Processed Meat Potential Risks For Cardio & More!:
So we’ve talked before at great length about the evils of processed food.
Still further, red meat and processed meat have joined that dietary-risk category.
Not only that, but The WHO has about 39 reasons you should consider a little caution.
Now normally, most dietary studies are criticized or even thrown-out for their lack of precision.
But an international group looking at another large population of subjects is putting even more weight behind the idea that processed meats are really bad for you…
The Short Answer:
- Processed Foods are pretty bad.
- The WHO, Harvard, & others have been warning us about processed-meats, too.
- Dietary studies can be less than precise.
- But the evidence is mounting.
- The WHO previously found that .10lb of processed-meat a day raised your risk of cancer.
- Harvard has published similar results, especially with respect to additives.
- The new PURE study by WHO shows a 45% increase in heart-disease risk for every 5.3oz per week.
- It also shows a 51% increased risk of early-mortality.
- Many of the processing & cooking components seem dangerous.
- Increasing study may show that Correlation is a good enough indicator.
- The relationship between intake & outcome may exist despite non/grouping of risk-factors.
- The PURE study found un-processed red meat and poultry had no effect on health-risk.
- But Dr. Neal Barnard reminds us Saturated Fat is still a problem.
- Another study found .9oz/day of processed meat also raised Dementia risk by 44%.
- Dr. Barnard might suggest this is due to saturated fat content.
- If you find this news depressing, Tacos may cheer you up.
Read on to find out the details…
→ Show/Hide Table Of Contents ←
So in the work from a little while ago,
Our superpost on The WHO’s IARC results showed that they found every .10lb of processed red meat per day you eat,
Increased your existing risk of health problems by 18%.
Things get even worse if the meat in question is grilled over an open-flame where certain particles can settle back on it.
Strangely enough, all of this was similar to work put out by Harvard a few years previous.
-Especially when it comes to the chemicals & additives, even though it seemed directed at all red meats.
The work done by the PURE study is also expansive, but has a different focus.
So in a study that focuses on more than 134,000 subjects in 21 different countries,
The PURE researchers found that 150g (or 5.3 oz) per week intake of processed meats,
Doesn’t just up your risk for The Big C like the previous work by the WHO,
It also resulted in an overall 45% higher risk for Cardiovascular Disease,
And since that is so deadly, you might also guess that it results in worse life-outcomes.
You’d be right, as they found processed-meat consumption increased the risk of Early-Mortality by 51%!
Now there was no stipulation about the Quality & Type of processed meats,
Or the exact type of processing that goes on.
But previous works by the WHO and others suggest many processed meats include a few components:
1) Curing with Table or Sea Salt
2) Curing with Sodium-Nitrite &/or Sodium-Nitrate
5) Addition of Saturated Animal Fat like Tallow or Bacon Fat
6) Offal & Meat By-Products such as Blood
So given those, we can at-least point out that most of those components have a bad reputation one way or another.
1) Table Salt will raise your blood-pressure and alter your gut microbes.
2) PAH & HCA Particles from high-heat direct-flame cooking or smoking are associated with serious disease.
3) So is Sodium-Nitrite.
4) Saturated Fat is terrible stuff implicated in all kinds of cardiovascular disease and Dementia.
5) Offal & Meat By-Products may also be implicated in bad results, but it’s hard to tell.
Then comes the elephant in the room. -Even if it’s a small and potentially-spectral one.
Many study critics have pointed-out that correlation is often confused with causation.
Now, when the number of people studied gets as big as PURE and IARC, that probability seems to go away under the preponderance of evidence.
But still, there is a direct correlation between intake of processed meats and reduced exercise, smoking, obesity, and poor health practices.
When’s the last time you saw a woman walk out of a yoga studio, pass the salad menu at Panera, and head straight for a street-corner hotdog cart?
So there still is some argument out there for clustering of bad health-habits around habitual processed-meat consumption.
One ray of light at the end of the tunnel for regular meat-eaters.
One thing the PURE study did not find, much in contrast to the prior two works by Harvard and IARC,
Is that un-processed Red Meat and poultry consumption appeared to have no effect on health-outcomes one way or another.
Perhaps this could occur because those who have enough money to consume un-processed red meat like steak,
Also have the money to eat very healthy otherwise and also moderate their intake?
In-fact, the hard numbers the WHO put out on un-processed red meat previously were 50% less risk than processed red meat.
Anyway, one interesting little bright spot.
-Which seems a bit contradictory if we’re honest because Neal Barnard taught us that saturated fat was truly the enemy,
Especially when it comes to the long-term health of your brain & memory.
So who knows how much of a hole there was in PURE’s study?
On that note, another piece of work on processed meats just came out, too.
And the subject was, You Guessed It, Dr. Neal Barnard! –Dementia!
A group from The University of Leeds just published a study showing that for 500,000 UK subjects,
In data collected from people between the ages of 40 and 70 over the course of 4 years,
That .9 ounces (25g) per day of processed meat increased their Dementia risk by 44%!
And as you might guess from the previous correlation/causation objections,
Most of the people who eventually developed Dementia had all the classic risk-factors; and not just processed-meat consumption.
1) Older In Age
2) Economically Disadvantaged
3) Less Educated
5) Less Physically-Active
6) Family Stroke History
7) Family Dementia History
8) Dementia Gene Carriers
But don’t let that be your get-out-of-jail-free-card just yet.
You may say that that’s a huge confluence of factors that can add-up to make processed-meat consumption just a small part of the equation.
(we made the same objection to Harvard’s previous claims)
But Dr. Neal Barnard has shown that getting people’s Saturated Fat consumption down below a certain level,
And getting them to have antioxidant-rich drinks in their diet basically reversed existing symptoms of pre-dementia.
So as is the same rallying cry for anything we put in a post here at HealthTrekker,
There is still something you can do to make your life just a little bit better!!!
So do yourself the favor of avoiding processed meats, especially processed red-meats as much as you can!
And now if you need something to cheer you up,
At least try TACOS!
Love them or hate them, meal kit service HelloFresh and OnePoll conducted a survey on 2,000 subjects’ most fun foods.
And even when people are having a bad day and they’re avoiding the healthy ones,
Tacos were the food that won-out as the one most people have to brighten that down day a little.
And if you can keep processed meats out of them, so much the better!
• Sources:McMaster U. | Leeds AC UK
• Source Studies:
• AJCN – Associations of unprocessed and processed meat intake with mortality and cardiovascular disease in 21 countries [Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study]: a prospective cohort study
• AJCN – Meat consumption and risk of incident dementia: cohort study of 493,888 UK Biobank participants