Reducing Meat Consumption Has Benefits Beyond Better Health

Yesterday’s published study on the association between consumption of red and processed meat and an increased risk of death is timely, according to Barry M. Popkin, PhD, a nutrition professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC).

“There is a global tsunami brewing; namely, we are seeing the confluence of growing constraints on water, energy and food supplies combined with the rapid shift toward greater consumption of all animal source foods,” he wrote in an accompanying editorial in Monday’s issue of Annals of Internal Medicine.

“Not only are components of the animal-source foods linked to cancer, as shown by Sinha et al, but many other researchers have linked saturated fat and these same foods to higher rates of cardiovascular disease,” writes Dr. Popkin, who also serves as director of the UNC Interdisciplinary Obesity Center. “What do we do?”

Because there are health benefits to eating some red and white—but not processed—meats, a complete shift to vegan or vegetarian diets is not required, he concludes.

“Rather, the need is for a major reduction in total meat intake, an even larger reduction in processed meat and other highly processed and salted animal source food products, and a reduction in total saturated fat,” he says.

Here at OrganicAuthority, we hope you shop for organic meat, poultry and other foods.

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  • Portland Real Estate  March 24, 2009 at 11:42 am

    Makes perfect sense. It is still going to be a long uphill battle to bring this logic to light though. Americans love their burgers.

  • Christina Viering  March 24, 2009 at 11:46 am

    Eat more Chikin!

  • Tami  March 25, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Dr. Popkin’s call for an overall reduction of meat consumption may seem like a daunting task to many, but even a small change in the American diet can have tremendous positive results. Removing meat from your diet just once a week reduces saturated fat intake by 15%, reducing your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and various cancers.
    It’s easy to remember to cut back on meat if you have a set day each week. I work on a non-profit campaign called Meatless Monday which encourages Americans to make healthy, meat-free choices on Monday. Check out for more information.

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