Saturday, January 7, 2012

Red Meat Lowers Heart Disease Risks

Can you believe it? Isn't the area of nutrition fun? I just love it!! A recent study investigating the impact of lean red meat on heart disease risk indicated that it has the same lowering effect on LDL-Cholesterol, (low-density lipoproteins) as other diets containing proteins sources such as chicken, pork, or even vegetables. Now before you go out and start to order triple Whoppers for lunch and dinner, one must understand the exact variables included in this study. By that I mean, lean red meat, not regular red meat like the common hamburger meat seen in grocery stores or fast food restaurants, many containing 40%-50% fat, most in the form of saturated fatty acids, those lacking carbon-carbon double bonds in the chemical structure, some folks know what I'm speaking about. Lean beef, as in fat levels similar to those found in chicken, pork, or vegetables, indicated no increase in LDL-cholesterol, which in one bio-marker some people believe can indicate heart disease risk. LDL cholesterol production and metabolism is a rather involved process, dependent on dietary sources of certain lipids, i.e. fats, for combining in these types of transport proteins. Unfortunately, the average beef eating citizen is going to use this to justify eating every type of cut of beef in an unlimited binge eating frenzy. This would be the wrong interpretation of this message. Also, remember we are only speaking about LDL-C impact, not other health concerns. The more accurate conclusion would be that lower-fat sources of protein are acceptable components of a person's dietary intake. This makes sense. I would also emphasize that some sources of low-fat protein, such as certain species of fish, also contain beneficial fatty acids, such as docosahexaenoic and eicosapentaenoic acids, which are associated with a multitude of health benefits (to be discussed at a later date). So the next time you are thinking "whats for dinner", inclusion of a weekly serving of lean beef is fine. You still have six other days to eat fish daily. I'll take mine rare, please.

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