Cutting down on red / processed meat does NOT benefit health

The crusade against meat is one of the most vibrant topics on the blogosphere. It used to be a small subset of the population who objected to eating meat mostly out of moral reasons (e.g. concern for animal welfare) or due to health concerns. At the same time, the meatless movement conveniently ignores studies that show vegans/vegetarians have higher risk of stroke – one of the key health emergencies that going meatless as supposed to prevent.

Vegans and vegetarians have a higher risk of stroke

Now, the study below pours more cold water on the supposed health benefits of going meatless. The study looked at not only stroke, but CVD, diabetes, cancer, neurodegenerative disease, sarcopenia, bone issues, etc and and it claims that such benefits are simply non-existent. And as the study points out, since its authors reviewed pretty much all publicly available evidence, it would be hard to come up with an argument in favor of dropping meat.

“…A panel of international scientists systematically reviewed the evidence and have recommended that most adults should continue to eat their current levels of red and processed meat. The researchers performed four systematic reviews focused on randomized controlled trials and observational studies looking at the impact of red meat and processed meat consumption on cardiometabolic and cancer outcomes. In one review of 12 trials with 54,000 people, the researchers did not find statistically significant or an important association between meat consumption and the risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer. In three systematic reviews of cohort studies following millions of people, a very small reduction in risk among those who had three fewer servings of red or processed meat a week, but the association was uncertain. The authors also did a fifth systematic review looking at people’s attitudes and health-related values around eating red and processed meats. They found people eat meat because they see it as healthy, they like the taste and they are reluctant to change their diet. The five systematic reviews, a recommendation and an editorial on the topic were published in theĀ Annals of Internal Medicine today.”

“…The accompanying editorial by authors at the Indiana University School of Medicine said: “This is sure to be controversial, but is based on the most comprehensive review of the evidence to date. Because that review is inclusive, those who seek to dispute it will be hard pressed to find appropriate evidence with which to build an argument.”