red meat

7 Giant Lies About Red Meat Promoted by the Meat Industry By Martha Rosenberg

In 2005, the USDA rolled out a new food pyramid [3] reducing red meat’s place in a healthy diet. Recently, an advisory committee developing [4] the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which are revamped every five years, said Americans should eat less red meat and processed meat in favor of a “diet higher in plant-based foods.” Committee members wrote that a red meat-based diet “has a larger environmental impact in terms of increased greenhouse gas emissions, land use, water use, and energy use,” compared to plant-based and Mediterranean-style diets.

This further inflamed the meat industry, yet the industry is not giving up. Here are the liest Big Meat spreads to try to subvert healthy diet advice and retain its profits.

Lie #1: There is no science linking red meat to cancer, stroke and heart attacks.

This is the meat industry’s story and it is sticking to it, like Big Tobacco maintaining cigarette safety until the bitter end. The North American Meat Institute (NAMI) calls the new guidelines “flawed” [5] and “nonsensical,” and cites “inconsistencies” in the links between red meat and health problems in a 44-page rebuttal [6] to the new guideline proposals.

Yet a quick glance at the medical literature shows nothing nonsensical. The first search term under “red meat” on the U.S. National Library of Medicine website is “cancer” where 1,065 research entries are found. The third search term is for “colorectal” cancer where there are 452 research entries. Other top search choices include “cardiovascular disease,” “heart,” “breast cancer,” “diabetes” and “red meat consumption and mortality.”

The first entries [7] on the American Heart Association website under red meat are for articles called “Eat More Chicken, Fish And Beans,” “Processed Red Meat Linked To Higher Risk Of Heart Failure, Death,” and “Choosing Healthier Protein-Rich Foods Instead Of Red And Processed Meat.”

The American Cancer Society [8] says “because of a wealth of studies linking colon cancer to diets high in red meats (beef, lamb, or pork) and processed meats (hot dogs, bologna, etc.), the Society encourages people to eat more vegetables and fish and less red and processed meats.”

Lie #2: Meat today is “leaner” than it used to be, and better for you.

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