What's "bad" about Beef and Pork?

For Christmas my father got me a Nutribullet, which I have been using to make smoothies like there was no tomorrow.

It came with a large recipe book and healthy living pamphlet, which I have mostly ignored as I am not using the machine as part of some healthy living overall (mainly, I just like smoothies). However, I was flipping through it the other day, and it had a list of “foods to prefer” and “foods to avoid”. The list was somewhat predictable - Things like raw veggies and steamed fish were on the prefer list, and things like fried foods and bread (:rolleyes:) were on the avoid list.

The ones that surprised me were that beef and pork were on the avoid list. Which was news to me - I mean I could see if they were talking about sausages and pepperoni, but it wasn’t that specific, and I can’t see anything wrong with a good NY strip or a pork medallion.

Now, I’m not buying into their whole “raw everything” diet, but I imagine they have some reason behind suggesting that we avoid eating cow and pig, but I couldn’t find it in the pamphlet. Anybody know what that is?

Generally beef and pork are higher in fat and cholesterol, although leaner cuts can be lower in both of these they are not as low as chicken or fish. And yes, the processed versions like jerky, sausage and lunch meats not so healthy if you want to watch your salt intake.

Still bad for you is a relative term; a good cut of prime rib is just fine as long as you don’t indulge in it everyday. And even that isn’t true for some people who do hard manual labor everyday or athletes in training.

Warning anecdote…

I have found that avoiding both beef and pork, even if I strictly control my portions, makes it easier for me to control my weight. Sticking to eating things that swim or fly means I can eat more of them and other supposed bad foods, such as potatoes and bread, without worrying about putting on the pounds. Whether this means that beef and pork are bad is debatable. A good motto to live by is ‘everything in moderation’.

When I do decide to make steak or pork chops I try to pick the leanest cuts possible and eat less than I would if it was a piece a chicken. YMMV.

I’m posting from work and don’t have time to providd the proper citiations, but google “carnitine and heart disease.” Researchers have found that a diet heavy in red meat (which includes pork) promotes the production of carnitine by gut bacteria. Carnitine (not sure if I’m spelling it right, sorry) is linked to heart disease.

And yes, some people need to avoid consuming bread. These is nothing essential about bread, and people eat entirely way too much of it. Especially white bread. So your rolly eyes are not warranted.

If it’s the writers of that pamphlet that claim that beef and pork are bad, you need to be asking them why they say so, not us. Actual nutritionists don’t have any problem with beef or pork (in moderation, of course, like everything).

Concur with Chronos. Given your context, I’d say the biggest thing the makers of the Nutribullet have against red meat is that it generally makes lousy smoothies. :wink:

The study you’re referring to concluded that red meat was a risk factor for heart disease due to the carnitine converting to trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO). But another study found that only seafood produced significant increases in urinary excretion of trimethylamine and N-oxide, but not beef, chicken, lamb, or pork:

“Nutritionist” is a fairly meaningless title. Anyone can claim to be a nutritionist and give advice such as “eat the greenest spinach leaves - these contain more chlorophyll which will help oxygenate your blood” (I didn’t make this up).

To be a dietitian/dietician you generally need some actual qualifications (this is true in the US and the UK, at least).

I wouldn’t pay much attention to “nutritionists”.

Hmm, asking a bunch of woo fascinated “nutritionists” with something to sell or the smartest bunch of people on the internet. Which should I pick…

For many years (like, up until 2013) it was common advice to lower one’s intake of red meat, because it was believed to increase the risk of heart disease, and to increase the risk of MI and Stroke in people with heart disease.

Then last year, researchers began looking more closely at those studies, and realized that steaks were being grouped in with hot dogs and sausages. So rejiggering the numbers on those old studies the best they could with the information they had gathered, they think that perhaps it isn’t *red *meat, but *processed *meat that’s the problem.

And so we’re presented with another potential change in dietary recommendation, but I don’t believe it’s been officially changed yet. Rather, new studies are being done, ones which look at the effect of red meat in a diet free or low of processed meat, to see if the risks are any different.

Pork is nutritionally closer to red meat than white meat. The whole “The other white meat” thing is an advertising campaign started back when red meat was unequivocally evil.

Too much rabbit and pork can get really annoying, though.

Ah, my bad. I remembered that one of “dietician” and “nutritionist” was a regulated title and the other was not, but I misremembered which one was which.

Nutritionists are (often) Nutters. Dieticians have Degrees.

Now you’ll remember it. :wink:

In simpler times beef and pork were villians because of their high saturated fat. That pamphlet reflects that mantra … whether or not that mantra is completely true though is, as noted, now a lot more debatable. And no doubt differerent saturated fats and different polyunsaturated fats may have different impact. The articles that have thrown the monkey wrench are indeed some meta-analyses that have brought up the possibility that the cardiac and stroke mortality with meats may more reflect the processed meats impact. OTOH there are studies like this one that suggest a diet high in plant-based protein is associated with significantly decreased total mortality rates than one high in animal protein.

So it really is not so clear. Probably it is as stated upthread. Moderate portions as part of a broad diet that also includes lots of veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts, tubers, and whole grains … a beautiful thing.

It usually seems to me to be a good idea to try and live in harmony with nature.

For example, the kinds of animals that are best suited to eating rabbit are the ones that hunt them and catch them in the wild. That means animals that spend a lot of their time running and chasing game.

That doesn’t sound much like humans to me.

Although I once saw a doc about Australian aboriginie women (no idea why it’s women and not men) who routinely hunt wild cats by running after them and running them down. Apparently, these cats can run faster than humans in short spurts. But they don’t have the endurance to keep running for long periods of time and so it may take a woman several hours chasing a cat until it becomes exhausted and collapses and she can then kill it.

But IMO, anyone who makes their living by chasing after a wild cat for several hours and then eating it seems naturally adapted to eating cats.

But when it comes to rabbits, I think Nature makes it clear they are not a good choice for people to eat.

People seem to be designed to be mostly (or entirely) vegetarian. Our teeth are not much like carnivore’s teeth. But they are a little like carnivores’. So I might guess that a healthy human diet is about 90 percent vegetarian and the rest meat.

Studies like this one released after the big meta-analysis also demonstrate that it may too early to declare red meat as cleared of all charges.

Lazlo there is very little question that we evolved eating lots of animal protein, including organ meats, marrow, fish, and birds. It was a a diet much lower in saturated fat and higher in monsaturated and omega three fats than today’s beef and pork provides. FWIW.

Note that the rate of smoking tripled (3% vs. 9%) between the 1st and 5th quintiles of red meat consumption, along with other huge confounders:

That study used a Cox proportional hazards model which corrects for known confounding variables. The 1.22 relative risk for the top quintile of meat eaters is independent of the effects of smoking, etc. However, there’s still room for other confounding factors. AFAICT their Cox model doesn’t include interactions between factors, i.e. smoking and boozing and eating tons of red meat at the same time could be worse than each alone. And there is always room for unidentified confounders.

I’d like to add that to my signature with permission? :slight_smile:

Go ahead!