Why Meat from Mammals is Risky

A study of more than 500,000 Americans over 40 shows that those who consume the equivalent of at least a hamburger a day have a 30 percent increased chance of dying during the next 10 years, mostly from heart disease and cancer. Cold cuts, sausage and other processed meats also increased the risk (Archives of Internal Medicine, March 2009). This agrees with many other studies showing that eating meat from mammals is associated with increased risk for heart attacks, arthritis, and several types of cancer. The study found that eating fish, chicken, turkey and other poultry decreased the risk of premature death.

Most authorities still attribute the high mortality in meat eaters to the saturated fats and cholesterol in meat. This makes little sense since 1) poultry is also a rich source of saturated fats and does not increase premature death, cancer or heart attacks; 2) people who eat a diet rich is saturated fats from palm, palm kernel and coconut oils are not at increased risk for premature death; and 3) eggs and shell fish are extremely rich sources of cholesterol and they are not associated with premature death. I believe that the most likely explanation for the increased risk for heart attacks and premature death in meat eaters is inflammation from the glycoprotein Neu5Gc; see my reports from November 9 and November 16, 2008


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