Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Knowledge Addicts: The Harvard Meat Study

Today's dose of knowledge is coming from our very own Harvard University and a study they published back in March 2012.  The actual release date was March 12, 2012.

Title: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality, Archives of Internal Medicine

Harvard University is one of the most influential institutions to date.  Anything coming out of it will be either readily respected, promoted and most times accepted by the mainstream and the public.  So when this came out three months ago, I was like, "FOR REAL!".  This would gain the attention of many and people would be more inclined to consider it with an open mind.  It would also further provide support for the benefits of a plant-based life.  The overall study consisted of two portions.  One was the Harvard Health-Professional Follow-Up Study and the other was the Harvard Nurses Health Study.  The studies started back in the 80's.  All participants, a total of 120,000 people, were initially cancer free at the beginning of the study.  The researchers followed up with the individuals every 4 years.  At the end of the study, 24,000 were found to have died from mainly cancer and heart disease.  Now that number may seem small compared to the initial number of participants and the fact that people dying is a regular occurrence.  So what it this really saying?

The above video, created by Dr. Michael Greger, is an ON POINT summary of the entire study highlighting the most important findings.  Dr.  Greger is a beast at distilling complicated and dense research into language that anyone can understand.  Definitely check out his website and videos:

As is typical of his videos, the conclusion of the study was quickly pulled to the forefront and stated:

"Red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of, total CVD, and cancer mortality.  Substitution of other protein sources for red meat is associated with a lower mortality risk."
*CVD = cardio vascular disease

He also specified that they controlled for EVERYTHING: age, weight, smoking, exercise, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, and so it made the distinctive and significant correlation between meat-eating and mortality more convincing.

Yessssssss, man!

In the press release, lead author and Harvard research associate, An Pan, said,"Our study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers in other studies.  Dr. Frank Hu, senior author and professor of nutrition and epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health, added, "The study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death.  On the other hand, choosing more healthful sources of protein in place of red meat can confer significant health benefits by reducing chronic morbidity and mortality disease."  

Nahhhhhh, man!

He further recommended in an article from that we should move toward a plant-based diet saying, "I think the public health message is pretty straightforward.  We should switch from a red-meat based diet to a plant-based diet with healthier protein choices."

The Chair of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard, Walter Willett, also recommends plant based protein in his guide to healthy eating.  He advices one to "pick the best protein packages by emphasizing plant sources of protein rather than animal sources."  Just an observation but if you check the link, he kinda has a Walt Whitman thing going on with the black and white, intense white facial hair and classic poetic pose.  Yes, my people, I'm being a rando but I'm glad that this information I am sharing with you is NOT random but one of countless other studies out there that support with even more evidence the amazing benefits of bangin' bird food.

Knowledge is MOST DEFINITELY power and I want you to have it.

Thank you for reading.  My people, I appreciate you all so much.  Be healthy and happy.  Ciao!

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