In 2015, the World Health Organization (WHO) stated there was enough evidence to classify processed meat as “carcinogenic to humans” and red meat as “probably carcinogenic to humans.”
In the first study, which tracked more than 37,000 Americans with an average age of 50, those who ate the most plant protein were 27% less likely to die of any cause and 29% less likely to die of coronary heart disease when compared to people who ate the least amount of plant protein.
“It isn’t enough just to avoid red meat — it’s also about what you choose to eat in place of red meat,” Dr. Zhilei Shan, lead study author and postdoctoral research fellow at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said in a news release.
Shan pointed out that nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains contain more than just protein. They include healthy fats, vitamins, minerals and antioxidant “phytochemicals,” which he said “have been associated with lower risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers.”
Researchers have found that most foods that promote good health, also tend to be better for the environment. And the reverse also holds true. If the food is bad for you, it’s probably also bad for the planet. Red meat, for example, both increases your risk of death and its production and processing is terrible for the environment.
Maria Godoy, writing for NPR »
In a vast new analysis published Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Tilman and his co-authors looked at the health and environmental impacts of 15 different food groups, including nuts, fruits, vegetables, red meat, dairy, eggs, fish, olive oil, legumes and sugar-sweetened beverages.
The foods were ranked relative to one another based on how they influence the risk of disease and the toll they take on the planet in terms of water and land use, greenhouse gas emissions and how they impact pollution of water and soil.
Most of the time, the researchers found that foods that promote good health also tended to be better for the planet — and vice versa.
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More » HealthDay, Science Daily
Another multi-year study of more than 81,000 people has concluded that eating red meat protein, even if it’s just a small portion of the overall diet, significantly increases the risk of heart disease. However, folks who consumed their protein from nuts and seeds reduced their risk of heart disease and helped their hearts stay healthier, longer.
The multiyear study, published this week in the International Journal of Epidemiology, looked at more than 81,000 Seventh-day Adventists in the US and Canada, a group that is about evenly split between vegetarians and meat-eaters. From 2002 to 2007, participants were asked about what kinds of food they were eating on a regular basis, including how much meat, nuts, grains, and veggies were on their plates. During that time, more than 2,000 adults in the study died, and the scientists took a close look at both how they died and what they ate.
They found a disturbing link between eating even small amounts of red meat and heart problems.
“It’s just another perspective on things that we kind of already knew,” the study’s lead author, Gary Fraser, a public-health professor at Loma Linda University, told Business Insider. “Red meats are bad guys for heart disease.”