Red meat and dairy products have been demonized for quite some time by certain nutritionists, the media and USDA’s food guidelines. However, consumer perceptions of animal proteins and fats seem to be slowly shifting. Here are four positive stories on meat and dairy that made the news this week that lead me to believe that perceptions are trending in our favor.
1. White House chef quits for his love of butter, cream and eggs.
According to the Washington Times, “Michelle Obama may have pushed the White House pastry chef a bit too far with her constant requests to replace fatty foods like cream and butter with lower-calorie options.
“Bill Yosses, who was hired in 2007 under the George Bush administration, has announced he’s leaving his position in June and heading to the private sector in New York to teach people some healthy eating tactics. While he admits part of his healthy eating influence came right from Mrs. Obama, he’s not fully prepared to give up old-timey type ingredients that she’s deemed a threat.
“I don’t want to demonize cream, butter, sugar and eggs,” Yosses says.
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2. Do saturated fats really cause heart disease? One study says no.
Fox News reports, “The types of fat people get in their diet may not be as closely related to their risk of heart disease as previously believed, a new review of past studies suggests. Guidelines from the U.S. federal government and recommendations from the American Heart Association call for increased consumption of polyunsaturated fatty acids and lower consumption of saturated fats.
“But researchers found people's risk of heart disease varied little based on how much of those fats they ate. Most saturated fats in the American diet come from foods of animal origin, including red meat and high-fat dairy products.
“The authors of the new review say uncertainties in evidence have led to considerable variation in international guidelines on fat intake. They also say the use of self-reported diet information may have resulted in problems classifying the different fatty acids that people eat.
“The study found that none of the types of saturated or polyunsaturated fats had a significant impact on heart disease risk. However, consumption of trans fat – found in some processed foods and some forms of stick margarine – was tied to a 16% increase in risk. Guidelines call for avoiding trans fats altogether.”
3. “Um, Actually, Eating Meat Isn't Even Remotely As Bad As Smoking,” writes Robb Wolf, author of The Paleo Solution for OutsideOnline.com.
In the article, Wolf says, “Unless you've been on an extended spring break, on an extremely remote beach, you've no doubt caught wind of the recent headline that spread faster than the smell of good BBQ: Eating meat and cheese is as deadly as smoking. Vegans rejoiced at the vindication of tofu (according to the study, protein from plant sources was ‘non-harmful’). In the carnivore camp, meat-eaters shook their collective fists, while rational, health-conscious folks who take neither side simply wound up confused, and—rightfully—worried. What's the deal? Is a meat-and-cheese plate really as bad for you as a pack of Marlboro Reds?
“It’s my position that animal protein is a vital part of the human diet. In my work, the science appears quite clear: Not only is meat intake not bad for you, it can, in fact, be quite healthy when managed correctly.
“All that said, keep in mind that the vast majority of our health and nutrition stories these days tend to come from epidemiological research that is at best correlation, not causation. No wonder they've come up with a saying about how research now tends to fall into three categories: Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics.”
4. Eat a steak to increase iron levels.
In a recent article, “10 Signs You Have An Iron Deficiency,” Women’s Health magazine tells health-conscious readers, “If you spot these telltale symptoms, get yourself a spinach and steak salad, stat!”
Here is a recipe for a crisp and refreshing steak salad that appears on Muscle & Fitness Hers online: Steak Salad with Arugula, Caramelized Onion and Parmesan.
Recipe creators Kelly Wangard and Jim Stoppani write, “Here is a simple and delicious physique-friendly recipe to get you reacquainted with your soon-to-be-favorite source of protein! Red meat is a rich source of heme iron, the type found in animal products and which is the most bio-available to the human body. According to research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, up to 46 % of female athletes between the ages 18-41 are iron-deficient.”
What do you think about these recent stories about red meat and dairy? Share your thoughts in the comments section below, and be sure to repost this blog on your social media sites to help spread the good news! Thanks for your help and participation!
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