Healthy lifestyle
High Meat Diets can Kill You as Fast as Smoking

High Meat Diets can Kill You as Fast as Smoking

We now that meat and diary are an important part of our food chain. We won’t open a discussion here about the quality of the meat we consume these days. We have written an article about some aspect of today meat supplies and you can find there a lot of information about this. The aspect we want to discuss is the latest studies about the fact that, for middle-aged persons, high proteins levels taken from meat and diary may lead earlier to the grave.

U.S. and Italian researchers tracked thousands of adults during nearly two decades and found that those who ate a diet high in animal proteins during middle age were four times more likely to die of cancer than contemporaries with low-protein diets — a risk factor, if accurate, comparable to smoking. Deaths from diabetes and other causes were also higher in avid protein-eaters, particularly those who ate meat and dairy products as opposed to plant proteins.

People who eat diet rich in animal protein carry similar cancer risk to those who smoke 20… Click To Tweet

“The great majority of Americans could reduce their protein intake,” said, Valter Longo a University of Southern California gerontology professor and director of the school’s Longevity Institute. The best change that one can do is to limit the daily intake of all proteins, especially animal-derived proteins like meat, dairy, eggs etc.

How bad can a burger be?

Despite a strong belief for many people that a meal isn’t a meal without some meat or cheese for exemple, the new findings join a growing body of research suggesting that most of us would be better off easing up on the burgers and meatloafs and opting for more grains and vegetables instead.

An exhaustive 28-year study of more than 120,000 people by the Harvard School Of Public Health, whose findings suggest that anyone eating a burger-sized daily serving of red meat has an 18 per cent increased chance of dying from heart disease, and is 10 per cent more likely to die from cancer.


Our study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating large amounts of red meat, which has been associated with heart disease, strokes and certain cancers

said An Pan, lead author of the Harvard report. Ever quick to help, scientists have worked out that a daily burger equates to shaving half an hour off every day of the rest of your life.

Or, if you want a better option, it’s the same with smoking 20 cigarettes a week.

Some red meats are high in saturated fat, which raises cholesterol, and the high levels of this have been proved to increase the risk of heart disease. Cancer is more of a mystery, though many researchers agree that lashings of red meat does increase the danger. In general, red meats (beef, pork and lamb) have more cholesterol and saturated fat than chicken, fish and vegetable proteins.

Cholesterol and saturated fat can raise your blood cholesterol and raise the heart disease dangers. Chicken and fish have less saturated fat than most red meat.  The unsaturated fats in fish, such as salmon, actually have health benefits because of Omega-3 fatty acids. This good fats that you can find in some plants sources also may actually reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases.

Now, that meat with cheese between those two buns are a nightmare if you passed your 50’s. All this data should make any dedicated burger-lover start to avoid those junk-food factories-but will they?

Burgers are hard to resist.

Less meat means longevity

According to the studies about high proteins intake it seems like people that eat less than 10 percent of their calories from proteins, they are very well protected. If the numbers are correct the impact of lowering the amount of animal proteins is as big as quitting smoking. In the midst of the Paleo movement and the Atkins craze, evidence has been slowly accumulating for decades that dietary protein might have a detrimental effect on health through its influence on a growth hormone called IGF-1.

All the studies made show that eating proteins can raise the levels of IGF-1 hormone in the body. But when levels of the hormone are reduced through diet or mutations, roundworms live several times longer than normal. Mice become much less likely to succumb to aging-related diseases.

A group of people in Ecuador who are deficient in the hormone,cancer is virtually non-existent Click To Tweet

When people consumed less than 10 percent of their calories from protein (meat and dairy), the researchers reported in the journal Cell Metabolism, they were about 25 percent less likely to die from cancer and about half as likely to die from any cause compared to people who ate more than 20 percent of their calories from protein.

Effects were worse when the bulk of protein came from animals than from plants.

After age 65, though, restricting protein turned out to be detrimental to health. That’s probably because IGF-1 levels tend to naturally decrease as we age, Longo said, causing a “pushing over the edge effect” that leads to weight loss and frailty. So, passing the age of 65 it’s best to eat more proteins. In other words, what’s good for you at one age may be damaging at another. Protein controls the growth hormone IGF-1, which helps our bodies grow, but has been linked to cancer susceptibility. Levels of IGF-I drop off dramatically after age 65, leading to potential frailty and muscle loss. The study shows that while high protein intake during middle age is very harmful, it is protective for older adults: those over 65 who ate a moderate- or high-protein diet were less susceptible to disease.

Meat addiction


“Burgers are the ultimate comfort food,” says Tom Byng, creator of upmarket burger chain Byron. Byng knows a thing or two about the nation’s appetite. When it comes to burgers – the combination of meat and cheese- we are addicted literally. That cheeseburger I am talking about is like speedball for your brain.

Why are we addicted to that cheesburger?

The fat from the beef meat you eat is responsible for releasing dopamine in the similar way cocaine does. Next step is that white bun that metabolizes into sugar releasing serotonin(similar to ecstasy effect). Maybe it is hard for you to understand why something so delicious and simple can be so wrong, but we already know that are countless foods that are bad for you and your health. But, with all this the burger is not the worst thing you eat. 

Remember this next time you go to the supermarket. The real serious stuff that is bad for you is the processed meat. Take a look at the deli counter next time you go shopping and read the labels. That are the real names of the assassins in our current culinary world. And I remember that one day I saw an advertising somewhere when I was reading studies about the processed meat. It showed a cigarette pack with a skull and bones, but from the pack there were hot-dogs sticking, not cigarettes.

There are danger-foods at every step and every shop you enter. If you eat lots of sugary snacks containing simple carbs, you’re loading your bloodstream with the chemical energy needed for cancer cells to proliferate. The list can be completed with doughnuts, fries and biscuits alongside processed meats and, once again, hot dogs get top billing. Fresh red meat, however, doesn’t get a mention.

There are benefits, too

An egg has about six grams of protein. A cup of milk has 8 grams. There are 36 g in a five-ounce filet of cooked salmon. And there are 42 g in a cup of beans. When people eat very little protein, some essential amino acids become so limiting that the process of cell division slows down, said Gerald Krystal, senior scientist at the BC Cancer Agency Research Centre. For children, the result would be restricted growth, which is one reason why kids still need plenty of proteins. But in adults, slowed cell division is a good thing if it prevents or slows the growth of tumors and progression of cancer.

As an overall conclusion I would’n recommend an animal protein restriction. Ok, you can limit red meats and processed ones, but I think that is very good and safe to eat high levels of cheese, even tofu, fish and nuts. Stay away from processed as much as you can and start looking for fresh meat from local producers. There is a thing I know for sure: there is nothing compared with some fresh meat grill outside in a sunny day.

Do you like red meat? What about the burgers? Have you tried to make your own burgers?

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