A long term study conducted by Harvard Medical School over a period in excess of 20 years has indicated that the consumption of red meat increases the risk of death from cancer and heart disease.
Just by adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to your daily diet causes an increased risk of death from any cause by 13%, of fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and mortality from cancer by 10%, with the figures being higher if that meat is processed. Could it be that we are finally waking up to the realisation that a plant-based diet is not just for tree-hugging freaks, but the ONLY sensible choice for anyone who is seeking a long life free from the shackles of disease?
Evidently not in all cases, it would appear. Shockingly, the British Heart Foundation is quoted as saying that “red meat can still be eaten as part of a balanced diet”. Really? Here is clear evidence, published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, that consuming red meat SIGNIFICANTLY increases the risk of DEATH from two or more major diseases, and they are choosing to state that it can safely be consumed? Are they perhaps receiving funding from the meat industry I wonder? And while we are on the subject of carcinogens, are they also suggesting, therefore, that smoking can be used as part of a balanced lifestyle? Or cocaine? Or heroin?
Evidence has shown that it is only animal protein that acts as a carcinogen. Many studies indicate that if that same quantity of dietary protein is derived from plants, it is not carcinogenic. We know from other studies that animal derived protein is deposited in the vascular basement membrane. This reduces blood flow, contributing to both heart disease and cancer (as long ago as 1936, we knew that poorly oxygenated tissues were more likely to be subject to cellular mutation).
I don’t know about you, but I am rather tired of the overused phrase “everything in moderation”. Do we really want “moderate” health? Are we satisfied with average? With 1 in 2 currently dying of heart disease and 1 in 3 from cancer, and massively escalating incidences of obesity, diabetes, stroke and osteoporosis, has it never occurred to anyone that we might actually be doing something wrong? Or that “moderation” is therefore not the way forward? I prefer the phrase “everything in moderation – ESPECIALLY moderation”.
How about we massively reduce our intake of meat, or better still, eliminate it altogether (unless you are one of the very few people on the planet who has been diagnosed with a biological need for animal protein in the diet)? How about, British Heart Foundation, you actually start telling the people who donate millions of pounds per year to your charity, what they really should be doing to significantly reduce their incidence of cardiovascular disease? Wouldn’t that be better than just sitting on the fence when a major published study indicates that your current recommendations fall far short of what is optimal? Is it just me, or has the world really gone mad?