15 Reasons to Rethink Red Meat

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Who doesn’t love a grilled steak, washed down with a rich red wine? Um, your microbiome, the collection of microbes that live in your gut and play a major role in your risk of diseases such as obesity, cancer, and diabetes.

I’m often asked, especially by my friends in the Paleo community, why I recommend that people remove red meat for 21 days. Here are 15 reasons, along with the scientific evidence.

1. Meat consumption raises your estrogen levels.

Eating meat can aggravate estrogen dominance. In fact, women who consume more red meat and eat less fish and vegetables are thought to be more at risk for endometriosis. Overall, more meat consumption is associated with less fiber consumption, which raises bad estrogens and grows the wrong bacteria in your microbiome.

2. Women who eat red meat have a greater risk of breast cancer.

The association is greatest in postmenopausal women, with an increased risk of 22% among those who eat red and/or processed meat. Other studies suggest fried meat is the problem.

3. High red meat consumption increases your risk of colorectal cancer.

The mechanism is most likely an altered microbiome. In fact, the alterations in the gut microbiome can be used to screen for colorectal cancer.

4. Just the act of cooking red meat may increase your risk of cancer.

When you pan-fry or grill meat, it can release heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known to cause cancer in animals.

5. Many women lose weight when they switch to fish.

Women with the PPARG gene variant (like me) lose weight when they eat more fish (which is heavy on omega-3 fats) as opposed to red meat (which is heavy on saturated fats). This link has not been studied in men.

6. Meats are high in certain endocrine disruptors and persistent organic pollutants (POPs).

Meat, pork, and dairy expose you to multiple endocrine disruptors, including phthalates, HBCD, PBDEs, and Deca-BDEs. Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are linked to lower adiponectin levels, obesity, diabetes, breast, and prostate cancer. Not surprisingly, POPs exposure shifts the microbiome in the wrong direction.

7. People who eat more fish (and less meat) have lower rates of breast and prostate cancer.

The Japanese, who eat a diet rich in fish oil and low in red meat, have among lowest rates in the world of breast cancer.

8. Red meat is associated with an increased risk of diabetes.

This link doesn’t prove causality, but is worthy of concern.

9. Red meat increases uric acid and creatinine.

This increases risk of gout and kidney problems.

10. Your liver will thank you.

Red meat increases hs-CRP, a marker of inflammation, and GGT, a marker of liver damage.

11. The fastest way to fatten an animal is to feed it grain.

By extension, the fastest way to fatten a human is to feed him or her grain-fed meat.

12. Meat can be contaminated with superbugs, which can trigger food-borne illness.

In fact, 55% of ground beef sampled by the Environmental Working Group has been found to be contaminated.

13. Red meat consumption is rising fast in the US and worldwide, and contributes to the rise of greenhouse gases and water shortages.

You probably know that one pound of red meat requires 2,500 gallons of water versus 23 gallons of water to produce a pound of lettuce.

14. There are no data as of this writing to show that grass-fed meat is better for your estrogen levels.

An animal is considered grass-fed, according to the USDA Grass Fed Marketing Claim Standards, when grass and forage are the “feed source consumed for the lifetime of the ruminant animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. Animals cannot be fed grain or grain by-products and must have continuous access to pasture during the growing season. Hay, haylage, baleage, silage, crop residue without grain, and other roughage sources may also be included as acceptable feed sources. Routine mineral and vitamin supplementation may also be included in the feeding regimen.”

So … grass fed cows can still eat silage and baleage (whatever that means), and crop residue? And what exactly is in crop residue? You get my point. Grass-fed may not be what you think it is.

15. Grass-fed is better but not great.

Cooking reduces but does not eliminate the potential for exposure to growth promoters in ground beef. To be fair, grass-fed meat contains a better ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats, but data are lacking to show that grass-fed meat is better for your estrogen levels, risk of cancer, and weight gain.

In the absence of robust data, I recommend taking a periodic break from red meat and seeing how your body responds. And to learn more about how to take care of your microbiome, reset your hormones, and heal your metabolism, check out my new book, The Hormone Reset Diet.

Source: www.mindbodygreen.com

2016-01-26T12:12:28+00:00

Related Questions

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    Q: Hi it's me again. I just read what you said about meat and what I don't understand is if meat was not good for us why in the Bible people eat Lamb. How would you explain back in the Bible times during Abraham and Moses when they use to offer sacrifice and kill a lamb were they cruel and going against God. And those who couldn't afford animals like Lamb would use bird eggs. In the book of Exodus chp. 12: 11,21,27,43,48 and Lev. 23:5 and 12:3, Deut. 16:7and Exodus 34:25 when the death Angel was passing and God told them to kill a Lamb and put the blood on the door post and gave the command for them to roast it. How would you explain that because up until this day the Jews still eat Lamb. Even fish, it was fish that God used to feed the 5000 people. Are you saying I can't eat fish at all. I would like to know some of the things you eat in the place of meat , fish and chicken. I really want to change my eating habit.

    A:

    All meat consumption came AFTER the Fall of Man (Genesis Chapter 6). Man can eat meat while in a degenerate state but to return back to Eden he/she must go back to plant foods. Also, meat today is greatly TAINTED unlike meat 4,000 - 6,000 years ago! It's not the same. Jews are not the healthiest people, by the way! Health conscious people are!

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    Q: Can you please write or address an article about, regular supermarket meat vs. halal meat? Point out that there is primarily no difference, based on the article you previously wrote on the dangers of meat. Meat is meat! I am muslim myself, and I don't eat even halal meat.

    A:

    Please read our article entitled Halal Meat vs, Supermarket Meat.

    Article:
    Halal Meat vs. Supermarket Meat

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    Q: What do you tell someone that believes that eating meat is better than eating products not made of meat such as wheat pasta, brown rice, etc. My wife eats way too much meat, and she always says that she needs it for the protein. She doesn't work out or exercise regularly so I see it as just an excuse to continue the same old behavior. She's 5'6" and 205lbs and I think she should weigh 140 - 145 max. She's 43 years old and suffers from high blood pressure and swelling in the legs.

    A:

    We provide you with all the ammo you need in our free articles. Read the articles WHAT IS MEAT?, PROTEIN PROPAGANDA, THE DANGERS OF EATING MEAT, etc. You'll have all the ammo you need to counteract or retort any meat-eater's argument about eating dead animal flesh!

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    Q: I would like to know your views on consumption freshly slaughtered meat or fish cooked but eaten only with red chillies stews and host of spinaches and vegetables, thanks a lot, also I will like to say that your website has been a blessing to me thanks.

    A: We encourage a RAW FOODS diet, as eating nutrient-dense raw fruits and vegetables provide an array of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, fiber, and phytonutrients that help your body perform optimally.

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    Q: Hey wassup Dherbs.com, I got a question about when people try to say they clean the meat with vinegar and citruses before they cook it. What does "cleaning" the meat have to do with the pesticides, worms, and other harmful things added to the meat? I read from your articles that the worms have a shell that forms in very high temperatures so it doesn't kill them.

    A:

    You can't clean meat, Beloved. Period! Folks are doing something just to be doing something! All meat is corrupted and toxic! Period!

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    Q: Hetep, I've been a vegetarian for about two year's now, have not consume any meat since, but recently I begin eating shrimp, I don't drink milk, eat cheese, fish. I want to be like a vegan but, is it an issue with me eating the shrimp, and another thing I smoke weed heavy, is the smoking affecting my vegetarian diet.

    A:

    YES!!!!!!!!!!

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    Q: I want to stop eating meat but I don?t know what type of tofu I should start eating I'm so use to eating meat...should I substitute meat and start eating tofu.is Tofu bad or good.

    A:

    Check out our Alternative Diet and Lifestyle manual ($11) and look under MEAT ALTERNATIVES! There are many tofu brands that are safe and beneficial.

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    Q: I eat a lot of fruits and, veggies, I don't consume a lot of meat but I'm concern about the raw veggies and fruit lately because I read and article how washing your fruit and veggies isn't helping to clean fecee and other environmental mishaps that plaque out food so what do you recommend is there a organic wash or what?

    A:

    YES! VEGETABLE & FRUIT WASHES are sold at good health food stores such as Whole Foods Market.

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    Q: Thanks for your article about cancer. My relative is now taking wheat grass to assist with restoring her cells from radiation treatment. I decided to take wheat grass along with her, so I can stay healthy as well. Is wheat grass safe? Does it affect the liver and other organs in the body?

    A:

    Wheat grass is safe and it positively affects everything in the body!

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    Q: I'm a 53 year old African Male. I have changed my diet recently eliminating meat (fish not included). Consequently I feel sluggish and in need of energy. What recommendation will remedy? Also what is the difference between a "Full body Cleanse vs. the Male Cleanse product? Are they comparable? Finally, Will the anit viral product work for body fungi i.e., jock itch? Thank You for your response.

    A:

    The difference between the Full Body Cleanse and the Male Cleanse is the Male Cleanse primarily helps to detoxify the men's sexual reproductive system, while the Full Body Cleanse intends to purify and strength all eliminative channels in the body.

    For energy, please try Energy Formula.

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    Q: I've made a lifestyle change about 8 months ago. I excluded all dairy, wheat, grains, gluten, legumes, sugar, oils (except olive oil). I still eat minimum amount of meat (chicken, fish) maybe 2 -3 times/wk. I'm slowly trying to eliminate meat totally as I only use to make my meals more filling. My plan is to do Ozone Therapy midway through the detox program, which also rid the body of toxins.

    A:

    Ozone therapy is beneficial!

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    Q: I heard you today on The Warren Ballentine Show. I have been trying to convince people to eat right for months. My question to you is, for the last 6 months I have not eaten beef, or pork, I have eaten chicken about 5 times, but only white meat(breast, baked). I mostly just eat fish and turkey,(turkey bacon, turkey sausage, and ground turkey). I feel a whole lot better I was wondering if eating the turkey was still causing harm? And by the way I don?t eat any dairy or bread!

    A:

    Oh, please read our article " WHAT IS MEAT?" under "Articles" on our site. Your answer lies there in that article. All meat is harmful! But you're off to a great start! Peace!

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    Q: I have progressive FSGS (renal disease) my creatine is currently 3.03 and I am spilling approx 630 mil of protein in a 24 hr period. I was diagnosed with this disease at the age of 12. I have truly blessed to not be in dialysis all this time, but I do not want to live with this disease I want to be delivered from it. The Lord already revealed to me in a vision that I would be free from it once I eliminate meat from my diet. Please help me to rid my body of the "need" it feels for meat so that I can be cured. I know a detox can do it; I just need to know which one.

    A:

    You can heal, beloved! Start first with the FULL BODY DETOX and then next perform the PANCREAS CLEANSE AND REGIMEN . To help with your mental willpower in the healing process, I also suggest MENTAL SCIENCE MANUAL e-book.

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    Q: I have been diagnosed with neutropenia and been seeing a hematologist for the last 6 years. He wants to avoid doing a bone marrow biopsy on me if he can. I am also anemic and received a iron infusion about a year ago. I go weekly for a CBC count and Monday I was told that my iron count is low again. The lowest my white blood count has been is in the 700's. I am Afro-American and I know that it's common for our white blood count to run low. I rarely eat red meat. I was a vegetarian until I got pregnant with my son he is now 2 1/2 yrs old. I eat red meat about once a month now. Is there anything that I can take to build up my white blood cells count?

    A: Check out our Blood & Lymphatic Formula to cleanse your blood, and Vitamin C to build up the white blood cell count.

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    Q: My cousin has been diagnosed with having leakage in the brain (cranial fluid depleting), which causes blindness in her left eye. Her neurologist told her to cut out the meat, but she can eat shrimp and salmon(although I'm not sure why he said salmon, and shrimp which is a meat). Cut out dairy products, and also she should use natural products on her hair. Overall I think he gave her good advice, but I wanted to get your take on it. What else should she do and not do? Detoxing first, right?

    A:

    Detox with the Full Body Detox followed by daily regimen consisting of Nerves Formula, Brain Tuner, and CNS Formula.

    Product Link:
    Full Body Detox
    Nerves Formula
    Brain Tuner
    Central Nervous System Formula

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    Q: I am at the end of the 3rd day of the Pancreas Cleansing Regimen, and need some clarification. I have kept away from man made sugars, dairy products and meat. Can I consume turkey and chicken while on this regiment? I assume I can eat fish.

    A:

    Turkey and fish are also meat. Please read the article "What Is Meat?" in our articles section. No meat should be consumed on the cleanses.

    Articles:
    What Is Meat?

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    Q: How often do you use the FULL BODY DETOX? Why no meat and cooked foods.

    A:

    It's ideal to detox every seasonal change (every 3 months). Meat and cooked foods pollute the body so we advise not to eat them while UN-polluting the body.

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    Q: I want to get the detox, however can I still eat fish and turkey products or know. How do I get my kids to eat only fruit & veggies at school? Or is some meat okay?

    A:

    We don't recommend eating animal flesh during the Full Body Detox. For your children, you may have to incorporate vegan meat alternatives for their school lunch while Detoxing otherwise it may be very difficult for them.

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    Q: I am writing you to see if you have any information and remedies for hemorrhoids. I am a Black African male in my 40's. I have changed my diet for the last 3 yrs., no meat, fish, cheese, milk, no dairy, no alcohol, no bread, greatly decreased sugar and salt. I exercise 45 minutes a day, 5 days a week, drink at least 6 glasses of water a day and take lots of vitamin c and a multivitamin but I still have not been able to get rid of the hemorrhoids. Also the hemorrhoids only come out when I have a bowel movement. I have bowel movements twice a day. Also, I have been taking horse chestnut tincture. Is there anything that you know of that might help me to get rid of them. Your help in this matter would be greatly appreciated. Truthfully, thank you very much.

    A:

    Try our 10-Day Supreme Colon Cleanser. After the cleanse, take 3 capsules of Hemorrhoid Buster 2-3 times daily. Drink 1 cup of Aloe Vera juice daily.

    Have your read our article of "Hemorrhoids" on our site?

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    Q: I am currently on my second week of the Full Body Detox. My diet has been according to the food combination chart. I must admit, I cheated twice, not with red meat or pork, with chicken and fish. Anyway, lately my urine has a real funny smell. What is your opinion about this?

    A:

    Smelly urine is a part of the cleansing process. Nothing to be alarmed about!