Too Much Red Meat Boosts Risk of Death

steaksRed meat has been a much maligned protein choice over the years. But there’s been some relaxing of the dietary diatribe in the health community, allowing for lean red meats as an occasional staple to your meals.

Then you see a study like this:

Red meat and processed meat may boost your risk of early death. That recent news may be more sensational than substance; or at least much adieu about nothing for most of the population. But, when you see a heading that reads: Study Shows Red Meat Consumption Linked to Higher Risk of Dying From Cancer, Heart Disease, it’s hard not to be alarmed.

When you actually dig into the study (at least what’s presented at WebMD), you see that the risk comes about with the subjects who were, let’s just say, really enthusiastic about beef (not to mention processed meats (hot dogs, sausage, etc.).

So, what was considered a high intake of red and processed meats, and therefore a high risk for early death? For red meat, those in the highest intake group ate a median amount of 4.5 ounces a day. For processed meat, those in the highest intake group was about 1.5 ounces a day.

Men in the group with the highest intake of red meat had a 31 percent higher overall risk of dying during the study. Interestingly, women with the highest intake of red meat had a 50 percent higher risk of dying due to heart disease.

So basically, as long as you aren’t eating red meat and processed meats every single day, you’re probably fine. The one caveat may be that processed foods include deli meats. So, if you’re in the habit of making deli-style turkey sandwiches for lunch, according to this study, you may want to cut back a little. But nothing in this study is particularly alarming for most people.

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