Processed Meat Associated with Increased All-Cause Mortality

ImageA study published on March 7, 2013 in the journal BMC Medicine found that consumption of processed meat is linked to an increase in all-cause mortality. Interestingly, red meat and poultry were not associated with increased risk. The lowest rates of mortality were to individuals who consumed a low to moderate amounts of meat.  Continue reading

Meat, poultry, cooking methods and prostate cancer

This blog post discusses the paper “Red meat and poultry, cooking practices, genetic susceptibility and risk of prostate cancer: results from the California Collaborative Prostate Cancer Study.”

There has been much debate around the consumption of meat and cancer risk. Most studies have simply evaluated the amount of meat eaten vs. cancer incidence and the results have been inconsistent (1-3). This new study takes a more in-depth approach, analyzing both the types and amount of meat eaten, as well as the way the meat was prepared. Continue reading

Grass-fed vs grain-fed beef

Daley CA, Abbott A, Doyle PS, Nader GA, and Larson S. (2010). A review of fatty acid profiles and antioxidant content in grass-fed and grain-fed beef. Nutrition Journal 9: 10.

Many people wonder if grass-fed beef is more nutritional than conventionally raised, grain-fed beef. A recent paper in the Nutrition Journal addressed this issue and found considerable differences between grass-fed and grain-fed beef. The study compares the fatty acid composition and vitamin content from seven different breeds of grass-fed and grain-fed cattle, specifically comparing loin eye cuts.

The researchers find that grass-fed beef has a lower fat content among all breeds of cattle. On average, grass-fed beef had 37% less fat than grain-fed beef.

Of particular interest is the omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acid ratio in grass-fed versus grain-fed beef. As discussed in the previous post, this ratio is very important to human health. While the total amount of omega-6 is not significantly different in grass-fed versus grain-fed beef, there is a significant difference in the omega-3 content. Grass-fed beef has much more omega-3 than grain-fed beef, resulting in grass-fed beef having a much more favorable omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. The average omega-6 to omega-3 ratio for grass-fed beef is 2.20, while the average omega-6 to omega-3 ratio for grain-fed beef is 7.66. Continue reading