This summer in Italy, I learned to cook the traditional Mediterranean diet and enjoyed it with delight. While the Mediterranean diet has received much attention as a healthy way to eat, and with good reason, I couldn’t wait to write about it this month. After getting back home a surprising new study raised my red alarm by giving the green light to eat more red and processed meat. Witnessing the current confusion and damage it led to I decided to switch my topic to the meat study (https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2752328/unprocessed-red-meat-processed-meat-consumption-dietary-guideline-recommendations-from).
The study astonished scientists and public health officials because it contradicted the longstanding nutrition guidelines about limiting consumption of red and processed meats. It concluded that linking meat consumption to heart disease and cancer is not supported by strong scientific evidence.
What the study didn’t say is that the lead author has past research ties to the meat and food industry.
He has previously received funding from the International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI), a trade group whose members include one of the largest beef processors in North America as well as other large food industry companies. The group, founded by a top Coca-Cola executive four decades ago, has long been accused by the World Health Organization of trying to undermine public health recommendations to advance the interests of its corporate members.
The lead author previous paper on sugar - financed by ILSI - in which he attacked dietary advices to eat less sugar, didn't pass the laugh test. Even if ILSI had nothing to do with the meat study, this author
is making a career of discrediting conventional nutrition wisdom.
Furthermore, nutrition scientists and Public health experts have criticized the meat study’s methods and findings because, like for the sugar study, it used a standard to evaluate evidence that was not designed for dietary studies. You can see this “study” for what it is: industry lobbying!
The bottom line is that the nutrition guidelines for meat consumption have not changed: consume lean meats that are low in saturated fat and avoid processed meat. If you want to know more about the USDA dietary guidelines, click on the following link. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/current-dietary-guidelines/resources-everyone/tools-individuals-and-families
If you are looking to change up your diet, go Mediterranean! The traditional Mediterranean diet focuses on fruits and vegetables, healthy fats (like olive oil), lean meats and poultry, fish, and it is easy to adapt to it. Curious?
See you next month with the traditional Mediterranean diet.