7 Reasons to Reduce Red Meat Consumption

7 Reasons to Reduce Red Meat Consumption Steak Image1. In 2012, the Harvard School of Public Health evaluated over 120,000 meat eaters. After 28 years, those who ate the most meat (2 servings a day) had a 30% increased risk of dying compared to those who did not eat red meat in this study.

2. In a 2010 study published in the Journal Circulation, 84,000 nurses were evaluated for 26 years. Those who ate 3 servings of meat per day had a 29% increased risk of chronic heart issues compared to those who ate only half a serving per day.

3. Red meat is high in an amino acid called carnitine. When the carnitine is digested by the microbes in the gut, they produce a toxic by-product called trimethylamine-N-oxide or TMAO. In a 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 4000 otherwise healthy patients who had the highest levels of TMAO had a 50% increased risk of a cardiovascular event over the next three years.

4. In 2011, the American Institute for Cancer Research suggested that you should reduce consumption of cooked red meat to less than 18 ounces per week and avoid processed or packaged meats to reduce cancer risk.

5. In a 2012 study in the journal Stroke, 125,000 people were followed over a period of 22 years. For every one to two ounces of processed meat eaten per day, there was a 30% increased risk of a stroke.

6. In a 2011 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Harvard researchers followed more than 200,000 men and women for 28 years. For every two ounces of processed meat eaten, there was a 32% increased risk of type II diabetes.

7. It takes 7-8 pounds of feed to produce just one pound of beef. It takes 1000 tons of water to make just one ton of grain and the vast majority of grain is produced to feed beef and pork. As our population grows, this way of eating is simply not sustainable.


Nutrition Action Health Letter. June 2013 Cover Story.




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  • Bill Graham

    The problem with all this testing is we don’t know if the red meat eaten was pasture fed and pasture finished. This will make a big difference in the results. When people start eating pure natural foods that are not altered by people, they become more in tune with themselves and what they are eating. I don’t believe in any one food lifestyle. I think when people are in tune with themselves they will know what to eat. Our bodies are highly intelligent. But when we keep feeding ourselves processed food and food that is empty and full of toxins we start to lose the ability to eat what is right. When we are constantly feeding the bad bacteria in our gut then our gut tells us to constantly feed the bad bacteria. If I could simplify this I would say ” eat only natural foods and your body will naturally want to eat them”.


    • Gardensprite

      I also concur with the above respondents, and would like to add a little more information. The people in the study who ate meat also ate varied amounts of white sugar, processed foods, and processed flours. (SAD). It is impossible to predict, without separating the few people who did not consume these things. Also processed meats were mentioned – these include nitrates and fillers. The only processed meat I eat is nitrate-free pastured from an organic Amish farm, it isn’t even salty.

      Sustainable farming is NOT detrimental to the environment. Big-agricultural farming is. When using grass pastures, with grazing animals following those that eat the weeds and bugs, then the resulting fields are full of minerals, microbes and nutrients from the natural wastes left from each set of farm animal. The Carbon monoxide (no methane problem) released into the atmosphere is quickly recycled to oxygen from the grass that it encourages to grow, and actually increases the clean air supply. So therefore it is beneficial to the atmosphere and the earth!

      The problem should be with Big-Ag, chemical producers, GMO seeds and the unfair laws surrounding them that destroy small farmers economic viability. Then the circle goes around to Big-Pharm, Government interference to support Large Corporations including the use of the FDA to raid small raw dairy farmers and any natural product supplier who links to a health resource (WildernessFamilyNaturals a great example) and of course the Huge Insurance Industry supporting the Big-Pharm which also controls our Doctors educations and prescriptions vs. healing. Again the government comes into play, the past 10 years worse, as money printed so fast that millions are spent on “research” to support the corrupt processed-foods industry. Soon we will lose our monetary system control as other countries choose to trade in other than the US $ and we will not be able to afford any food not grown in our back-yard. (Did you know current administration experimented in NY and other states to attempt to tax our gardens – to further diminish our capabilities to feed ourselves – luckily the experiments did not pan out – but I have a friend who tore his garden out for the two weeks that surprise inspection notices were sent out – stating they would enter premise day or night with or without supervision to check for gardens).

      Again, we must support sustainable natural foods, and yes, pastured, grass-fed meats are natural and sustainable. Sustainable, natural properly farmed vegetarian foods are also wonderful, natural and sustainable – just difficult under the current system. I have no problem with heirloom beans. Rice is imported and the conditions it is grown in and imported into this country have also had some recent problems with serious consequence, and again is not favorable. Local sustainable agriculture, again a great solution. Not just for this country, many countries are growing food to export that they would not want their citizens to eat, US being the exception, with the medical/pharma/insurance industries willing to take on US patients with new diseases and cancers into their chemical/chemo billion dollar system.

      The problem is not meat, but large Agri- manufacturers and contamination of our world’s food supply. The healthiest countries still grow their food locally and sustainably.

      The way our meat supply is inhumanely treated and yes, tortured is and should be a punishable crime. The meat in this country is unhealthy along with the processed and big Ag grown foods, and import foods from other countries as well. U.K. also having similar troubles with their meat supply, yet even they will not accept US meat imports. The healthy people will utilize small humane farms and properly grown vegetables, and will choose organic rice and proper methods to soak and prepare non-gmo grains.

      I personally do best burning ketones than glucose and am healing chronic residual inflammatory pain from a long past auto accident. My thoughts, eyesight and outlook are clearer, and my diet is based on pastured, humanely raised, and grass-fed beef plus fresh garden and local vegetables, herbs and whole foods type supplements with raw Amish dairy daily. I have no congestion, my eyes are getting whiter (as they did on vegan diet, showing detoxification of system) and my chronic pain and inflamed lymph nodes are a shadow reminder to continue on. The food is simple to prepare and convenient thanks to a local co-op, internet and delivery services. Food costs about 30% more, but I eat much less and feel more balanced physically and mentally. Also spirituality and meditation are starting to have an appeal to me despite many fruitless “introductions” over the years. This way of living also supports humane farm animal welfare – which should be preserved and adopted throughout all industrialized nations.


  • Cheryl Chaffee

    1…. those who ate the most meat (2 servings a
    day) had a 30% increased risk of dying compared to those who did not eat
    red meat in this study. Really? Doesn’t everyone have a 100% risk of dying, someday? Can we get a better definition of this study?

  • Barbara Yeager

    This is an example of how a person gets misled – a doctor posting this sort of thing. Yes, you can respond that you were just stating research results, but I offer/suggest to you that you aren’t (and many other health practitioners do the same thing) presenting a ‘whole picture’ . You have singled out just meat eating research, and not research done on folks doing a vegetarian diet for 22 years that results of which show health issues. Or, what about when folks only eat organic/or grass fed red meat? I am a great example of this. I was vegetarian for 45 + years (felt healthy, had great energy etc etc). I was trained in (directly with Maharishi, I was over there with you) and adhered to an Ayurved diet, went through MMY Ayurved clinic 3 X yr, meditated daily, did yoga every day, exercised regularly (aerobic and anaerobic), and still got cysts on my ovaries, melanoma and advanced stage three adrenal exhaustion (not all at the same period of time :D)!!!! My personal perspective is that it isn’t all about diet, exercise and lifestyle – you can’t just look at one’s diet and/or single any of them out (diet, exercise, lifestyle, genetics). You can’t just point to a particular type of diet (or regimen) to ensure good health. Whatever angle we take, there are still folks that smoke, and drink and eat red meat, and don’t exercise and live to a ripe old age! What I have personally found is there is something much more fundamental to good health; transcendental to diet, exercise, lifestyle and genetics. I healed myself of the cysts, the melanoma, and the adrenal exhaustion. Not through any particular diet (and I introduced meat even though I had had no desire to eat meat for those 45 years, yet noticed a remarkable improvement once I did! Not to proclaim that meat eating is ‘good’…just part of what was needed at the time), nor through any particular belief/system. Folks need to re-connect with their bodies and listen to what their body is telling them. This, in my humble opinion is the biggest issue our western culture faces – a disconnect and lack of trust in one’s own inner knowing-ness. No one outside of our self can heal us; no one outside of our self, in the end, can choose for us and expect to see lasting results – for what is needed, in a present moment, is for that particular moment, and the nature of the body and the entire universe is change; it is forever changing and it’s needs are forever changing. I thank you for your dedication to facilitating better health, just wanted to give some feedback/other point of view.