Study under review: Total red meat intake of ≥0.5 servings/d does not negatively influence cardiovascular disease risk factors: a systemically searched meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
Red meat consumption has become quite a contentious issue in the past few decades. The prevailing view in the public health community is that red meat is unhealthy, but this conclusion is based heavily on contradictory observational evidence. For example, several studies have found a relationship between red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease morbidity and mortality, while others have not and argue that these associations were owed to problems with data collection and how red meat is classified (such as grouping unprocessed and and processed red meats together).
Regardless, observational evidence does not allow for establishing causality. At the same time, performing randomized controlled trials that evaluate long-term health outcomes such as dying from a heart attack are difficult and expensive to conduct. Accordingly, researchers instead look at known cardiovascular disease risk factors, such as a person’s blood lipids or blood pressure, which change on a relatively short timescale. If red meat does increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, then there is a good chance that it does so through these well-established cardiovascular disease risk factors.
A previous meta-analysis of eight studies suggested that beef consumption did not significantly alter the blood lipid profile of healthy adults when compared with poultry or fish. However, this doesn’t tell us the effect of adding red meat into the diet per se, and does not include all types of red meat, only beef. The study under review is a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the impact of red meat consumption on blood lipids and blood pressure, two well-established cardiovascular disease risk factors.
Observational evidence reports an inconsistent link between red meat consumption and cardiovascular disease. However, no study has yet to systematically review controlled trials looking at red meat and cardiovascular disease risk factors. The study under review is a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials investigating the impact of red meat consumption on blood lipids and blood pressure.
Other Articles in Issue #30 (April 2017)
If you eat very little one day, do you overeat the following days?
Common wisdom suggests that cutting calories too much on a given day will lead to binging the next day. This trial put it to the test.
Exploring curcumin for depression and anxiety
Depression sucks, and traditional depression treatments aren’t so great either. According to the literature, what effects might curcumin have on this mood disorder?
Let there be light! And vitamin D pills.
People with sub-optimal vitamin D levels have worse cardiovascular health profiles, yet vitamin D supplementation doesn’t seem to help. What gives? This trial aimed to find out.
Control your diet, control your depression?
With all the talk about diet impacting mood and depression, you might be surprised to know that very few controlled trials have investigated those actually diagnosed with depression. Here’s a brand new study.
Where do cravings come from? By Stephan Guyenet, PhD
Stephan is a neuroscientist who has researched the intricate mechanisms behind overeating.
Interview: Luis Villasenor
If you lift heavy weights, and you also use a ketogenic diet, Luis is the oracle of evidence-based information. We pick his brain here.
Are ketogenic diets beneficial to the fitness and fatness of healthy adults?
Ketogenic diets are studied for a variety of conditions, including in those with metabolic disorders, and also occasionally in athletes. But how does it perform in generally healthy adults?