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New Headline, Same Story

By Andrew Rimmer | — Filed under

New headlines, same story,

So yesterday the media ran the story that cutting back on red meat, doesn't do anything for reducing risk of cancer, 

In complete contradiction to the story that was run last year, based off similar studies, saying that there's a link between eating red meat and your risk of developing certain forms of cancer, 


And of course, the journo's completely miss the nuances of the studies, neglect to add any context and draw absolute conclusions and give out poor info,

Both stories, despite being polar opposite, both miss the point, 

Because nothing in nutrition is ever black and white, just different shades of grey,

Most of the time, when someone asks a question to do with their diet, or training, the answer is usually, "it depends,"

Because context is everything,

Your diet is about how individual foods fit into your diet as a whole,

And that's what is missing from this whole red meat and cancer story... context,

So here's what it said... but with some context,

The review of the research suggests that the link between red meat and processed meat and cancer is weak, 

Cancer isn't caused by one thing, it's more a case of different factors interacting to increase the risk of developing it, 

Now when it comes to red meat, especially processed meat, like low quality hot dogs and burgers, sausage rolls, corned beef, salami or other cured meats, they come with other nutrients (or lack of), that can increase potential health risks, such as saturated fat, sugary or starchy carbohydrate (that are devoid of nutrients, like pastry),

These foods are also high in calories, so if you're eating them frequently enough to potentially increase a risk of cancer, then you're likely to be overeating on calories, storing fat around your middle, think visceral fat around organs, which is linked with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, suffering a stroke... and potentially cancer,

The studies are observational, so rely on people filling in questionnaires, so it can be difficult to account for other lifestyle factors, such as exercise and stress levels,

So you could hypothesise that the people taking part in the studies that are frequently eating processed red meat, could also be overeating on calories and storing visceral fat,

They might not be eating a diet full of veggies and nutrients,

They're probably not doing as much exercises as they ought to be,

So to then suggest that it's red meat that causes the increased risk... it's difficult to make that call,

Plus, good quality red meat, such as a nice steak, contains beneficial nutrients, like vitamin B12, creatine and iron, amongst a few others that can be difficult to gain from plant sources, 

So the take away message hasn't really changed for me, 

Eat mostly veggies - roughly speaking, if you were to separate out the foods on your plate, half the plate should be veggies... and aim to eat as many different colours as possible,

Keep red meat to once or twice per week, especially processed meats like burgers, sausages, or bacon and get them from the best sources possible (ideally locally sourced, butchers/farm shops etc...),

Make sure you eat good sources of oily fish, some whole nuts, cold oils like olive oil, or other vegetable oils, and some avocado, to make sure you're having more unsaturated fats than saturated,

Be mindful of energy balance. Calories do affect health and storing fat, especially around your middle can negatively impact health,

Make time to exercise 3-5 times a week and stay active on a daily basis (i.e. keep your steps up),

And if you want to take the stress out of dieting and cut through all the misinformation, myths and fads that are out there, 

Hit the link below and grab a Free Nutrition and Training Strategy call,

Because this is what I do with people just like you, on a daily basis,

People who have busy work lives, family commitments and who want to take care of their health, look and feel their best, as well as perform well on a daily basis, 

If that sounds like you, then hit the button below and let's have a chat,

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