chloe Waterman, who serves as Program Manager for the Climate-Friendly Food Program at Friends of the Earth, said of De Blasio’s proposal in a statement: “New York City is strengthening its climate leadership by acknowledging the importance of slashing consumption-based greenhouse gas emissions associated with factory farmed meat. Eliminating processed meat and cutting red meat purchases will pay dividends for the health of future generations and the planet.”

“We applaud Mayor de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, and all of the advocates who made today’s announcement possible. We hope other cities will soon follow suit,” Waterman concluded.

In announcing his Green New Deal on Monday, De Blasio said he also plans to introduce a bill banning new construction of glass skyscrapers as part of his efforts to reduce citywide greenhouse emissions by 30%.

The Democrat mayor, who is considering running for president in 2020, said all-glass facade skyscrapers are “incredibly inefficient” because so much energy escapes through the glass. The bill would require existing glass buildings to be retrofitted to meet new stricter carbon-emissions guidelines.

“If a company wants to build a big skyscraper they can use a lot of glass if they do all the other things needed to reduce the emissions,” de Blasio told reporters. “But putting up monuments to themselves that harmed our earth and threatened our future that will no longer be allowed in New York City.”

The mayor’s Green New Deal effort also includes plans to power all of the city’s operations with clean electricity sources like Canadian hydropower, mandatory organics recycling, congestion pricing, and the phasing-out of city purchases of single-use plastic food ware and processed meat.

City lawmakers passed the Climate Mobilization Act — referred to as New York’s own “Green New Deal” — in a 45-2 vote recently.

Source : Breitbart

The Risks of Eating Red Meat (Even in Small Portions)

Briana Pastorino wrote . . . . . . . . .

A new study out of Loma Linda University Health suggests that eating red and processed meats — even in small amounts — may increase the risk of death from all causes, especially cardiovascular disease.

Saeed Mastour Alshahrani, lead author of the study and a doctoral student at Loma Linda University School of Public Health, said the research fills an important gap left by previous studies that looked at relatively higher levels of red meat intake and compared them with low intakes.

“A question about the effect of lower levels of intakes compared to no-meat eating remained unanswered,” Alshahrani said. “We wanted to take a closer look at the association of low intakes of red and processed meat with all-cause, cardiovascular diseases, and cancer mortality compared to those who didn’t eat meat at all.”

This study, “Red and Processed Meat and Mortality in a Low Meat Intake Population” is part of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), a prospective cohort study of approximately 96,000 Seventh-day Adventist men and women in the United States and Canada. The principal investigator of AHS-2 is Gary E. Fraser, MD, PhD, professor of medicine and epidemiology at Loma Linda University Health.

Adventists are a unique population — approximately 50 percent are vegetarians, and those who consume meat do so at low levels. This allowed researchers to investigate the effect of low levels of red and processed meat intake compared to zero-intake in a large setting such as the Adventist Health Study.

The study evaluated the deaths of over 7,900 individuals over an 11-year period. Diet was assessed by a validated quantitative food frequency questionnaire and mortality outcome data were obtained from the National Death Index. Of those individuals who consumed meat, 90 percent of them only ate about two ounces or less of red meat per day.

Nearly 2,600 of the reported deaths were due to cardiovascular disease, and over 1,800 were cancer deaths. Processed meat — modified to improve flavor through curing, smoking, or salting (such as ham and salami) — alone was not significantly associated with risk of mortality possibly due to a very small proportion of the population who consume such meat. However, the total intake of red and processed meat was associated with relatively higher risks of total and cardiovascular disease deaths.

Michael Orlich, MD, PhD, co-director of AHS-2 and co-author of the present study, said these new findings support a significant body of research that affirms the potential ill health effects of red and processed meats.

“Our findings give additional weight to the evidence already suggesting that eating red and processed meat may negatively impact health and lifespan,” Orlich said.

The study was published in Nutrients as part of the Special Issue, Dietary Assessment in Nutritional Epidemiology: Public Health Implications for Promoting Lifelong Health.

Source: Loma Linda University Health

Study: Frequent Red Meat Consumption Lead to High Levels of Chemical Associated with Heart Disease

Researchers have identified another reason to limit red meat consumption: high levels of a gut-generated chemical called trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO), that also is linked to heart disease. Scientists found that people who eat a diet rich in red meat have triple the TMAO levels of those who eat a diet rich in either white meat or mostly plant-based proteins, but discontinuation of red meat eventually lowers those TMAO levels.

TMAO is a dietary byproduct that is formed by gut bacteria during digestion and is derived in part from nutrients that are abundant in red meat. While high saturated fat levels in red meat have long been known to contribute to heart disease—the leading cause of death in the United States—a growing number of studies have identified TMAO as another culprit. Until now, researchers knew little about how typical dietary patterns influence TMAO production or elimination.

The findings suggest that measuring and targeting TMAO levels—something doctors can do with a simple blood test—may be a promising new strategy for individualizing diets and helping to prevent heart disease. The study was funded largely by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health. It will be published Dec. 10 in the European Heart Journal, a publication of the European Society of Cardiology.

“These findings reinforce current dietary recommendations that encourage all ages to follow a heart-healthy eating plan that limits red meat,” said Charlotte Pratt, Ph.D., the NHLBI project officer for the study and a nutrition researcher and Deputy Chief of the Clinical Applications & Prevention Branch, Division of Cardiovascular Sciences, NHLBI. “This means eating a variety of foods, including more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy foods, and plant-based protein sources such as beans and peas.”

“This study shows for the first time what a dramatic effect changing your diet has on levels of TMAO, which is increasingly linked to heart disease,” said Stanley L. Hazen, M.D., Ph.D., senior author of the study and section head of Preventive Cardiology & Rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic. “It suggests that you can lower your heart disease risk by lowering TMAO.”

Hazen estimated that as many as a quarter of middle-aged Americans have naturally elevated TMAO levels, which are made worse by chronic red meat consumption. However, every person’s TMAO profile appears to be different, so tracking this chemical marker, Hazen suggested, could be an important step in using personalized medicine to fight heart disease.

For the study, researchers enrolled 113 healthy men and women in a clinical trial to examine the effects of dietary protein—in the form of red meat, white meat, or non-meat sources—on TMAO production. All subjects were placed on each diet for a month in random order. When on the red meat diet, the participants consumed roughly the equivalent of about 8 ounces of steak daily, or two quarter-pound beef patties. After one month, researchers found that, on average, blood levels of TMAO in these participants tripled, compared to when they were on the diets high in either white meat or non-meat protein sources.

While all diets contained equal amounts of calories, half of the participants were also placed on high-fat versions of the three diets, and the researchers observed similar results. Thus, the effects of the protein source on TMAO levels were independent of dietary fat intake.

Importantly, the researchers discovered that the TMAO increases were reversible. When the subjects discontinued their red meat diet and moved to either a white meat or non-meat diet for another month, their TMAO levels decreased significantly.

The exact mechanisms by which TMAO affects heart disease is complex. Prior research has shown TMAO enhances cholesterol deposits into cells of the artery wall. Studies by the researchers also suggest that the chemical interacts with platelets—blood cells that are responsible for normal clotting responses—in a way that increases the risk for clot-related events such as heart attack and stroke.

TMAO measurement is currently available as a quick, simple blood test first developed by Hazen’s laboratory. In recent published studies, he and his colleagues reported development of a new class of drugs that are capable of lowering TMAO levels in the blood and reducing atherosclerosis and clotting risks in animal models, but those drugs are still experimental and not yet available to the public.

Source: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Links Between Eating Red Meat and Distal Colon Cancer in Women

When comparing the effects of red meat, poultry, fish or vegetarian diets to cancer development in specific subsites of the colon, a study found that those regularly eating red meat compared to a red meat-free diet had higher rates of distal colon cancer — cancer found on the descending section of the colon, where faeces is stored.

“The impact of different types of red meat and dietary patterns on cancer locations is one of the biggest challenges in the study of diet and colorectal cancer. Our research is one of the few studies looking at this relationship and while further analysis in a larger study is needed, it could provide valuable information for those with family history of colorectal cancer and those working on prevention”, pointed out Diego Rada Fernandez de Jauregui, member of the Preventive Medicine and Public Health Department of the UPV/EHU’s Pharmacy Faculty and the Nutritional Epidemiology Group (NEG) at the University of Leeds (UK) and lead author of this work.

More than 2.2 million new cases of colorectal cancer, also known as bowel cancer, are expected worldwide by 2030. It is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in UK women. Previous studies have suggested that eating lots of red and processed meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer and it is estimated that around 1 in 5 bowel cancers in the UK are linked to eating these meats. However, there is limited available information about specific dietary patterns and the site of cancer occurrence in the bowel.

The study used data from the United Kingdom Women’s Cohort Study. This cohort included a total of 32,147 women from England, Wales and Scotland. They were recruited and surveyed by the World Cancer Research fund between 1995 and 1998 and were tracked for an average of 17 years.

In addition to reporting their dietary habits, a total of 462 colorectal cases were documented and of the 335 colon cancers, 119 instances were of distal colon cancer. The study analysis, recently published in the International Journal of Cancer, explored the relationship between the four dietary patterns and colorectal cancer and a further exploratory analysis examined the correlation between diet and colon subsites.

Co-author Janet Cade, head of the NEG and Professor of Nutritional Epidemiology and Public Health at the School of Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds, said that “our study not only helps shed light on how meat consumption may affect the sections of the colorectum differently, it emphasises the importance of reliable dietary reporting from large groups of people. With access to the United Kingdom Women’s Cohort Study we are able to uncover trends in public health and analyse how diet can influence the prevention of cancer. Accurate dietary reporting provides researchers with the information they need to link the two together.”

Source: The Univerdity of the Basque Country


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