Is Red Meat Bad For You, or Good? An Objective Look

Woman Eating SteakRed meat is one of the most controversial foods in the history of nutrition.

Despite the fact that humans have been eating it throughout evolution, many people believe that it can cause harm.

I’d like to sort through the hype and hoopla and figure out what the evidence has to say.

This article will focus on the effects that red meat has on health. I’ll leave the ethical and environmental stuff for someone else to tackle.

Today’s Meat Isn’t What it Used to be

Humans have been eating meat throughout evolution and our digestive systems are well equipped to handle it.

Traditional populations like the Inuit and Masai have eaten lots of meat, much more than the average Westerner, but remained in excellent health (1, 2).

However, the meat we eat today is vastly different from the meat our ancestors ate. Back in the day, animals roamed free and ate grass, insects or whatever was natural to them.

Picture a wild cow on a field 10.000 years ago, roaming free and chewing on grass and various other edible plants.

The meat from this animal is completely different from the meat derived from a cow that was born and raised in a factory, fed grain-based feed, then pumped full of antibiotics and hormones to make it grow faster.

Today, some of our meat products go through even more processing after the animals are slaughtered… they are smoked, cured, then treated with nitrates, preservatives and various chemicals.

Therefore, it is very important to distinguish between the different types of meat:

  • Processed Meat: These products are usually from conventionally raised cows, then go through various processing methods. Examples include sausages and bacon.
  • Conventional Red Meat: Conventional red meats are fairly unprocessed, but the cows are usually factory farmed. Meats that are red when raw are defined as “red” meats. Includes lamb, beef, pork and some others.
  • White Meat: Meats that are white when cooked are defined as “white” meats. Includes meat from poultry like chicken and turkey.
  • Grass-Fed, Organic Meat: This meat comes from animals that have been naturally fed, raised organically and not been pumped full of drugs and hormones. They also don’t have any artificial chemicals added to them.

When examining the health effects of meat, it’s important to realize that not all meat is created equal.

The studies on meat, especially the ones performed in the U.S., are mostly examining meat from factory farmed animals that have been fed grain-based feeds.

Bottom Line: It is important to make the distinction between different kinds of meat. For example, grass-fed and organic meat is very different from factory-farmed, processed meat.

Red Meat is Very Nutritious

Meat

Red meat is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.

It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various other nutrients that can have profound effects on health.

A 100 gram (3.5 ounces) portion of raw ground beef (10% fat) contains (3):

  • Vitamin B3 (Niacin): 25% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 37% of the RDA (this vitamin is unattainable from plant foods).
  • Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): 18% of the RDA.
  • Iron: 12% of the RDA (This is high quality heme-iron, which is absorbed much better than iron from plants).
  • Zinc: 32% of the RDA.
  • Selenium: 24% of the RDA.
  • Then there are plenty of other vitamins and minerals in there too, in smaller amounts.

This comes with a calorie count of 176, with 20 grams of quality animal protein and 10 grams of fat.

Red meat is also rich in important nutrients like Creatine and Carnosine. Non-meat eaters are often deficient in these nutrients, which can have negative effects on various aspects of health, including muscle and brain function (4, 5, 6).

Grass-fed beef is even more nutritious than grain-fed, containing plenty of heart healthy Omega-3s, the fatty acid CLA, along with more Vitamins A and E (7, 8, 9).

Bottom Line: Red meat is very nutritious, especially if it comes from animals that have been naturally fed and raised. It’s a great source of protein, iron, B12, Zinc, Creatine and various other nutrients.

Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes and Death

Bacon

The effects of red meat on health have been intensively studied.

However, most of these studies are so-called observational studies, which can not prove causation, just that some things are correlated.

There are some observational studies out there saying that red meat is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and death (10).

However, if you look at larger studies that are of higher quality, you find that the effect of red meat diminishes.

In a massive review of 20 studies that included a total of 1,218,380 individuals, processed meat was associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. However, no association was found for unprocessed red meat (11).

In the EPIC study, a very large observational study that includes 448,568 individuals, processed meat increased the risk of death while no effect was seen for unprocessed red meat (12).

When it comes to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and death… it is crucial to distinguish between processed and unprocessed meat, because the two can have vastly different effects.

The observational studies seem to agree that processed meat (not unprocessed red meat) is associated with an increased risk of an early death and many diseases.

But even so, it’s important to keep in mind the limitations of these studies. Conclusions drawn from observational studies tend to be wrong. The only way to establish cause and effect is to perform randomized controlled trials.

Bottom Line: Some observational studies show a link between meat, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and death. However, other studies reveal that the association is found only for processed meat, not unprocessed red meat.

Does Red Meat Increase Your Risk of Cancer?

Male Doctor Looking Unhappy

There are many observational studies showing that red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of cancer (13, 14, 15).

The main type of cancer that red meat is believed to cause is colorectal cancer, the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world.

A recurrent problem in these studies is that they seem to pool together processed meat and unprocessed red meat, which is unacceptable.

Meta-analyses where researchers analyze data from many studies show that the increased risk of colorectal cancer is very low. One meta-analysis found a weak effect for men, but no effect for women (16, 17).

Other studies show that it may not be the meat itself that is contributing to the increased risk, but harmful compounds that form when the meat is cooked (18).

Therefore, the cooking method may be a major determinant of the ultimate health effects of meat.

Bottom Line: Several observational studies show that red meat eaters are at a greater risk of cancer, but larger reviews that look at the evidence at a whole show that the effect is weak and inconsistent.

Correlation Does Not Equal Causation

Raw Lamb Chops

When you look closely, pretty much all the studies that apparently “prove” that red meat causes harm are so-called observational studies.

These types of studies can only demonstrate correlation, that two variables are associated.

They can tell us that individuals who eat more red meat are more likely to get sick, but they can NOT prove that red meat caused anything.

One of the main problems with such studies is that they are plagued by various confounding factors.

For example, people who eat red meat (and everyone “knows” that red meat is bad, right?) are less health conscious and more likely to smoke, drink excessively, eat more sugar, exercise less, etc.

The people who are health conscious behave very differently than people who are not and it is impossible to correct for all of these factors.

Another problem with these studies is that they’re usually based on food frequency questionnaires, where people are expected to remember what they ate in the past.

It is always a bad idea to make health decisions based on observational studies alone. There are many cases in history where randomized controlled trials end up showing the exact opposite effect.

For example, the Nurses’ Health Study once showed that estrogen replacement therapy helped reduce heart disease in women. Later, a randomized controlled trial discovered that it actually increases heart disease (19).

Bottom Line: Observational studies can not be used to determine cause and effect. There are many confounders in such studies and higher quality studies often end up showing the exact opposite effect.

A Look at Some Randomized Controlled Trials

Man Sticking Knife Through Meat

Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of science.

In these studies, people are randomized into groups. For example, one group eats Diet A, while the other group eats Diet B.

Then the researchers follow the people and see which diet is more likely to lead to a particular outcome.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any such study that examines red meat directly.

However, we do have studies on low-fat diets. These studies have the primary goal of reducing saturated fat, which means that the people in them have to eat less red and processed meat, which happen to be high in saturated fat.

The Women’s Health Initiative was a study of over 46 thousand women. One group was instructed to eat a low fat diet, while the other group continued eating the standard Western diet.

After a period of 7.5 years, there was almost no difference (only 0.4 kg / 1 lb) in weight between groups. There was also no difference in the rate of heart disease or cancer (20, 21, 22, 23).

There is also a randomized controlled trial that compared the Atkins diet (high in red meat) to the Ornish diet (a low-fat vegetarian diet with no red meat). It is called the A to Z weight loss study (24).

After a study period of 1 year, the Atkins group had lost more weight and had greater improvements in all the most important risk factors for disease, although the effects weren’t always statistically significant.

There are also multiple other studies that compare low-carb (high in red meat) and low-fat (low in red meat) diets. In these studies, low-carb diets lead to much better health outcomes (25, 26, 27).

Of course, these studies aren’t examining red meat directly, there are a lot more things going on that can affect the results.

Bottom Line: Studies on low-fat diets (low in red meat) don’t show a reduction in cancer. Studies on low-carb diets (high in red meat) almost invariably lead to improved health outcomes.

Red Meat Optimization 101

Woman With Wooden Spoon

When meat is cooked at a high temperature, it can form harmful compounds.

Some of these include Heterocyclic Amines (HAs), Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs) and Advanced Glycation End-Products (AGEs).

These substances can cause cancer in animals.

If meat really raises your risk of cancer (which is yet to be proven) then this may be the reason (28, 29, 30).

But this doesn’t just apply to meat, other foods can also form harmful compounds when heated excessively.

Here are some tips to make sure your meat doesn’t form these harmful compounds:

  1. Use gentler cooking methods like stewing and steaming instead of grilling and frying.
  2. Minimize cooking at high heats and never expose your meat to a flame.
  3. Do not eat charred and/or smoked food. If your meat is burnt, then cut away the charred pieces.
  4. If you marinate your meat in garlic, red wine, lemon juice or olive oil, it can reduce HCAs significantly.
  5. If you must cook at a high heat, flip your meat frequently to prevent it from getting burned.

Now I will admit that fried and grilled meat tastes awesome. I personally prefer the taste and texture of well-done meat.

But if you want to enjoy meat and receive the full benefits without any of the potential harmful consequences, then use the gentler cooking methods and avoid burnt meat.

Bottom Line: In order to prevent formation of harmful substances when you cook meat, choose gentler cooking methods and avoid burning your meat.

Take Home Message

When you look past the scare tactics and the sensationalist headlines, you realize that there are no controlled trials linking red meat to disease in humans.

There are only observational studies, which often don’t properly separate red meat and processed meat.

They also rely on food frequency questionnaires and they simply can not account for complicated confounding factors like health consciousness.

Observational studies are made for generating hypotheses, NOT testing then.

They can not prove that red meat causes anything and personally I find it doubtful because humans have thrived eating wild animals throughout evolution.

As long as you’re choosing unprocessed (preferably grass-fed) red meat and make sure to use gentler cooking methods and avoid burnt/charred pieces, then there probably is nothing to worry about.

In fact, I think unprocessed, properly cooked red meat is actually very healthy.

It is highly nutritious and loaded with healthy proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, along with various nutrients known to positively affect the function of both body and brain.

Plus it just tastes really good… a life with meat sure as hell beats a life without it.

43 Comments

  1. Michael says:

    Another take home message… technically, humans are not designed to eat meat on a biological level. We are not carnivores or omnivores, so guess where that leaves us. ;)

    • Michael, what the heck are u talking about? “humans are not designed to eat meat on a biological level”. Have you been listening to what paleontologists and anthropologists have been saying now?

      It’s the very reason how we evolved, trading gut size for brain size. All because we ate meat, cooked it, and started weaning children off of milk to meat. Next thing you are going to say is chimps never ate meat.

      Please, you just finished a well thought out article, why not check the new facts.

      • +1

        We are actually mostly meat-eaters when you look at our teeth, shortened digestive system, lack of ability to synthesize a few key vitamins (Vitamin C anyone?). The weight of the evidence suggests a mostly carnivore.

        In my mind, the only way to make us herbivores is to ignore the best of nutritional science, biology, and anthropology.

        • What about bonobos and other herbivores with big canines?

        • What? We have shortened digestive system and teeth designed to eat meat? Have you looked at your teeth and teeth of a lion? Lion’s digestive system is short, humans have long ones just like other herbivores. Also, we have the ability to chew, just like other herbivores, carnivores cannot chew, their jaws move only vertically. We have hands made for picking fruit and veggies and not paws with claws designed to rip the animal apart.

          • You make a good case from a pro-herbivore POV, but are we not designed to eat meat at all?

          • We don’t have paws so we must be herbivores. We have hands to make tools. To skin animals to eat, to make clothes and shelter. We refined fats to wash with. We are not herbivores. Look at pure herbivores. Multiple parts to digestive system, flat teeth, ability to digest plant cell walls. Are you people mental? We evolved as omnivores.

    • Mark Shields says:

      Oooh, I know I know, talkin out your butt?

    • Pablo Rosa says:

      This is why no one, and I mean no one takes vegans seriously. Not designed to eat meat? You just make yourself look silly saying things like that Michael. We’re fantastic omnivores, it’s why we’re able to thrive most places on the planet and we’re at the top of the food chain. Do yourself a favor and eat a few eggs, it’ll help your brain function better.

  2. Kris. This is a good review. It is a delicate subject, partly because of the link between red meat and cardiovascular disease from many epidemiological studies. At the same time data from similar studies indicate that plant based diets may be protective when it comes to heart disease.

    Some believe this is because plant based diets don’t include red meat. However, I agree with you that there is a huge difference between processed meat and factory farmed meat compared with meat from wild or grass fed animals or organic meat.

  3. A multimillion dollar factory is not needed to put pastured meats on the table. A mega store is not needed to put humanely raised meat on the table. There has never been a patent on pastured meat. Anyone with a sharp knife, and basic butchering skills can put meat on the table. It’s obvious to me these corporations have a real motive to fund studies that vilify foods, that anyone can produce without corporate involvement.

    • Once you start digging, you find a lot of the anti-meat research is linked to big food processing interests or campaigning vegetarians such as Seventh Day Adventists.

      They did the same to eggs and to butter.

      Simple, natural products that go from the farm to the table through small local suppliers don’t suit the big processors…

  4. Great summary! It’s woth noting that all thoose observational correlations of read meat and cancer are several hundred times weaker than the established link between smoking and lung cancer.

    While there are plausible biological mechanisms for how processed meats and grilled meat might produce cancer, there are no plausible mechanism for why raw meat in it self could cause cancer.

    And that brings me to the good news for all the vegan trolls hanging on this site: You are all raw meat eaters! You daily eat the raw meat from the cells in your intestinal lining that has to be replaced at high rate. And inside your body your read meat muscle cells also has to be regenereated. So welcome to the meat eaters club!

  5. And another great article …. thanks.

    I do eat meat and like to keep a good mix of variety. However, I do stay away from processed meat. Slightly off topic but I also add fish to my weekly diet, along with plenty of non starchy vegetables and good fats such as butter, avocado etc. I find this suits my lifestyle.

    All the best, Jan.

  6. Thanks for the great article Kris.

    I know that grass fed organic meat is far superior to conventional meat but I can’t afford to buy organic grass fed.

    I was buying my meat from our local Co-operative store as they do have higher welfare standards for their livestock but they have recently begun using GMO corn and soy in their animal feed which is a big worry to me.

    All the supermarkets in the UK are now allowing meat from animals fed on GM in their stores. We do not know what the health effects of this change will be but I strongly suspect that it will not be good.

    • I simply eat less meat of higher quality. Most communities still have artisan butchers who know their suppliers well.

  7. This is a very informative article, well researched and a great read. I have genuinely loved my plate of steak for more than three decades now, am in good shape but this writing will sure leave me pondering on the next steps I will take with regards to consumption of meat.

    The stakes might be too high for me to discard them, check out http://68anda6pack.com/2013/07/04/about-stakes-and-steaks/

  8. About grilling forming harmful compounds on meat:

    Do we know the relative quantities formed on grilled meat? In what quantities are those compound known to cause cancer?

    My thought is that *maybe* an “aspartame causes cancer” moment. As in, if you feed to rats in ridiculous quantities as practically their only food source, it causes cancer. Um, yeah. So would practically any chemical taken that way, except maybe water.

    I just don’t get why grilled meat is suspect – if we truly evolved to cook our food (and think we did), the most obvious way to cook outdoors is in fact to grill it. It doesn’t really make sense that we couldn’t handle a little char.

    • It’s definitely plausible that it depends on the dose, as in how often you eat grilled meat and how much you eat. Also depends on what you eat with it, I suppose.

      But if those observational studies are correct, then the amounts an average person is eating is enough to raise the risk of cancer somewhat.

      I totally agree with you though, we evolved cooking our food. I personally love grilled meat, I’m going to continue eating it despite the fact that these observational studies say it may raise my cancer risk a little.

  9. “Red Meat – Bad or Good”

    Thanks KG- great summation; Here’s a little additional mental chow: While Oog & Groog were grilling their fresh caribou and enjoying the aroma, they were easily getting 10-20,000 IU of good-ole Vitamin D3 from the tropical sun!

    As the UCSD Garland professors point-out in their “DINOMIT” cancer theory, D3 is another reason our paleo ancestors had less diseases to worry about! [BTW- is that guy Michael w/the rabbit on his shoulder going to eat it? I think I might know some one who knows how to cook 'em...]

    Kentu

  10. Jayden Anker says:

    Excellent review article. Answers a lot of questions! Thanks heaps.

  11. Barbara Quinn, MS, RD, CDE says:

    Good research, Kris. Except your take that conventional meat is “raised in a factory.” All beef cattle are grass-fed, meaning the cows are on pasture or supplemented with hay until the last 2 to 3 months of life. At that time, conventional cattle are “finished” on feed that includes hay and grain mixtures. Also check your facts regarding “pumped full of antibiotics to make them grow faster.” You may wish to check out this link for more information.

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/11/18/john-stossel-natural/

    • You get your “facts” from FoxNews?? The news channel that is unfair and unbalanced.

      Right away, you’ve lost your credibility.

  12. Santanu Mukherjee says:

    “Worthless people live only to eat and drink; people of worth eat and drink only to live.” – Socrates

    Killing for living can be avoided.

    • Yeah when you live within 10 miles of a supermarket that carries everything, all year long… I mean killing for food is part of life – it’s called yin/yang – balance. Sometimes we think a bit TOO much.

    • Stephanie Reed says:

      That’s a terrific quote; I don’t understand how it’s at all related to your comment about killing to live, however. One human hunting one animal for food is, IMO, tremendously more worthy than planting thousands of acres of genetically modified crops and creating fake proteins that our bodies aren’t meant to use.

      For the record, I also reject modern commercial farming methods that treat animals inhumanely and produce tons of cheap, unhealthy meat. We’re not thriving with all of this mass-produced, processed super-convenient food; real, whole foods (vegetables AND meats) are best – we can’t evolve away from what is ideal, regardless of how much we’d love to never kill an animal again or eat easy fast food for the rest of our lives.

  13. People who are saying butter is good for you: I suggest you look into dairy a little more closely. Some interesting points have been brought up in this (extremely and obviously biased) article that I must investigate further.

  14. Santanu Mukherjee says:

    I gave up eating red/white meat 4 years ago after seeing a set of pictures of some people eating human foetus.

    However, I continue eating fish and eggs (of course I am less passionate now a days). I am not therefore opposing yin/yang theory. Never the less, we can think of changing our food habit with a new combination of rich foodstuff, about which nutritionists / dietitians can guide more. At least eating meat can be reduced meaningfully if it cannot be given up.

    It is not necessary that we need to kill animals for our living. Animals look happy when they are loved. They also need protection. We often do not approve of eating our loving pets. We cannot avoid our emotions, as it is a part of life as well. These very emotions sometimes lead us to think differently and in case of thinking also there are extreme opposite views. All the views are important.

  15. Whatever studies say, meat is good or bad for you, the fact is that humans can survive and thrive only on a plant based diet, not to mention the ethical issue of the horrible conditions animals bred and raised for food are kept in and then killed.

    Even “free range” or grass fed animals have not chosen to give their lives to us, they are sentient beings that deserve to live.

    • Absolute rubbish. I was vegetarian for like 7 years. B12 deficiency can result in irreversible damage to the brain, they have higher incidence of colorectal cancer, lower bone density, and omega 3 deficiency. You need saturated fat for your brain, heart and lungs to function properly. Where do you plan on getting it from?

      Ancel Keys’s study has already been debunked. This vegetarian propaganda is complete rubbish. The *only* benefit of vegetarianism is it is can sustain our excessive population for longer due to the beneficial effects of not farming animals.

      TL;DR: A vegetarian diet is far from optimal from a health standpoint.

  16. The biggest problem with many red meats is the high fat content in the cuts. Hell, regular ground beef is 30%+ fat content.

    Sticking to extra lean cuts is the way to go.

  17. My question would be: At what serving size are most of these studies based? If no negative (or minimal) effects were found for folks eating the recommended 6 oz or less per day, I wouldn’t think that those results would apply to most Westerners then. Considering over-sized portions, I highly doubt most people are limiting their consumption to the 6 oz a day recommended.

    Plus, the two native tribes you mention above that apparently show that eating a lot of meat is okay, are firstly, for the Inuits, eating mostly fish and marine animals, which I would say isn’t the main meat choice for the bulk of most of the Western folks, OR secondly, for the Masai tribe, walking more than 12 miles a day (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/07/080718075357.htm)… These two reasons to me seem to point to other factors that help out these folks, and don’t really seem to clear red meat’s name at all.

    MY bottom line: I would hesitate to throw out completely the data that shows that meat is connected to health problems. I would agree that meat should not be considered “bad”, especially the unprocessed kind, but I would NOT let it be said that we can eat all of the unprocessed meat we want to now! I guess unless you plan to walk 12 miles a day.

    • Does the modern Western diet really contain high amounts of meat? I’m not sure it does.

      The advice being given out by the health authorities is to eat lots of starchy foods like bread, pasta, cereals and grains. I’d say most Westerner’s have a diet that is high in those types of food along with added sugars and fat reduced dairy. This type of diet certainly does seem to promote weight gain.

      However, if you eat meat with it’s natural fats, along with other nutrient dense foods such as eggs, nuts, cheese, butter, fruit and veg and you avoid grains, sugars and junk foods, and let your appetite be your guide you will not put on weight and you won’t need to walk 12 miles a day to prevent weight gain.

  18. Santanu Mukherjee says:

    All of us, arguing in favour of eating meat, have come of society where we have seen people eat meat. From our childhood we have considered meat as a palatable food stuff. There are people who are born and brought up in completely vegetarian societies and they hate non vegetables. Vegetarianism is a practice developed by man, but most of us cannot think of deviating ourselves from meat. We have no mercy on animals, killed for meat. We are not ready to consider that we are eating dead bodies. The flesh and blood give us pleasure. We are driven by our taste of meat.

    We think that it is our birth right to eat animals. When people lose judgment, they become staunch supporter of the practice they are grown up following. Since our very childhood we have seen our parents eating meat. We have seen people around us eating meat and appreciating at the same time. We have lost our free thought. We are slaves of habit only. We would have been the same person grown as vegetarian, had we been born and brought up in a vegetarian society.

    We speak of health. Only physical health does not make the health. There is mental health which also contributes to health. In fact, a person with very strong physical health and weak mental health is not desirable. For nourishment of mental health, meat is not required. A mental health developed with the rejection of eating meat sees the cries and struggle of victims, while flesh eaters cannot hear the cries or visualize the struggle of the victims.

    If we consider, “every action has an equal and opposite reaction,” then killing animals also produce a reaction in the society. The reaction cannot be good because action is driven by lust and not by hunger. For subsistence, meat is not required. Therefore, wise people eat and drink for subsistence only. Living to eat and drink only satisfies our lust and not the need for subsistence or for mental or physical health.

    Try a new combination of rich food stuff and try to avoid meat as much as possible.

  19. Hi Kris.
    This was a really good article mate thank you. Short of citizen science fools here debating if the fur clothed early man just killed the animal and skinned it but never ate the meat, there are some really good comments in the comments section too. Really interesting, thank you.

    Oh and may I say how refreshing it is to see someone link to primary literature in a article. Bravo.

  20. This article cherry picks information and isn’t what the bulk of the studies say. The fact that saturated fat and cholesterol cause heart disease means meat shouldn’t be consumed. Don’t just believe this one article. Do your own research, look at the science and you will come to the same conclusions, that we all should be consuming a plant based diet.

    Check this stuff out:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3N3KDq3jvCE
    http://www.drmcdougall.com/
    http://www.pcrm.org/

    • Actually, saturated fat and cholesterol don’t cause heart disease. That myth has been debunked thoroughly.

      A plant based diet may be healthy for a lot of people, but there is very little evidence for it, although the vegan docs are brilliant at deceiving people into thinking that there is evidence.

      Take a look at this study here:

      http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=205916

      It is Atkins vs Ornish, a high quality randomized controlled trial (the gold standard of science) that was actually conducted by a vegetarian. Guess what… Atkins wins and Ornish did the worst out of all 4 diets tested.

      This is the best scientific study there is on a low-fat vegetarian diet, although the vegan docs probably won’t be talking about it much because it doesn’t fit with their agenda.

      Again, a plant based diet may be healthy (for some people). But the demonization of fat, cholesterol and naturally fed animal products is complete nonsense.

  21. Nice article mate, I work nights, eat meat basically for breakfast, lunch and tea. But I always eat it with rice and vegetables, or bread and vegetables, it always makes me feel better when I get home and get a good steak into me. Was just a bit worried lately that I’m eating too much meat, but your article is informative and well thought out, thanks :D

  22. I have not eaten meat other than fish for the past four years. I am in my forties and have recently found out that my testosterone levels are low. I often crave red meat and am lately considering going back to eating it.

    I am conflicted, because I do not want to contribute to global warming, and the murder of cows and lambs. I believe meat is good for some people in moderation.

    I eat well, take B-12 supplements, but am wondering now if I would be healthier eating an occasional steak and if this would increase my testosterone levels?

    • I would say go for it and eat some meat. If cows and sheep were not domesticated and kept for their meat and milk, then there would be very few of them in the wild. You could think of them as being species that have a symbiotic relationship with humans – the fact that we farm them ensures their continued existence.

      You can choose meat from animals that have been farmed using sustainable farming methods and humane welfare practices if you have concerns about the environment and animal suffering. The meat from animals raised in such a way will also be healthier and more nutritious.

  23. I find it interesting that everyone who posted a comment believes in human macro “evolution,” (mutating from species to species — as opposed to “micro” evolution — humans mutating *within* one human species in the areas of eye color, skin color, hair texture to suit conditions and better survival in various climates).

    Ever think that perhaps we were *designed* by our Creator with our hands and digestive tracts, and other physical attributes… rather than being involved in some haphazard, accidental evolutionary process that put us on top of the chain eating meat (or not eating meat)?

    If you look at the Book of Genesis, you will see that we were initially placed in the Garden of Eden and were *originally* vegetarians. After the Fall of Man, eating animals came into the human diet, and we became omnivores. After Adam and Eve disobeyed God, you see the appearance of the first animal being killed to obtain a sacrifice for forgiveness of sins. The animal skin was used to clothe Adam and Eve.

    John 3:16

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