Does red meat really have a good or bad impact on human health?


The issue surrounding red meat consumption has always been controversial about how it affects health. Many public health organizations, including the Food Guide in Canada, recommend that people limit their consumption of red meats such as beef and lamb.

However, a series of recently published studies have mentioned this, indicating that there is no need to reduce red meat consumption. Studies published in the Annals of Internal Medicine say that the evidence in favor of reducing red and processed meat is weak.

Bradley Johnston, associate professor at Dalhousie University who led the research, said: “Based on the research, we cannot say with absolute certainty that eating red or processed meat causes cancer, diabetes or heart disease. “.

However, there have been many opinions opposing the statement, saying that the research has missed important factors, even asserting that the author is irresponsible when making these recommendations. Competitive headlines and claims about the nutritional benefits or harm associated with a certain food can be misleading to follow, experts say. Nutrition research doesn’t always yield clear results.

Experts say that research on the effects of red meat has not come to a conclusion, and that moderate and varied consumption of new foods is needed to maintain good health. (Illustration)

Rosie Schwartz, a nutritionist who runs the Enlightening Eater website, said: “Studies on red meat and processed meats have eliminated important groups of people, such as vegetarians, so their recommendations have. can be flawed “.

However, Tanis Fenton, a nutritionist and professor of epidemiology at the University of Calgary believes that many medical recommendations to eat less meat are based on lack of strong evidence – an issue that many researches on. share maintenance. Most of the evidence for nutrition uses the observational approach.

“Everyone is familiar with the Nurse Health Study or the Framingham scale. Those were very large studies, asking participants to be studied about what they ate over many years. And then they are followed up to see different types of health outcomes, whether it’s heart disease, cancer, osteoporosis, mental health.

These studies provide valuable evidence, but what the researchers found could be explained by anything like vitamin E supplements. People with healthy diets, more physical activity, a higher income tendency, better lifestyle. Although the researchers were able to interpret these variables, it can still be difficult to separate them from the results, “Fenton said.

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Fenton said it would be more difficult to conduct randomized clinical trials with a control group to study nutrition. If it’s just a study of one pill, such as whether to take vitamin E daily or not that could be easily concluded, but for a major dietary intervention like eating meat. much more difficult.

We continue to learn more about nutrition because it is ever-changing and evolving. We don’t know everything and there are a lot of different factors that influence the results, ”says Schwartz.

Fenton also agrees with this idea: “There is a whole process in science, research done, and there are other, more innovative studies going on. I think one of the unfortunate things is that the messages are passed down. go public before we do all the studies in different ways to get the most complete results. Nutrition guidelines evolve over time and they change as evidence accumulates in favor of a “Eat a variety and moderation is still the best thing to do, eat plenty of vegetables and meat,” says Fenton.

“The basic nutritional principles haven’t changed,” said Schwartz. Consume all of the food groups so that the body gets all the nutrients it needs.

Huong Giang (Source: Global News)

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