By Kelley Herring
Whether the message comes from the government, the media, environmental organizations, or mainstream medicine, it is hard to miss the constant directives to “Eat Less Meat!”
“It’s better for your health,” they say. “And better for the health of the planet.”
Instead of nutrient-dense, deeply nourishing animal foods, you are told to fill your plate with highly-processed plant proteins and nutrient-poor (and anti-nutrient rich!) vegetables. Factories are even making plant burgers that “bleed”, thanks to a genetically engineered compound, called leghemoglobin that was unanimously approved by the FDA – and backed by Bill Gates.1
That’s a hard pass for me!
In previous articles I have shared how an animal-based diet could help with SIBO (the root cause of IBS), increase bone density and reduce the risk of fractures, reverse autoimmune disease, improve the defenses of your immune system (including warding off that “bug” that’s been going around these last couple years), boost brain health and protect against Alzheimer’s, and yes, even improve the health of your heart – despite the widespread falsehoods stating the exact opposite.
It’s almost as if we are living right out of Orwell’s dystopian 1984. War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. Meat is unhealthy.
Along with the extensive health benefits of consuming meat I mention above, a new study published in The Journals of Gerontology, adds more credence to the necessity of meat in the human diet for optimal health and longevity.
Eat More Animal Protein – Live Longer?
You probably already know that protein is a foundational macronutrient. As we age, this macronutrient becomes even more vital, as it is directly related to quality of life and health.
That’s because proteins do most of the work in cells and are required for the structure, function, and regulation of all the body’s tissues and organs. Proteins are needed for a healthy immune system, including to produce antibodies. They help produce enzymes which carry out thousands of chemical reactions inside your cells. Proteins are also needed to produce hormones, and to give us the musculature that allows us mobility.
Protein is truly the foundation of life itself.
And the most usable forms of protein irrefutably come from animal sources.2
Researchers in Italy aimed to determine the association between animal and plant protein intake and their relationship to all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality after 20-years of follow-up. The InCHIANTI Study included over a thousand adults, over the age of 65.3
The mean value of protein consumed in the study was 74 grams per day. Animal protein comprised 63% of this total, broken down as follows:
26% from dairy
26% from processed meat
20% from red meat
7.7% from fish & seafood
6.3% from chicken
2.7% from eggs
The remaining 11.3% was from “other meats.”
The Sources of plant protein included:
73% from cereals
11.4% from vegetables
9% from fruits & nuts
5.3% from legumes.
And the results of this study were quite remarkable.
The researchers found a 40% reduction in cardiovascular disease (CVD) mortality, between the highest quintile of total protein intake (~18.7% of energy), compared to the lowest quintile of total protein intake (~13.3% of energy).
They also discovered a 51% reduction in cardiovascular disease mortality, between the highest quintile of animal protein intake (13.3% of energy), relative to the lowest quintile of animal protein intake (7.2% of energy).
There were no significant associations between the highest quintile of plant protein intake (7.1% of energy), relative to the lowest quintile of plant protein intake (4.4% of energy), with any of the outcomes investigated (all-cause, CVD, and cancer mortality).
In short, consuming more protein is better and consuming more protein from animal sources is best.
Plant protein did nothing to reduce the risk of death from all causes, heart disease or cancer, compared to those who consumed animal protein.4
Beans and cereals… or meat, eggs, dairy and fish?
I’ll stick with the latter.
On the flip side, I must mention a recent study with the bold and misleading headline, published by the National Cancer Institute (NCI): “Higher Intake of Plant Protein Compared to Animal Protein Associated with Lower Mortality”.5
Given the headline, you might think this study boasted significant numbers like the one above… but that’s not true.
Published in JAMA, this study found that participants who replaced just 3% of their dietary energy intake from animal protein with an equal amount of plant protein were 10% less likely to die from any cause over the 16-year follow up.6
Using the protein intake from the InCHIANTI study above, where participants were consuming an average of 74 grams of protein per day (with 63% coming from animal sources), that would equate to 47 grams from animal sources. Therefore, a 3% percent replacement would equate to swapping out just 1.4 grams of animal protein!
Considering that just ONE OUNCE of steak contains 7 grams of protein – 1.4 grams doesn’t even equate to a single bite of steak!
Reject Alternative Facts and Orwellian Doublespeak
As our society drifts further from the truth, it is imperative that we have the courage to hold tight to the wisdom of our ancestors – and to the sacred principles of logic and reason.
Animal foods are the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Animal foods have allowed our brains to grow and our species to become the thriving, intelligent beings we are today. These are indisputable facts.
So, turn off your TV and fire up the grill or pull out your Instant Pot!
Never forget folks: Sanity is not statistical. Dare to go against the crowd in this age of mass hypnosis and fear-mongering. There has never been a more important time in history – or for your health – than right now!
Read more Health and Wellness articles from Kelley Herring on our Discover Blog.
Love comfort foods, but not the carbs? Check out Kelley’s FREE new book – Carb Lover’s Keto – with 100 recipes for all of your favorite comfort foods. From Chicken Parmigiana and Coconut Shrimp to Buffalo Wings and Pizza. Discover how you can indulge – 100% guilt free!
2 Hoffman JR, Falvo MJ. Protein – Which is Best?. J Sports Sci Med. 2004;3(3):118-130. Published 2004 Sep 1.
3 Pisani, P et al. “Relative validity and reproducibility of a food frequency dietary questionnaire for use in the Italian EPIC centres.” International journal of epidemiology vol. 26 Suppl 1 (1997): S152-60. doi:10.1093/ije/26.suppl_1.s152
4 Meroño T, Zamora-Ros R, Hidalgo-Liberona N, Rabassa M, Bandinelli S, Ferrucci L, Fedecostante M, Cherubini A, Andres-Lacueva C. Animal protein intake is inversely associated with mortality in older adults: the InCHIANTI study. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2021 Nov 27:glab334. doi: 10.1093/gerona/glab334. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 34849845.
6 Huang J et al. Association Between Plant and Animal Protein Intake and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality. JAMA Intern Med. July 13, 2020. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2020.2790 [Epub ahead of print]