Lately, there has been a really big push to keep people from eating dairy products with justification stemming from ideas such as a relationship between dairy product consumption and stroke as well as type 2 diabetes. Clearly, the idea that dairy products can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes has pretty well been proven false. With respect to the idea that dairy product consumption can increase the risk of stroke, a recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition addressed that idea.
Rather than relying on self reported dairy product consumption, in other words, asking people what they ate, this new report actually looked at what are called biomarkers to determine dairy product consumption. Biomarkers are, in this case, specific measurable fatty acids that are unique to dairy products and therefore could be assessed by looking at blood results. Continue reading
This week, a study published in the British Medical Journal showed that younger women who ate red meat had a slightly increased risk for developing breast cancer. The study involved close to 90,000 women followed for 20 years, meaning that, from a statistical perspective, it was respectable.
So how is it that I am comfortable maintaining my recommendation that eating red meat in small amounts is good for health? After all, here is a study pointing to an increased risk for breast cancer in women.
Let’s go back to the actual recommendations I’ve made in Grain Brain and have reiterated on this web site. You’ll recall that I’ve been quite specific in recommending grass-fed meat as opposed to grain-fed meat. And that matters a lot when considering a study such as this.
As you may have heard, University of Southern California researchers recently published a report in the journal Cell Metabolism in which they related consumption of higher levels of protein from animal sources to increased mortality risk, as well as increased risk for the development of cancer. Interestingly, the same report also revealed that lower levels of protein consumption in elderly people might actually be worse in terms of risk for various health issues. The authors concluded:
These results suggest that low protein intake during middle age followed by moderate to high protein consumption in old adults may optimize healthspan and longevity.
The study followed 6,381 adults over an 18 year period and collected data revealing what foods were consumed as well as any specific health issues that developed.
Overall, I think the study does provide some very valuable information. If we are to interpret the results with the hope of gaining ideas about our food choices it’s important to recognize that the study clearly points a finger at the consumption of meat and dairy products in America, and that’s where we need to focus our attention.
During an appearance on the Dr. Oz show two ago, I was asked to highlight what I would consider to be the three items we should all be working into our diets more frequently to help support better brain health. Not knowing how popular it would later become, I outlined my “Anti-Alzheimer’s Trio,” three foods high in “brain-healthy” fat including:
- Grass-fed beef
- Coconut Oil
These items are all low in carbs and high in fat, helping to reduce some of that brain-bullying inflammation the root cause of so many ailments. Specifically, coconut oil is known as a rich source of beta-HBA, is one of our brain’s “superfuels.”