Originally published March 21 2012
Harvard red meat study ignores health benefits of grass-fed meat
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) A recent study published by researchers from Harvard Medical School (HMC) claims that eating "red meat" can lead to an early death caused by heart problems or cancer. But just like most other studies conducted on meat, this one, which was published in the journal Archives of Internal Medicine, does not differentiate between red meat from feedlot cattle and red meat from grass-fed cattle, which are two entirely different foods with very different effects on health.
For their study, HMC researchers evaluated more than 120,000 people, including 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008, and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008. Among these groupings, those individuals that were given an added portion of unprocessed red meat as part of their daily dietary regimen were found to be ten percent more likely to die from cancer, 18 percent more likely to die from cardiovascular disease, and 13 percent more likely to simply die early.
Similarly, those who ate an added serving of processed meat every day were found to be 16 percent more likely to die from cancer, 21 percent more likely to die from heart problems, and 20 percent more likely to die early.
"We found that a higher intake of red meat was associated with a significantly elevated risk of total, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality," wrote the researchers in their study. "This association was observed for unprocessed and processed red meat with a relatively greater risk for processed red meat."
Grain-fed, feedlot meat kills - but grass-fed, pastured meatcan help supportgood healthBut is all red meat really the same? If you listen only to public health officials and many conventional scientists, the answer to this question is yes. But if you take a look at the science behind grass-fed meat and its clear compositional and nutritional differences compared to grain-fed, feedlot meat, you will see that making blanket statements about the dangers of "red meat" is utter foolishness.
A comprehensive study conducted by researchers from California State University (CSU) in Chico, and the University of California (UC), Davis, that was published in Nutrition Journal in 2010 is just one of many that shows the major differences between grain-fed, feedlot meat and grass-fed, pastured meat.
In this study, researchers evaluated the way feeding cattle grass, which is their natural food of choice, compares to feeding them grains, which is not their natural food of choice and is often responsible for making them sick. They found that in virtually every nutritional category evaluated, grass-fed meat was far superior to grain-fed meat.
The omega-3 fatty acid profile in grass-fed meat, for instance, was found to be similar to that of fatty fish, which is often recommended by health officials as a type of meat that promotes health. Grass-fed animals were also found to produce meat that is higher in conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a healthy fat that fights obesity; carotenoids, organic antioxidant pigments that protect cells from cancer-causing free radicals and promote healthy immunity and reproductive function; and vitamin E tocopherols, which protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
"Research spanning three decades supports the argument that grass-fed beef has a more desirable SFA (saturated fatty acids) lipid profile as compared to grain-fed beef," write the authors in their conclusion. "This results in a better n-6:n-3 (omega-6 to omega-3) ratio that is preferred by the nutritional community" (http://www.nutritionj.com/content/9/1/10).
To learn more about the health benefits of grass-fed meats, visit:
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