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The Acid-Alkaline Myth

If you eat meat, will your blood become acidic, leading to osteoporosis and cancer? This is what some people still believe.

However, as humans have been eating meat since about forever, it would be pretty weird if our bodies couldn’t handle it without breaking down!

The big Paleo star Chris Kresser gave a talk on the science behind the Acid-Alkaline theories at the recent Paleo f(x) conference. I did a brief video interview with him about it and you can see all of it above.

10 interviews from Paleo f(x)If you want to watch all the ten on-site interviews we did – with people like Mark Sisson – you can check them out right away at the membership site (free trial one month).

10 interviews from Paleo f(x)

In addition to these we did two longer and higher-quality sit-down interviews at the conference. These are coming up as soon as they are edited – there is a lot more work involved with them.

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Why Do Meat Eaters Get Colon Cancer More Often?

Not the best for your colon?

Not the best for your colon?

This post may be controversial – like swearing in the church of low-carb.

Is it unsafe to eat meat? Despite the scare propaganda the answer seems to be no. Meat is a nutritious and great food that humans have always eaten.

Warnings in the media are usually based on extremely uncertain studies – statistics from food questionnaires, where people who eat more meat also smoke more, eat more junk food, exercise less and so forth. Even with this unfair comparison the differences between meat eaters and non-meat eaters are usually small – and sometimes they point in the opposite direction.

In Asia, for example a review of all studies has shown that Asian meat eaters are healthier than non-meat eaters. Asians with a vegetarian orientation seem to get more heart disease and more cancer.

In summary, meat seems to be generally healthy, nutritious and great food. But there’s one exception.

The Exception

The exception, the area that deserves to be taken quite seriously – is the risk of colorectal cancer. For some reason studies repeatedly show that people who eat red – mainly processed – meat specifically get more colon cancer.

The increase in risk for colorectal cancer in people who eat a lot of meat is generally low, around 20%. This can be compared with a massive 1,000% increase of risk for lung cancer for smokers. But even if the increase in risk is small, it’s been shown so often and so consistently that it probably is real.

Two days ago another study was published showing a slightly smaller risk for colorectal cancer in vegetarians. Why does red (processed) meat seem to slightly increase the risk of colorectal cancer? Continue Reading →

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Tabloid: “Eating Meat Is Like Smoking Cigarettes”

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Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet wins the prize for sensationalism for its headline after yesterday’s confused questionnaire study on meat: “Steak is as dangerous as smoking”.

A bit later in the article comes the most bizarre: the increase in risk only applies to people between 55 and 65. After 65 the cigarettes, I’m sorry – the steak, suddenly becomes a health food. Confused? Don’t be – read yesterday’s post for the details: Is It Dangerous to Eat Meat Before Age 65?

Funnily enough, the article includes comments from Dr. Dahlqvist and me on whether LCHF is dangerous or not. We address the two obvious issues:

  • LCHF is about – exactly what the acronym stands for – less carbohydrates and more fat, not necessarily more meat. You could even adopt a vegetarian LCHF diet, if you want.
  • Yesterday’s study is only based on questionnaires and imaginative statistics, no evidence.

When the researcher behind the questionnaire study, Valter Longo, hears my comment he gets “annoyed”: Continue Reading →

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Is It Dangerous to Eat Meat Before Age 65?

Meat the American way. Not in the picture: the drink.

Meat the American way. Not in the picture: the drink.

Is it dangerous to eat meat if you’re between 55 and 65? Will eating lots of meat then suddenly become healthful after you turn 65?

This is the somewhat confusing conclusion that some researchers drew from a new American questionnaire study:

As usual, we have to take sensational headlines with a substantial pinch of salt. This was just a food questionnaire that was sent to some thousand Americans, and the researchers then looked at statistical associations with diseases.

Uncertain Association

As regular readers know, one can’t prove causation by correlating statistics from questionnaire studies. Only ignorant or sensationalism-driven journalists believe so. Unfortunately these two groups seem to constitute the vast majority of all journalists.

On subsequent examination, it turns out that at least 80% of similar findings in uncertain questionnaires are incorrect – see table 4 in the excellent review Why Most Published Research Findings are False.

So a more scientifically correct headline would be “There is a 20 percent chance that meat quadruples the risk of cancer for people under the age of 65 and reduces the risk for older people.” Not as enticing.

The statistical correlation between meat-eating and disease in people under 65 in the U.S. may just as well be due to the fact that meat consumption there is associated with eating junk food, smoking, lack of exercise, less vegetables and in principal any unhealthful lifestyle you can think of.

What, in all of these unhealthful lifestyles, is the cause of disease ? Statistics cannot prove this.

IGF-1 and cancer

Therefore, there are good reasons to ignore the study. But I guess that there’s still some truth behind it. Scientists report that protein (high-quality animal protein in particular) may raise levels of the hormone IGF-1, which stimulates cell division. High levels of IGF-1 may in the long run increase the risk of cancer.

What they don’t mention is that carbohydrates also increase levels of IGF-1, at least as much. Particularly bad carbohydrates in greater quantities radically raise IGF-1 levels. The only thing you can eat that doesn’t significantly increase levels of IGF-1 is fat.

The logical conclusion is that any variation of a low-carbohydrate diet with moderate amounts of protein (and enough fat) is the healthiest in the long run – at least to keep IGF-1 low while still feeling great. How much protein? The amount you need to feel good, feel full and stay strong and healthy. What is this concept called? LCHF.

The really ambitious may add intermittent fasting for maximum effect. Continue Reading →

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Were Our Ancestors Meat Eaters Millions of Years Ago?

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When did our ancestors start eating meat? An exciting archeological find supports the idea that we needed meat to survive as early as 1,5 million years ago. That means our ancestors had probably been eating meat regularly for a long time prior to that date.

The piece of bone above comes from a two years old child that may have died from lack of (vitamin B12) meat millions of years ago. Thus veganism may have been dangerous for a long time!

Sci-news.com: 1.5-Million-Year-Old Skull Fragment Shows Oldest Evidence of Regular Meat Consumption

Here’s the study behind the news.

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