On Monday, March 12, the Archives of Internal Medicine published a study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health that linked eating red meat to early death from heart disease and cancer.
Eating a serving a day of unprocessed red meat like hamburger was associated with a 13 percent increase in risk of early death.
Adding nitrates to the mix, as in eating a daily hot dog or a couple of slices of bacon increased the risk of premature death to 20 percent. Don't forget the blood pressure boosting high salt content in these meats, a fact to keep in mind if you've planned to overindulge in corned beef this St. Patrick's Day.
“This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death," said Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health.”
Meat takes top billing in the USDA's description of the protein portion of its new suggested food plate. In the official listing you won't find chicken and turkey until you've slid past rabbit and venison. Seafood is in the second column as are nuts and seeds. You'll have to scroll down the page to find beans and other legumes.
Yet the new study suggests that you'll live longer by replacing that daily serving of red meat with something more benign like a chicken breast. The health benefits increase with a cold deep water fish like salmon as Zone Diet creator Barry Sears emphasized in the anti-aging documentary "Reverse Aging Now."
Greek yogurt is high in protein and calcium. Eggs are protein rich and are good for most of us in moderation. Beans and soy products are premiere protein sources, rich in anti oxidants and phytochemicals, while being a far more sustainable food product than beef grown for slaughter. More than half of US grain is now being fed to livestock, instead of directly to humans.
In an editorial that accompanied this month's study in the Archives of Internal Medicine “Reverse Aging Now,” expert Dean Ornish, MD, said, “what we include in our diet is as important as what we exclude , so substituting healthier foods for red meat provides a double benefit to our health… Substitution of red meat with fish, poultry, nuts, legumes, low-fat dairy products, and whole grains was associated with a significantly lower risk of mortality. We have a spectrum of choices; it's not all or nothing."
There is no magic bullet to longevity. Instead there's a synergistic effect where numerous little changes produce a big result.
The other meat news of the month is about so called “lean, finely textured beef,” from a cow's head, throat and guts, which used to be thrown away, because that's where bacteria tends to thrive. Today the trimmings are put into a centrifuge to separate the beef from the fat. To kill the pathogens, slaughter houses now gas the beef with ammonium hydroxide. This toxin is often used in stripping floors.
In high doses it can cause wheezing, vision loss and heart collapse. Once the waste beef is purified with this compound, which of course fully dissipates, the resulting glop, nicknamed "pink slime" is mixed with ground beef. According to ABC News, 70 percent of American ground beef contains this additive.
When this appetizing story broke, three fast food chains, McDonald's, Burger King, and Taco Bell, announced they would respond to public concern and no longer buy beef made this way. The USDA intends to keep serving it in its school lunch program to children, although in late breaking news it will now allow school districts to opt out.
“There is a conflict between the USDA's role in promoting health, and the nation's agriculture,” said Harvard Fellow Bradley Wilcox in “Reverse Aging Now.”
Remember, our health guidelines are established by the US Department of Agriculture. Its primary mission is to grow agribusiness. There is no official department of nutrition.
Here's another reason to cut back on beef consumption: According to a November 2006 UN Report, raising cattle generates more greenhouse gas emissions world wide than automobiles and all other forms of transportation combined. About a third of the world's entire land area is used to grow livestock. Much of this area is now degraded through overgrazing and erosion.
If you move beef from a daily staple to an occasional treat, you'll help not only your own health, but that of our planet itself.
Increasing your intake of produce has now been definitively shown to increase your wow factor. On March 7th , Scientists at the University of St Andrews published a study in the American Journal of Public Health that showed that adding just a couple of extra servings a day of healthy fruits and vegetables gave skin a healthier glow in just six weeks.
In the course of the study, scientists tracked 35 students who added vegetables to their diets over a 6 week period. With light sensors and cameras, researchers recorded the changes in skin color due to an increase in consuming carotenoids, the naturally present pigments in ripe peppers, carrots, broccoli, squash, and spinach along with the lycopene in tomatoes. The increase of these compounds definitively showed in the skin, the body's biggest organ, protecting it from sunlight damage and pollution. These organic chemicals also combat heart disease and cancer.
As rated by others, an average of 2.9 more portions of fruit and vegetables a day made the participants look healthier. Those who upped their quotient to 3.3 portions were considered to be more attractive.
Whitehead continued, “We hope that by highlighting the rapidly achievable benefits of a healthy diet on our attractiveness will be a stronger incentive for people to eat more healthily. Knowing you are going to look more attractive in a few weeks may be more persuasive than the promise of health benefits later in life.”
Take a Hike
Now that spring is breaking take a moment to head outdoors for a challenging but meditative experience in the wilds. Hike along for a moment with Carolisa Pomerantz, the associate producer of the anti-aging documentary “Reverse Aging Now.”
More than Stretch
One of the keys to aging well is to keep moving. This safe, enjoyable and easy-to-do fitness program is designed specifically for older adults and seniors. It's fitness for the whole body, inside and out. The routines includes stretching, strengthening, improving balance and posture, techniques for relaxation and breathing. You'll also learn tips on rebuilding and maintaining a healthy back. It's a relaxing one hour workout. These exercise routines can be mastered by anybody from the young to the elderly. It's available here at only $14.95. That's half price at the anti-aging video source ReverseAging.TV
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To see how one baby boomer is applying anti-aging precepts to his own life, go to Anti Aging Diary.com. To embrace anti-aging you need to make a mental as well as physical journey. It's not always easy, but well worth the effort. Remember to watch our anti-aging documentary, “Reverse Aging Now.
Reverse Aging News c. 2012 Checkmate Pictures - Paul M. J. Suchecki, Editor
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