Those low-carb, high-fat diets might ALSO work
OK, so there's no way to PROVE causation, but there's some pretty strong correlation going on here. Is there any hope for red meat?
Well, Stanford University designed a $2 million study to compare 300 people eating four different diets over the course of one year. The researchers found the Atkins diet, a very low-carb affair that includes dishes like "Beef Filet with Bacon and Gorgonzola Butter," was more beneficial for a person’s health than any of the high-carb, low-fat alternatives including the Ornish diet, which allows zero meat and zero cholesterol. The Atkins dieters, the Stanford team reported, “had larger decreases in body mass index, triglycerides, and blood pressure."
Lower body mass index? A good sign for anyone who wants to shed extra pounds. And the triglycerides and blood pressure? Yep, you got it. They’re both indicators of good heart health.
What to make of it all
Health studies are a tricky business. While the Stanford study sheds light on cause and effect, it only offers one year’s worth of data on 300 people. The observational studies from Keys, Dr. Willets, and even the WHO point to statistical links, but can’t rule out other reasons for the data or establish for certain that one action leads to another reaction.
At the end of the day, and at every meal, the choice to eat or avoid meat is yours, and yours alone. The studies can only tell you so much.
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Jody Berger is a freelance journalist and New York Times best-selling author who writes often about food, health and where the two intersect. Follow her adventures @jodyberger.