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red-meat-linked-to-cancerRed Meat Causes Early Death

Red meat has always been an excellent source of protein, which experts tell us boosts our overall health.  The protein in red meat strengthens our immune systems and helps us heal.  Other praises of red meat is that it helps our blood function better, aids in tissue formation and assists in healthy metabolism, good skin health, good vision and stronger bones and teeth,  So after all the information out there on the benefits, have we been harming our families in serving it?  The latest studies show red meat may not be what it's cracked up to be.

Red Meat Health

It's all over the news right now - that eating red meat can shorten your life.  How can this be after everything we've heard over the years?  The answer seems to lie in the close of a 28-year-old study outlining the heart health aspect of red meat consumption.  You see, red meat does have more of the bad fat (saturated) and cholesterol, both damaging to heart health and even contributing to cancers. The study outlines research of 100,000+ men and women. Following the 28-year-study, 20% of the participants had died, apparently largely due to their dietary habits.  Here is what researchers found.

Study on Red Meat

  • The more red meat they ate, the higher percentage of dying early.  For instance, for each added serving of red meat, the person upped their mortality rate by 13%.
  • Hot dogs, bologna, salami, bacon and other processed meats were even worse, upping their mortality rates by 20% per added serving.

What Is The Answer?

  • Find substitutes.  Choose chicken, fish, whole grains, beans, nuts and lower fat dairy items.  Using these options reduces your mortality rate significantly (down to 7%-19%).  Around 10% of deaths could have been avoided if everyone in the study had reduced their red meat servings to less than half a serving per day.  Consequently, experts recommend eating servings of red meat less than two to three times per week. That is a huge change for many families!
  • Search the internet for new, heart-healthy recipes.  Wise, creative ideas abound on the internet, and Women's Forum tries to be a part of that with Andrea Metcalf's, Jodi Luber's and Chef Didier Durand's helpful video hints.  Foregoing red meat doesn't mean you have to have complicated, confusing and frustrating recipes.  And your family will still enjoy the meals.

  • Become informed.  Visit with a nutritionist or do your research on the web with reputable sources.  Many resources are available out there at low to zero cost.  As you learn more, planning meals and assessing red meat intake will be a no-brainer.
  • Network with other Moms that share your passion and share recipes.  Consider putting together a recipe packet and disseminating amongst yourselves.  You could each contribute a few dollars (depending on how many of you there are) to offset print costs.
  • Don't give up on red meat:  just reduce it on your menu.  This study shouldn't scare you from getting rid of red meat altogether.  Remember the health benefits of red meat!  Just reduce it, substitute it, and keep on trying to serve healthy dishes.
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