Red meat is getting a bad press again. This new study is by the Harvard School of Medicine, which took 28 years to complete and involved 120,000 healthcare professionals being monitored regarding their health and diet. The results in a nutshell are: if you add a single portion of red meat to your daily diet you could increase your risk of dying by 13%, and if its processed meat – that level soars to 20%. What concerns me about this is that people have not really been told the important facts of what red meat actually does, its health benefits and health cons. Can Harvard School of Medicine be 100% sure that all this meat was free range or organic or have these healthcare professionals been eating pink slime for 28 years. If this is the case no wonder their life expectancy has been reduced.
If we live on chicken, fish and nuts, our iron levels and even to a certain extent our vitamin B12 levels may be reduced. I don’t see anybody telling people, that if they cut out red meat, to incorporate offal in their diet, or eat pots of marmite and bovril. Eating meat regularly could possibly aggravate conditions affecting the bowel, arthritis, gout, heart disease etc. We know 150 years ago that high meat eaters and port drinkers ended up with inflammatory conditions. Today we don’t drink port as our staple liquid through the day because we can safely drink the water, and our diet is less acidic. If you do not eat meat or are thinking of cutting meat out of your diet – that is your choice, but be careful to get iron and vitamin B12 in other foods. My view on this: if you love red meat, make it organic, or as free range as possible and eat once a week. If you have heart disease, high blood pressure, inflammatory bowel disease, then by all means think again. Good sources of B12 are: Mackeral, Sardines, Crab, Tuna, Soya Milk, Eggs, Cheese and marmite. Good iron sources are: Cocoa powder, tomato paste, lambs liver, mussels, wholewheat pasta, dried apricots, baked beans. All this is written from someone who hasn’t eaten red meat since she was 15 yrs old, for no other reason, than I didn’t like the taste!