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Diets with high-fat cheese, high-fat meat, or carbohydrate on cardiovascular risk markers in overweight postmenopausal women: a randomized crossover trial

URL: https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/102/3/573/4564305

Journal: The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 09/2015

Summary: Heart associations recommend limited intake of sat- urated fat. However, effects of saturated fat on low-density lipopro- tein (LDL)-cholesterol concentrations and cardiovascular disease risk might depend on nutrients and specific saturated fatty acids (SFAs) in food.  We explored the effects of cheese and meat as sources of SFAs or isocaloric replacement with carbohydrates on blood lipids, lipoproteins, and fecal excretion of fat and bile acids. The study was a randomized, crossover, open-label in- tervention in 14 overweight postmenopausal women. Three full- diet periods of 2-wk duration were provided separated by 2-wk washout periods. The isocaloric diets were as follows: 1) a high- cheese (96–120-g) intervention [i.e., intervention containing cheese (CHEESE)], 2) a macronutrient-matched nondairy, high- meat control [i.e., nondairy control with a high content of high-fat processed and unprocessed meat in amounts matching the satu- rated fat content from cheese in the intervention containing cheese (MEAT)], and 3) a nondairy, low-fat, high-carbohydrate control (i.e., nondairy low-fat control in which the energy from cheese fat and protein was isocalorically replaced by carbohydrates and lean meat (CARB).  The CHEESE diet caused a 5% higher high-density lipo- protein (HDL)-cholesterol concentration (P = 0.012), an 8% higher apo A-I concentration (P , 0.001), and a 5% lower apoB:apo A-I ratio (P = 0.008) than did the CARB diet. Also, the MEAT diet caused an 8% higher HDL-cholesterol concentration (P , 0.001) and a 4% higher apo A-I concentration (P = 0.033) than did the CARB diet. Total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, apoB, and triacyl- glycerol were similar with the 3 diets. Fecal fat excretion was 1.8 and 0.9 g higher with the CHEESE diet than with CARB and MEAT diets (P , 0.001 and P = 0.004, respectively) and 0.9 g higher with the MEAT diet than with the CARB diet (P = 0.005). CHEESE and MEAT diets caused higher fecal bile acid excretion than did the CARB diet (P , 0.05 and P = 0.006, respectively). The dominant type of bile acids excreted differed between CHEESE and MEAT diets.
Diets with cheese and meat as primary sources of SFAs cause higher HDL cholesterol and apo A-I and, therefore, appear to be less atherogenic than is a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. Also, our findings confirm that cheese increases fecal fat excretion.

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The role of red meat in the diet: nutrition and health benefits

URL: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Laura_Wyness/publication/286373369_The_role_of_red_meat_in_the_diet_nutrition_and_health_benefits/links/57758d1408aeb9427e25c0f8/The-role-of-red-meat-in-the-diet-nutrition-and-health-benefits.pdf?origin=publication_detail

Journal: Proceedings of the Nutrition Society

Publication Date: 12/2015

Summary: Red meat has been an important part of the human diet throughout human evolution. When included as part of a healthy, varied diet, red meat provides a rich source of high biological value protein and essential nutrients, some of which are more bioavailable than in alternative food sources. Particular nutrients in red meat have been identified as being in short supply in the diets of some groups of the population. The present paper discusses the role of red meat in the diets of young infants, adolescents, women of childbearing age and older adults and highlights key nutrients red meat can provide for these groups. The role of red meat in relation to satiety and weight control is discussed as the inclusion of lean red meat in a healthy, varied diet may help weight loss as part of an energy-reduced diet. A summary of the UK advice on the amount of red meat that can be consumed as part of a healthy, varied diet is also provided.

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Animal source foods: Sustainability problem or malnutrition and sustainability solution? Perspective matters

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2211912419300525?via%3Dihub

Journal: Global Food Security

Publication Date: 10/2019

Summary: Globally, two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, 151 million children under five suffer from stunting, and millions more have impaired cognitive development related to poor nutrition. This is partly due to insufficient consumption of animal-sourced foods (ASF), which supply multiple bioavailable nutrients that are lacking in the cereal-based diets of the poor. Yet, reports like the one recently published by the EAT-Lancet Commission, solely focus on the threat of ASF consumption on sustainability and human health, overestimate and ignore the tremendous variability in the environmental impact of livestock production, and fail to adequately include the experience of marginalized women and children in low- and middle-income countries whose diets regularly lack the necessary nutrients. Yet animal-source foods have been described by the World HealthOrganization as the best source of high-quality nutrient-rich food for children aged 6–23 months. Livestock and ASF are vital to sustainability as they play a critical role in improving nutrition, reducing poverty, improving gender equity, improving livelihoods, increasing food security, and improving health. The nutritional needs of the world’s poor, particularly women and children, must be considered in sustainability debates.

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Impacts of soil carbon sequestration on life cycle greenhouse gas emissions in Midwestern USA beef finishing systems

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308521X17310338

Journal: Agricultural Systems

Publication Date: 05/2018

Summary: Beef cattle have been identified as the largest livestock-sector contributor to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Using life cycle analysis (LCA), several studies have concluded that grass-finished beef systems have greater GHG intensities than feedlot-finished (FL) beef systems. These studies evaluated only one grazing management system – continuous grazing – and assumed steady-state soil carbon(C), to model the grass-finishing environmental impact. However, by managing for more optimal forage growth and recovery, adaptive multi-paddock (AMP) grazing can improve animal and forage productivity, potentially sequestering more soil organic carbon (SOC) than continuous grazing. To examine impacts of AMP grazing and related SOC sequestration on net GHG emissions, a comparative LCA was performed of two different beef finishing systems in the Upper Midwest, USA: AMP grazing and FL. We used on-farm data collected from the Michigan State University Lake City AgBioResearch Center for AMP grazing. Impact scope included GHG emissions from enteric methane, feed production and mineral supplement manufacture, manure, and on-farm energy use and transportation, as well as the potential C sink arising from SOC sequestration. Across-farm SOC data showed a 4-year C sequestration rate of 3.59 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 in AMP grazed pastures. After including SOC in the GHG footprint estimates, finishing emissions from the AMP system were reduced from 9.62 to −6.65 kg CO2-e kg carcass weight (CW)−1, whereas FL emissions increased slightly from 6.09 to 6.12 kg CO2-e kg CW−1 due to soil erosion. This indicates that AMP grazing has the potential to offset GHG emissions through soil C sequestration, and therefore the finishing phase could be a net C sink. However, FL production required only half as much land as AMP grazing. While the SOC sequestration rates measured here were relatively high, lower rates would still reduce the AMP emissions relative to the FL emissions. This research suggests that AMP grazing can contribute to climate change mitigation through SOC sequestration and challenges existing conclusions that only feedlot-intensification reduces the overall beef GHG footprint through greater productivity.

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Sustainability of holistic and conventional cattle ranching in the seasonally dry tropics of Chiapas, Mexico

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308521X13000607

Journal: Agricultural Systems

Publication Date: 09/2013

Summary: Conventional cattle ranching in the lowlands of Chiapas, Mexico typically employs extensive grazing, annual pasture burns and frequent applications of agrochemicals, threatening biodiversity and long-term productivity. A small group of innovative ranchers in the Central Valleys are converting to holistic management through careful land-use planning, rotational grazing, diversified forage, and diminished use of purchased inputs. We compared the sustainability of 18 conventional and seven holistic, dual-purpose ranches, using three sets of sustainability metrics. First, we combined semistructured interviews and field observations to better describe the two productions systems and to calculate an “Organic Conversion Index” (OCI), combining economic, social, technological and environmental indicators. Holistic ranchers have more pasture divisions, higher grazing pressure, greater lengths of time between pasture burns, greater milk productivity, larger forest reserves, lower cow and calf mortality, purchase less hay and feed, and use less herbicides and pesticides than their conventional neighbors (T-tests and Fisher’s Exact Tests; all p < 0.05). OCI was greater (T-test, p < 0.0005) for holistic ranches (81.8 ± 4.6% compliance with organic standards), than for conventional ranches (32.1 ± 9.0% compliance), with holistic ranches demonstrating superiority for nine of ten OCI indicators. Second, drawing on data from the same interviews, we conducted “emergy” analysis to quantify the embodied energy of inputs, outputs and sustainability of the ranching systems. The Emergy Yield Ratio, an index of a systems emergy throughput relative to the emergy in purchased inputs, was marginally higher in holistic ranches (T-test; p = 0.07), but became significant when only ranches ⩾40 ha were analyzed (p = 0.04) and when government assistance (mostly in the form of machinery) was removed from the calculations (p = 0.008). Holistic ranches exhibited marginally higher Emergy Sustainability Indices, a measure of system yield relative to environmental impact, for all ranches combined (p = 0.07) and for ranches ⩾ 40 ha (p = 0.06). Third, we sampled vegetation and soils on seven holistic and seven conventional ranches. We found higher soil respiration, deeper topsoil, increased earthworm presence, more tightly closed herbaceous canopies (all p < 0.05), and marginally greater forage availability (p = 0.053) in holistic ranches. Other variables, including soil compaction, soil chemistry and pasture tree cover, did not differ significantly between groups. These data are a snapshot of long, complex processes. Nonetheless, these complementary metrics combine to suggest that holistic management strategies are leading to greater ecological and economic sustainability. This production model merits further study for potential broader application as well as greater attention from decision makers concerned with ranching and the environment.

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Managing grazing animals to achieve nutrient cycling and soil improvement in no-till integrated systems

URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10705-010-9360-x

Journal: Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

Publication Date: 11/2010

Summary: Crop-livestock systems are regaining their importance as an alternative to unsustainable intensive farming systems. Loss of biodiversity, nutrient pollution and habitat fragmentation are a few of many concerns recently reported with modern agriculture. Integrating crops and pastures in no-till systems can result in better environmental services, since conservation agriculture is improved by system diversity, paths of nutrient flux, and other processes common in nature. The presence of large herbivores can positively modify nutrient pathways and soil aggregation, increasing soil quality. Despite the low diversity involved, the integration of crops and pastures enhances nature’s biomimicry and allows attainment of a higher system organization level. This paper illustrates these benefits focusing on the use of grazing animals integrated with crops under no-tillage systems characteristic of southern Brazil.

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FORAGES AND PASTURES SYMPOSIUM: COVER CROPS IN LIVESTOCK PRODUCTION: WHOLE-SYSTEM APPROACH: Managing grazing to restore soil health and farm livelihoods

URL: https://academic.oup.com/jas/article-abstract/96/4/1519/4833918

Journal: Journal of Animal Science

Publication Date: 04/2018

Summary: To ensure long-term sustainability and ecological resilience of agroecosystems, agricultural production should be guided by policies to ensure regenerative cropping and grazing management protocols. Changing current unsustainable high-input agricultural practices to low-input practices that regenerate ecosystem function will be necessary for sustainable, resilient agroecosystems. Effective soil management provides the greatest potential for achieving sustainable use of agricultural land with rapidly changing, uncertain and variable climate. With appropriate management of grazing enterprises, soil function can be regenerated to improve essential ecosystem services and farm profitability. Affected ecosystem services include carbon sequestration, water infiltration, soil fertility, nutrient cycling, soil formation, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and increased ecosystem stability and resilience. Collectively, conservation agriculture managed regeneratively supports ecologically healthy, resilient agroecosystems and enhances watershed function. To accomplish this, it is important for scientists to partner with farmers who have improved the environment and excel financially to convert experimental results into sound environmental, social, and economic benefits regionally and globally. Benefits include addressing questions at commercial scale; integrating component science into whole-system responses; identifying emergent properties and unintended consequences; incorporating pro-active management to achieve desired goals under changing circumstances; and including the potential of the human element to achieve superior economic and environmental goals. Developing and implementing regenerative management protocols that include ruminant grazing animals will be necessary to ensure long-term sustainability and ecological resilience of agroecosystems.

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Impacts of holistic planned grazing with bison compared to continuous grazing with cattle in South Dakota shortgrass prairie

URL: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0167880919300301

Journal: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment

Publication Date: 07/2019

Summary: We assess holistic planned grazing outcomes in shortgrass prairie of the Northern Great Plains of North America. We compared key ecosystem functions on the ranch managed using adaptive multi-paddocks (AMP) grazing by bison with those on neighboring ranch paddocks managed using set stocked light continuous (LCG) and heavy continuous grazing (HCG) grazed by cattle. Sites on the neighboring ranches in each grazing category were paired for sampling by soil type and landscape position. In all paddocks, management practices had been constant for more than a decade. Positive results with AMP grazing include increased fine litter cover (P <  0.05), improved water infiltration (P <  0.06), two to three times the available forage biomass (P <  0.001), improved plant composition (P <  0.05), decrease in invasive plants (P <  0.05), and decrease in bare ground (P <  0.05). Higher infiltration occurred with AMP on soils having higher permeability but not on soils having a high clay content. Differences were greatest between AMP and HCG management with LCG being intermediate. Counterintuitively, herbaceous biomass in LCG was less than that of the more heavily stocked HCG (P <  0.05). This was due to decades of heavy continuous grazing resulting in HCG being dominated by invasive herbaceous plants of no forage value in contrast to LCG paddocks that had a greater proportion of palatable forages. The HCG paddocks were dominated by unpalatable invasive plants that were avoided by cattle. Soil carbon stocks increased under the AMP grazing but not on all soils. Total carbon stocks (TC), summing organic carbon and inorganic carbon, were not different between the AMP and LCG grazing strategies (P >  0.63) but both had higher TC values across all soils than HCG (P <  0.001). There were no differences in TC among grazing treatments on the different soils (P >  0.46) except on the Norrest silty clay loam soil that had the highest permeability. On this soil there were differences between AMP and HCG (P < 0.0001) and LCG and HCG (P <  0.0001). There were significantly lower TC levels at all soil depths with HCG than with AMP and LCG (P <  0.05). Using holistic planned grazing protocols with AMP grazing effectively limited overstocking and overgrazing by adjusting animal numbers to match available forage amounts and grazing for short periods followed by adequate recovery after grazing. This study indicated ecological improvements by AMP grazing on the 777 Bison Ranch compared to HCG pastures is contributing to improvements in this semi-arid short grass ecosystem.

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Food consumption and the actual statistics of cardiovascular diseases: an epidemiological comparison of 42 European countries

URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5040825/pdf/FNR-60-31694.pdf

Food and Nutrition Research

Publication Date: 09/2016

Summary:  The aim of this ecological study was to identify the main nutritional factors related to the prevalence of cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) in Europe, based on a comparison of international statistics. The mean consumption of 62 food items from the FAOSTAT database (1993􏰀-2008) was compared with the actual statistics of five CVD indicators in 42 European countries. Several other exogenous factors (health expenditure, smoking, body mass index) and the historical stability of results were also examined. We found exceptionally strong relationships between some of the examined factors, the highest being a correlation between raised cholesterol in men and the combined consumption of animal fat and animal protein (r􏰁0.92, pB0.001). The most significant dietary correlate of low CVD risk was high total fat and animal protein consumption. Additional statistical analyses further highlighted citrus fruits, high-fat dairy (cheese) and tree nuts. Among other non-dietary factors, health expenditure showed by far the highest correlation coefficients. The major correlate of high CVD risk was the proportion of energy from carbohydrates and alcohol, or from potato and cereal carbohydrates. Similar patterns were observed between food consumption and CVD statistics from the period 1980-􏰀2000, which shows that these relationships are stable over time. However, we found striking discrepancies in men’s CVD statistics from 1980 and 1990, which can probably explain the origin of the ‘saturated fat hypothesis’ that influenced public health policies in the following decades. Our results do not support the association between CVDs and saturated fat, which is still contained in official dietary guidelines. Instead, they agree with data accumulated from recent studies that link CVD risk with the high glycaemic index/load of carbohydrate-based diets. In the absence of any scientific evidence connecting saturated fat with CVDs, these findings show that current dietary recommendations regarding CVDs should be seriously reconsidered.

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The Effect of an Exclusive Meat Diet Lasting One Year on the Carbohydrate Tolerance of Two Normal Men

URL: http://www.jbc.org/content/83/3/747.full.pdf

Journal of Biological Chemistry

Publication Date: 06/1929

Summary: This publication reviews the effects on the carbohydrate tolerance of two men after consuming a diet of only meat for 1 year.  Dr. Vilhjalmur Stefansson spent over 11 years in arctic exploration, during 9 years of which he lived almost exclusively on meat. Stimulated by this experience, Stefansson and Andersen, the latter a member of one of the expeditions, voluntarily agreed to eat nothing but meat for 1 year while they continued their usual activities in the temperate climate of New York.