Is Meat Bad for You?

I’m constantly running in to vegans who claim that meat is horrible for you and that a nice steak is going to send you to an early grave!

Fortunately for us meat-eaters out there, there is actually nothing wrong with some meat, and there’s science to back it up.

Vegans have to take supplements just to have a balanced diet.

Becoming vegan basically means you need to become your own nutritionist. You need to be so careful about what you eat and how much of it. Is claiming not to hurt animals really worth the negative health implications of this?

We have things called pesticides. Animals are killed all the time in the creation of every single kind of food. If you care so much about not eating animals then you may as well just not eat any food, because eating food means you are killing animals somewhere along the way!

I will now present a bunch of studies that show meat is NOT bad for you! (Incredible!)

You can show these to your vegan mates to get them to pipe down.

I’ve split them up into general studies and ones that focus more on mental health. The emphasis on words is mine.

General Meat Studies 🔗︎

Unprocessed Red Meat and Processed Meat Consumption: Dietary Guideline Recommendations From the Nutritional Recommendations (NutriRECS) Consortium This paper is by Gordon Guyatt who is the creator of evidence based medicine!

The panel suggests that adults continue current unprocessed red meat consumption (weak recommendation, low-certainty evidence). Similarly, the panel suggests adults continue current processed meat consumption (weak recommendation, low-certainty evidence).

Reduction of Red and Processed Meat Intake and Cancer Mortality and Incidence

Of 118 articles (56 cohorts) with more than 6 million participants, 73 articles were eligible for the dose–response meta-analyses, 30 addressed cancer mortality, and 80 reported cancer incidence. Low-certainty evidence suggested that an intake reduction of 3 servings of unprocessed meat per week was associated with a very small reduction in overall cancer mortality over a lifetime. Evidence of low to very low certainty suggested that each intake reduction of 3 servings of processed meat per week was associated with very small decreases in overall cancer mortality over a lifetime; prostate cancer mortality; and incidence of esophageal, colorectal, and breast cancer.

The possible absolute effects of red and processed meat consumption on cancer mortality and incidence are very small, and the certainty of evidence is low to very low.

Incredible stuff, 6 million participants and the effect of meat consumption on mortality is extremely small!

Red and Processed Meat Consumption and Risk for All-Cause Mortality and Cardiometabolic Outcomes

Of 61 articles reporting on 55 cohorts with more than 4 million participants, none addressed quality of life or satisfaction with diet. Low-certainty evidence was found that a reduction in unprocessed red meat intake of 3 servings per week is associated with a very small reduction in risk for cardiovascular mortality, stroke, myocardial infarction (MI), and type 2 diabetes. Likewise, low-certainty evidence was found that a reduction in processed meat intake of 3 servings per week is associated with a very small decrease in risk for all-cause mortality, cardiovascular mortality, stroke, MI, and type 2 diabetes.

The magnitude of association between red and processed meat consumption and all-cause mortality and adverse cardiometabolic outcomes is very small, and the evidence is of low certainty.

Food consumption and the actual statistics of cardiovascular diseases: an epidemiological comparison of 42 European countries

The most significant dietary correlate of low CVD risk was high total fat and animal protein consumption

A high fat and animal protein diet was in fact found to be the most significant correlate of DECREASED cardiovascular disease risk!

Should dietary guidelines recommend low red meat intake?

We argue that claims about the health dangers of red meat are not only improbable in the light of our evolutionary history, they are far from being supported by robust scientific evidence.

Controversy on the correlation of red and processed meat consumption with colorectal cancer risk: an Asian perspective

Furthermore, most studies conducted in Asia showed that processed meat consumption is not related to the onset of cancer. Moreover, there have been no reports showing significant correlation between various factors that directly or indirectly affect colorectal cancer incidence, including processed meat products types, raw meat types, or cooking methods.

Total red meat intake of ≥0.5 servings/d does not negatively influence cardiovascular disease risk factors: a systemically searched meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

The results from this systematically searched meta-analysis of RCTs support the idea that the consumption of ≥0.5 servings of total red meat/d does not influence blood lipids and lipoproteins or blood pressures.

Meat and Mental Health 🔗︎

Meat and mental health: a systematic review of meat abstention and depression, anxiety, and related phenomena

The majority of studies, and especially the higher quality studies, showed that those who avoided meat consumption had significantly higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety, and/or self-harm behaviors. There was mixed evidence for temporal relations, but study designs and a lack of rigor precluded inferences of causal relations. Our study does not support meat avoidance as a strategy to benefit psychological health

The Difference in Depression and Anxiety Rate between Vegetarians and Non-Vegetarians: A National Study among Icelandic Adolescents.

Results suggested that there was no significant difference in depression and anxiety between vegetarians and nonvegetarians when both meat and fish consumption were examined. However there was a difference between the groups when meat consumption was looked at separately. Those who did not eat meat had significantly higher scores on the depression scale than those who ate meat

Vegetarian diet and mental disorders: results from a representative community survey

The analysis of the respective ages at adoption of a vegetarian diet and onset of a mental disorder showed that the adoption of the vegetarian diet tends to follow the onset of mental disorders.

Nutrition and Health – The Association between Eating Behavior and Various Health Parameters: A Matched Sample Study

Our results revealed that a vegetarian diet is related to a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption. Moreover, our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life.

Conclusion 🔗︎

Incredible stuff here folks.

One of the main points of all this is that we can find studies that point to both the benefits and negatives of meat consumption. What this means is that

  1. Meat is likely not bad for you
  2. The method by which these finding are created is not accurate

It’s definitely worth considering your own personal circumstances rather than some very general studies.