Processed red meat increases risk of heart failure

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(NaturalNews) There are some studies that point to red meat, especially processed red meats, as conducive to heart failure and/or cancer. Recently, perhaps the largest study focusing on processed meats strongly indicates a strong association to heart failure with even moderate consumption of meats processed by salting, smoking, curing, or using additives such as nitrates.

These include cold cuts, salamis, sliced smoked hams, bacon, hot dogs, sausages, deli meats, and those always accessible beef jerkies. It could also be said that even sliced turkey or chicken, and pretty much any processed packaged meats offer similar problems. Processed foods in general are causing most of our health problems.

This latest study was conducted by the Division of Nutritional Epidemiology at the Institute of Environmental Medicine, Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, and Department of Human Nutrition, Warsaw University of Life Sciences using a large cohort of Swedish men. Women are currently being studied.

The study's format and figures

The study started with 37,035 Swedish men 45 to 79 years old with no history of heart failure, heart disease, or cancer in 1998. They were given thorough questionnaires regarding lifestyles and food intakes, then followed up until the study's end in 2010, a total of 12 years. Naturally some of them died of heart failure before 2010, and their demise was part of the statistical evidence.

In case you're wondering how a study would be completed in 2010 and just recently published, consider the factors involved: over 37,000 men involved throughout Sweden, sifting through the questionnaires, checking all the medical records, and the statistical analysis needed to minimize other factors that would contribute or distract from the results.

You could say the tracking period ended in 2010 and compiling the evidence to obtain clear results ended in 2013. The study itself was published after peer review in the journal Circulation: Heart Failure in April of 2014.

At the end of almost 12 years and adjusting their findings by eliminating other variables, the researchers released the following figures:

• Heart failure was diagnosed in 2,891 men and 266 died from heart failure.
• Men who ate the most processed red meat had more than a two-fold increased risk of death from heart failure compared to men in the lowest category.
• Men who ate 75 grams per day or more of processed meats had a 28 percent higher risk of heart failure compared to men who ate 25 grams per day.
• For each 50 gram increase in daily consumption of processed meat, the risk of heart failure incidence increased by 8 percent and the risk of death from heart failure by 38 percent.

A gram is only .035 of an ounce. So 75 grams is 2.6 ounces while 25 grams is just under one ounce, and 50 grams is just under two ounces.

Many SAD (standard American diet) consumers chomp down a few of ounces of bacon or sausage for breakfast, eat one or maybe two quarter-pound hamburgers for lunch, and may often enjoy an eight- to 12-ounce steak for dinner, alternating throughout the day with deli meats and hot dogs.

That's 18 to 25 ounces a day of processed and unprocessed mostly red meats per day, or 504 grams to 700 grams a day (an ounce is 28 grams).

Quality and quantity are both factors

An earlier study focused on red meats in general and showed higher risks of heart failure among those who ate the most red meat.

But as usual, it failed to differentiate between meats from free range grass fed cattle without antibiotics and hormones and polluted factory farm CAFO (confined animal feeding operations) that are fed GMO soybean and corn mash while receiving injected antibiotics and hormones.

Controversial cardiologist Dr. Stephen Sinatra pointed out the earlier red meat study fallacies mentioned and advises eating only uncontaminated, unprocessed red meats from grass fed animals with servings of 3.5 ounces every other day. He recommends buffalo meat.

This author grew up in a heavy meat-eating family and cultural environment and participated heavily, but eventually evolved into occasional Natural News contributor Hesh Goldstein's philosophy: "If it has a face or a mother, I don't eat it!"

Sources for this article include:

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