I love a good steak, a nice juicy porterhouse or slice of prime rib, pink in the middle with a hint of red. Well seasoned with garlic, onion, and pepper, makes my mouth water just writing about it. Throw in some fried potatoes, a biscuit, and some green beans(with bacon and onions) and I’m in hog heaven, literally I’m afraid.
As good as it sounds and tastes, that’s a recipe for an early death.
The National Cancer Institute (US) did a ten year study with over 500,000 AARP members and found of the 47,976 men and 23,276 women that died during the study:
- Women that ate the most red meat, about 4 ounces a day, were 36 percent more likely to die for any reason, 20 percent from heart disease, and 50 percent from cancer.
- Men that ate the most red meat were 31 percent more likely to die for any reason, 22 percent from heart disease, and 27 percent from cancer.
- Women that ate the most processed meats (sausage, cold cuts, and hot dogs) were 25 percent more likely to die for any reason,11 percent from cancer, and 38 percent from heart disease.
- Men that ate the most processed meats were 16 percent more likely to die for any reason,12 percent from cancer, and 9 percent from heart disease.
- Those that ate the most white meat were 8 percent less likely to die for any reason.
Does this mean you have to give up red meat entirely? No, it just means it should be savored occasionally and not gorged upon daily.
Why do we love red meat so much if it’s unhealthy for us? For the answer we need to look to our primitive ancestors. What did they eat and how did they get it?
They ate small animals and birds that could be killed or disabled with a well thrown rock or a swing of a club. Fruits, grains, nuts, and berries they found while hunting for meat. Fish that could be caught by hand or spear in shallow water. Sometimes they would get lucky and find a larger animal with a broken leg or left overs from a large predator’s kill, a rare treat, time for a feast.
For thousands of years that was our diet, we evolved eating small animals, poultry, fish, nuts, fruit, and berries.
Over time they learned to cooperate, corner a large beast and kill it together. They didn’t know it would kill them early. When some one died they were just dead and life went on for the rest.
Am I going to stop eating red meat? Not yet, I’ll still enjoy a steak or a cheese burger at times. But not often or in large amounts when I do. Will I enjoy it as much knowing it is killing me slowly? Time will tell. For now moderation is the word.
Fortunately I like chicken, turkey, and many types of fish. Well prepared they can be just as satisfying as beef.
Am I going to die for a steak? As tasty as they are I think I’ll pass, how about you?
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