Meat consumption

Start your free 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.

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


Journal: American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 09/2015

Summary: Heart associations recommend limited intake of saturated fat. However, effects of saturated fat on low-density lipoprotein (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 intervention 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 saturated 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 lipoprotein (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 triacylglycerol 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.

Meat and mental health: a systematic review of meat abstention and depression, anxiety, and related phenomena


Journal: Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition

Publication Date: 04/2020

Summary: To examine the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health and well-being. A systematic search of online databases (PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus, Medline, and Cochrane Library) was conducted for primary research examining psychological health in meat-consumers and meat-abstainers. Inclusion criteria were the provision of a clear distinction between meat-consumers and meat-abstainers, and data on factors related to psychological health. Studies examining meat consumption as a continuous or multi-level variable were excluded. Summary data were compiled, and qualitative analyses of methodologic rigor were conducted. The main outcome was the disparity in the prevalence of depression, anxiety, and related conditions in meat-consumers versus meat-abstainers. Secondary outcomes included mood and self-harm behaviors. Eighteen studies met the inclusion/exclusion criteria; representing 160,257 participants (85,843 females and 73,232 males) with 149,559 meat-consumers and 8584 meat-abstainers (11 to 96 years) from multiple geographic regions. Analysis of methodologic rigor revealed that the studies ranged from low to severe risk of bias with high to very low confidence in results. Eleven of the 18 studies demonstrated that meat-abstention was associated with poorer psychological health, four studies were equivocal, and three showed that meat-abstainers had better outcomes. The most rigorous studies demonstrated that the prevalence or risk of depression and/or anxiety were significantly greater in participants who avoided meat consumption. Studies examining the relation between the consumption or avoidance of meat and psychological health varied substantially in methodologic rigor, validity of interpretation, and confidence in results. The majority of studies, and especially the higher quality studies, showed that those who avoided meat consumption had significantly higher rates or risk of depression, anxiety, and/or self-harm behaviors. There was mixed evidence for temporal relations, but study designs and a lack of rigor precluded inferences of causal relations. Our study does not support meat avoidance as a strategy to benefit psychological health

Higher Non-processed Red Meat Consumption Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of Central Nervous System Demyelination


Journal: Frontiers in Neurology

Publication: 02/2019

Summary: The evidence associating red meat consumption and risk of multiple sclerosis is inconclusive. We tested associations between red meat consumption and risk of a first clinical diagnosis of central nervous system demyelination (FCD), often presaging a diagnosis of multiple sclerosis. We used food frequency questionnaire data from the 2003–2006 Ausimmune Study, an incident, matched, case-control study examining environmental risk factors for FCD. We calculated non-processed and processed red meat density (g/1,000 kcal/day). Conditional logistic regression models (with participants matched on age, sex, and study region) were used to estimate odds ratios (ORs), 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) and p-values for associations between non-processed (n = 689, 250 cases, 439 controls) and processed (n = 683, 248 cases, 435 controls) red meat density and risk of FCD. Models were adjusted for history of infectious mononucleosis, serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D concentrations, smoking, race, education, body mass index and dietary misreporting. A one standard deviation increase in non-processed red meat density (22 g/1,000 kcal/day) was associated with a 19% reduced risk of FCD (AOR = 0.81; 95%CI 0.68, 0.97; p = 0.02). When stratified by sex, higher non-processed red meat density (per 22 g/1,000 kcal/day) was associated with a 26% reduced risk of FCD in females (n = 519; AOR = 0.74; 95%CI 0.60, 0.92; p = 0.01). There was no statistically significant association between non-processed red meat density and risk of FCD in males (n = 170). We found no statistically significant association between processed red meat density and risk of FCD. Further investigation is warranted to understand the important components of a diet that includes non-processed red meat for lower FCD risk.

Important roles of dietary taurine, creatine, carnosine, anserine and 4-hydroxyproline in human nutrition and health


Journal: Amino Acids

Publication Date: 2/2020

Summary: Taurine (a sulfur-containing β-amino acid), creatine (a metabolite of arginine, glycine and methionine), carnosine (a dipeptide; β-alanyl-L-histidine), and 4-hydroxyproline (an imino acid; also often referred to as an amino acid) were discovered in cattle, and the discovery of anserine (a methylated product of carnosine; β-alanyl-1-methyl-L-histidine) also originated with cattle. These five nutrients are highly abundant in beef, and have important physiological roles in anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory reactions, as well as neurological, muscular, retinal, immunological and cardiovascular function. Of particular note, taurine, carnosine, anserine, and creatine are absent from plants, and hydroxyproline is negligible in many plant-source foods. Consumption of 30 g dry beef can fully meet daily physiological needs of the healthy 70-kg adult human for taurine and carnosine, and can also provide large amounts of creatine, anserine and 4-hydroxyproline to improve human nutrition and health, including metabolic, retinal, immunological, muscular, cartilage, neurological, and cardiovascular health. The present review provides the public with the much-needed knowledge of nutritionally and physiologically significant amino acids, dipeptides and creatine in animal-source foods (including beef). Dietary taurine, creatine, carnosine, anserine and 4-hydroxyproline are beneficial for preventing and treating obesity, cardiovascular dysfunction, and ageing-related disorders, as well as inhibiting tumorigenesis, improving skin and bone health, ameliorating neurological abnormalities, and promoting well being in infants, children and adults. Furthermore, these nutrients may promote the immunological defense of humans against infections by bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses (including coronavirus) through enhancing the metabolism and functions of monocytes, macrophages, and other cells of the immune system. Red meat (including beef) is a functional food for optimizing human growth, development and health.

Meat Supplementation Improves Growth, Cognitive, and Behavioral Outcomes in Kenyan Children


Journal: The Journal of Nutrition

Publication Date: 4/2007

Summary: A randomized, controlled school feeding study was conducted in rural Embu District, Kenya to test for a causal link between animal-source food intake and changes in micronutrient nutrition and growth, cognitive, and behavioral outcomes. Twelve primary schools were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 groups. Children in Standard I classes received the local plant-based dish githeri as a midmorning school snack supplemented with meat, milk, or fat added to equalize energy content in all feedings. The Control children received no feedings but participated in data collection. Main outcome measures assessed at baseline and longitudinally were 24-h food intake recall, anthropometry, cognitive function, physical activity, and behaviors during school free play. For cognitive function, the Meat group showed the steepest rate of increase on Raven’s Progressive Matrices scores and in zone-wide school end-term total and arithmetic test scores. The Plain githeri and Meat groups performed better over time than the Milk and Control groups (<P < 0.02–0.03) on arithmetic tests. The Meat group showed the greatest increase in percentage time in high levels of physical activity and in initiative and leadership behaviors compared with all other groups. For growth, in the Milk group only younger and stunted children showed a greater rate of gain in height. The Meat group showed near doubling of upper midarm muscle area, and the Milk group a smaller degree of increase. This is the first randomized, controlled feeding study to examine the effect of meat- vs. milk- vs. plant-based snacks on functional outcomes in children.

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


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.

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


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.

Effects of an omnivorous diet compared with a lactoovovegetarian diet on resistance-training-induced changes in body composition and skeletal muscle in older men


The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 12/1999

Summary: Very limited data suggest that meat consumption by older people may promote skeletal muscle hypertrophy in response to resistance training (RT). The objective of this study was to assess whether the consumption of an omnivorous (meat-containing) diet would influence RT-induced changes in whole-body composition and skeletal muscle size in older men compared with a lactoovovegetarian (LOV) (meat-free) diet. Nineteen men aged 51–69 y participated in the study. During a 12-wk period of RT, 9 men consumed their habitual omnivorous diets, which provided ≈50% of total dietary protein from meat sources (beef, poultry, pork, and fish) (mixed-diet group). Another 10 men were counseled to self-select an LOV diet (LOV-diet group). Maximal strength of the upper- and lower-body muscle groups that were exercised during RT increased by 10–38% (P < 0.001), independent of diet. The RT-induced changes in whole-body composition and skeletal muscle size differed significantly between the mixed- and LOV-diet groups (time-by-group interactions, P < 0.05). With RT, whole-body density, fat-free mass, and whole-body muscle mass increased in the mixed diet group but decreased in the LOV- diet group. Type II muscle fiber area of the vastus lateralis muscle increased with RT for all men combined (P < 0.01), and the increase tended to be greater in the mixed-diet group (16.2 ± 4.4 %) than in the LOV diet group (7.3 ± 5.1%). Type I fiber area was unchanged with RT in both diet groups. Consumption of a meat-containing diet contributed to greater gains in fat-free mass and skeletal muscle mass with RT in older men than did an LOV diet.

The relationship between peripheral blood mononuclear cells telomere length and diet – unexpected effect of red meat


Nutrition Journal

Publication Date: 07/2016

Summary: Repeated nucleotide sequences combined with proteins called telomeres cover chromosome ends and dictate cells lifespan. Many factors can modify telomere length, among them are: nutrition and smoking habits, physical activities and socioeconomic status measured by education level.
The aim of the study was to determine the influence of above mentioned factors on peripheral blood mononuclear cells telomere length.  Study included 28 subjects (seven male and 21 female, age 18–65 years.), smokers and non-smokers without any serious health problems in past and present. Following a basic medical examination, patients completed the food frequency questionnaire with 17 foods and beverages most common groups and gave blood for testing. PBMC telomere length were measured with qualitative real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (rtPCR) method and expressed as a T/S ratio.  Among nine food types (cereal, fruits, vegetables, diary, red meat, poultry, fish, sweets and salty snacks) and eight beverages (juices, coffee, tea, mineral water, alcoholic- and sweetened carbonated beverages) only intake of red meat was related to T/S ratio. Individuals with increased consumption of red meat have had higher T/S ratio and the strongest significant differences were observed between consumer groups: “never” and “1–2 daily” (p = 0.02). Smoking habits, physical activity, LDL and HDL concentrations, and education level were not related to telomere length, directly or as a covariates.  Unexpected correlation of telomere length with the frequency of consumption of red meat indicates the need for further in-depth research and may undermine some accepted concepts of adverse effects of this diet on the health status and life longevity.

Meat intake and cause-specific mortality: a pooled analysis of Asian prospective cohort studies


The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

Publication Date: 10/2013

Summary: Ecological data indicate an increase in meat intake in Asian countries; however, our pooled analysis did not provide evidence of a higher risk of mortality for total meat intake and provided evidence of an inverse association with red meat, poultry, and fish/seafood. Red meat intake was inversely associated with CVD mortality in men and with cancer mortality in women in Asian countries.


Live Q&A with experts, social meetings, exclusive discounts, workout challenges, and much more…

Start your free 30-day trial. Cancel anytime.