Is Red Meat Bad for You?

November 28, 2012 | By | 1 Comment

Check out those huge, juicy (grass-fed) rib-eyes. But don’t eat them unless you want to die young…

It seems that everywhere you turn you read something bad about red meat: it causes heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and in general, increases the likelihood of you dying early. And studies seem to prove the aforementioned claims. Heck, even Harvard recently published a study that further supports these theories.

Well, there you have it. If Harvard scientists say it’s true, then it must be so. Especially when you take into account their precise statistics. For example, according to the white coats:

  • Eat just one 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat per day (e.g. a piece of steak no bigger than a deck of cards) and you increase your chance of dying by 13%.
  • Add an extra serving of processed meat such as bacon or a hot dog to the above and that figure jumps to 20%.

Now, I don’t know about you, but those numbers are grim enough to scare me towards vegetarianism. Alright, let’s cut the jokes and get serious for a second.

Let’s forget about “science” for a moment and use our heads. It’s pretty safe to say that nature, in the whole history of mankind, has never been wrong. What do I mean by that? It knows exactly what we need to eat and what kind of environment we need to be in to thrive and continue the propagation of our species.

Given that, why in the world would meat – something we’ve been eating for thousands of years… the same something that caused us to evolve into intelligent species and catapulted us to the top of the food chain… all of the sudden start to kill us?

How does that make any sense?

Is nature just messing with us? Maybe it decided to exert population control by putting all these cows in our path. Well, let me tell you, it’s doing a very bad job because we’re growing like weeds. We’re not healthy, but our numbers are expanding rapidly.

OK, so those are my logical assumptions. But apparently, in our present day and age, logic doesn’t count for much. We can only trust science. So then, let’s examine said science and see if it really bears some truth.

How did the white coats come up with these conclusions? These exact figures? 13%? 20%? Well, they basically interviewed a bunch of people and asked them a series of questions such as, “Over the years, how many times would you say you ate X, Y, and Z”. Then, they collected all of the responses, crunched their numbers in fancy statistical software, and made headlines by scaring the shit out of meat eaters everywhere.

Now, I don’t know about you, but personally, I can’t remember what I ate last week – let alone several years in the past. How is it possible to make definitive conclusions from a questionnaire and some guy’s shoddy memory?

Furthermore, since meat eating has been vilified for years, isn’t it possible that health conscious people would avoid it in the first place? And isn’t it safe to assume that those same health conscious people would also avoid most other things that are likely harmful? And in doing so, wouldn’t they increase their lifespan in comparison to someone who didn’t?

Those are the confounding variables that the study supposedly accounted for. However, the fact is, you can’t account for them all. There have been countless cases where finding such as this were proved wrong when clinical studies followed.

So, do a true study – a clinical study – show me that meat eating is bad and I’ll be the first to climb the mountain tops and scream your results to the world. Until then, spare me your BS. Keep your opinions to yourself because they could cause a lot more harm than good. Case in point, the low-fat recommendations that have resulted in fat phobia and epidemics of obesity and diabetes.

Of course, things like this don’t really deter scientists – only the good ones which are few and far between. The rest just care about publishing their papers so they continue to get funding. That, and to satisfy the insatiable vanity running rampant in Academia. And the media eats it up – every, single, time.

Now, I realize I’ve gone a bit off topic. My apologies. Things like this are close to my heart for reasons I’m not going to get into at the moment. With that said, let’s get back to the point because I have one last (and important) thing to point out.

Do you know that nobody can explain why red meat is supposedly bad for you? Sure, the processed kind (e.g. bacon, hot dogs) contains nitrates which are most likely harmful. That I agree with. But remember: processed isn’t natural.

You’d figure with such precise figures they’d at least be able to give you a reason. Sadly, saturated fat always seems to take most of the blame. But they can’t prove it. In fact, a huge study published in 2010 just declared saturated fat innocent in terms of heart disease.

Why are we still vilifying natural, animal fat? For the same reasons many people are still afraid of eggs. No one in the medical community is stepping up to admit his or her mistakes and faulty recommendations. As a result, we continue to live in fear of perfectly healthy, natural foods.

Now, I could go on and on and on. But I think you get the point. I hope this article has convinced you that red meat is not as bad as they say it is. Heck, I think it’s extremely healthy. But what do I know? Nevertheless, if I haven’t swayed you 100%, I hope that at the very least I’ve given you some food for thought (pun intended).

If I can leave you with one last piece of advice, it’s this: use your head. Most of the things you’ll read in the news are based on junk science and sensationalism. Before you get wrapped up in the madness, take a step back and ask yourself if the claim makes sense. Only then make a decision on how to move forward because the consequences can be dire.

Good luck!

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Filed in: Dieting Myths & Mistakes

Comments (1)


    I agree… Red meat is healthy to consume. What is not healthy or natural is the cloned meats, hormones and antibiotics given to the animals, the living conniptions, the way they are slaughtered and the unnatural diet that they are fed. Most animals that we consume are naturally immune to natural diseases if they are fed the diet they are suppose to consume “Naturally”. Our culture promotes the wisdom of man… If man created it, said it, studied it, it must be true. In actuality, the natural order of things has never changed or led us wrong. We have to be retaught how to do things the simple and natural way. I thank you for your insight and assistance. Much of what I have read in your articles are things I agree with and understood through my own common sense, but I get overwhelmed and confused. I can see that you are going to make things simple for me. Thank you in advance.

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