Red meat linked to higher risk of death

Posted at 5:45 PM, Aug 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-03 17:45:52-04

A new study suggests that eating plant protein can reduce risk of death, while eating meat is associated with an increased risk of death. Whole grains include plant-based proteins.

Are you ready to take it easy with the burgers? A new protein-focused paper confirms that eating red meat may be linked to a higher risk of death.

However, replacing animal protein in your diet with plant protein is associated with a decreased risk of death, according to the research, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine on Monday. Scientists have long connected processed red meats with a wide spectrum of chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

Did they blame it all on the meat? or were there other problems?

The researchers found that associations between protein intake and risk of death were confined to participants who had at least one unhealthy lifestyle habit or ailment, such as smoking, heavy drinking, obesity or physical inactivity. Whats great is that they found even a  3% increase in plant protein intake was linked to a 10% decrease in overall mortality and a 12% decrease in cardiovascular mortality ! So we know that SIMPLY eating more plants helps you live a longer, healthier life!

We do know that high animal protein intake has been linked to higher levels of insulin-like growth factor 1, a protein that has been linked to worse health outcomes, whereas high plant protein intake has been associated with lower blood pressure and improved insulin sensitivity. It is also possible that other components in the foods other than protein may be the culprit. 

For example, processed red meat is high in sodium, nitrites and nitrates, which have all been linked to worse health outcomes. It really still remains largely a mystery, so more studies need to be done to understand the correlation.

Partha’s RX on  Increasing Plant Proteins!
1.  These  findings confirm what we have been  learning for years now. People who consume their dietary protein primarily from plant foods would be expected to be better able to maintain a healthy weight and have lower risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancers.

2. The U.S. government's 2015-20 dietary guidelines recommend a diet with limited saturated fat, less sodium and more vegetables and whole grains.

3 . Increase your intake of  Foods that pack a punch of plant protein. The good food sources would be whole-grain bread, cereals, nuts and legumes. And, Quinoa! My favorite, it's like rice and you can get it anywhere like Kroger.

4 . Although  they didn't look at soy in our study because its consumption is very low in the United States, there is evidence supporting that soy may be a good protein source for health.

Does Dr. Nandi eat red meat? His answer: 

"Not at all. We do eat fish and chicken but we don't prepare red meat in our home. We do have it a few times a year at weddings and such but we honestly love plants! We are full vegetarian twice a week."