Red meat is bad for your heart. This has been the word from Science for many years now. And yet, like all things that were once good, and then bad, and then good again—butter, alcohol, the quality of TV programming—Science says red meat may not be so bad for you, after all. It’s still bad for the entire planet, though, so don’t get too excited.
According to the New York Times, new research suggests there aren’t actually very many health benefits associated with cutting out red and processed meats, even though scientists have long believed red meat consumption was linked to increased risk of heart disease and cancer. Unlike some of the other “Meat is good, actually!” reports, this research, published last week in the Annals of Internal Medicine, was not paid for by the meat industry, instead comprising four unbiased studies carried out by 14 researchers in seven different countries.
The studies are still quite controversial. For decades, the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society have recommended people reduce their consumption on red and processed meats, and though the new research concludes that limiting red meat doesn’t provide many benefits, there is still evidence that it will provide some.
Per the New York Times:
Here are some of the outcomes cited by the authors of the new research: If people were to reduce meat consumption by three servings a week, there might be one to six fewer heart attacks per 1,000 people. But there would be no effect on deaths resulting from heart disease or any cause over all.
For cancer, the group reports that decreasing meat consumption by three servings a week might result in seven fewer cancer deaths per 1,000 people. But there would be no effect on the risk of getting breast, colorectal, esophageal, gastric, pancreatic or prostate cancer.
The fact of the matter is, nutritional studies tend to be flawed and change course frequently, hence why so many nutritionists recommend sticking to a moderate diet instead of cutting out certain foods completely. And even if red meat won’t kill you instantly, the toll global meat consumption takes on the environment will get you there eventually—studies have repeatedly shown that farming, processing, and packaging/transporting meat contributes majorly to the production of greenhouse gas emissions, and that cutting back on meat (and dairy) in one’s diet can significantly reduce one’s carbon footprint.
Then, of course, there’s this:
So, meat is still bad—for the environment, and also for your body, because it’s probably filled with E. Coli. Not to mention the fact that people keep destroying meat by doing this shit to it.