Meat is Good for Your Heart? In a Word: YES!
Posted on February 3, 2015
It’s a funny world if you’ve been watching what you eat for the good of your heart over the last 2 or 3 decades.
For many years, it was saturated fat of all kinds that should be avoided – including those in red meat. Watch the dairy fat, careful of eggs, no avocados, hold the salt, and red meat, well that was surely off the menu. (My father just came back from heart surgery, and sure enough, he got the same advice post-recovery!)
Funny how things change in research though… Today avocados are definitely on the menu, as are eggs. Dairy fat appears not to harm your heart, and sodium isn’t the problem so much as a lack of potassium. And red meat, it’s not only good for you, but may well be GOOD for the heart.
Studies now show that saturated fat in the diet doesn’t raise the ‘bad’ cholesterol in the blood, and is not in any way associated with heart disease. As Kris Gunnars points out in his blog, in a massive study conducted at Harvard that looked at 20 studies covering over 1.2million people found no association between unprocessed red meat, cardiovascular disease and diabetes. (You can find those studies here)
In addition, red meat is high in DHA and EPA, the active forms of Omega-3 in the human body. (The body is inefficient at converting ALA (the plant based form of Omega-3) to the active forms. Omega-3’s in their active forms are believed to help
- decrease the risk for arrhythmia
- decrease triglyceride levels
- decrease the growth rate of plaque that clogs blood vessels
- lower blood pressure slightly
- prevent inflammation of the blood vessels and formation of blood clots..
…. all of which help prevent Coronary Heart Disease.
So what’s the culprit? Next week we’ll look at Saturated Fats, as well as the role that Carbs may be playing in heart disease. Stay tuned!