Cardiologist in Houston Chronicle: ‘Want a healthier heart? Eat a steak’

steak good for heart health

Last week, Houston Chronicle ran a bold opinion piece by cardiologist Bret Scher favoring low-carb diets and debunking the purported heart health risks of eating red meat. This op-ed nicely summarizes ideas that are familiar to Diet Doctor readers while it also educates a new audience: greater Houston.

Dr. Scher makes many significant points; his article is the perfect length to share with family and friends. Here are a couple of snippets:

The medical community frowns upon the kinds of saturated fats found in meat, dairy and coconut oil. The American Heart Association recommends avoiding red meat — and if people insist on eating it, they should “select the leanest cuts available.” Federal nutritional guidelines suggest that less than 10 percent of one’s daily calories come from saturated fats, while the AHA recommends even less.

These recommendations have never been supported by rigorous research. The idea that saturated fats cause heart disease stems from decades-old observational studies. […T]hese kinds of observational claims are weak science. In 2011, a comprehensive analysis of 52 separate claims made in observational studies concluded that none — that’s right, zero — could be confirmed in a clinical trial — a more rigorous type of science.[…]

In recent years, numerous teams of researchers worldwide have reviewed all the data on saturated fats — and concluded that these fats do not have any effect on cardiovascular mortality.

Have you seen Dr. Bret Scher’s name before? Perhaps! He is the host of the Diet Doctor Podcast and a contributor to our news posts. Congratulations to Bret for spreading the word in the mainstream press that low-carb diets are the best path to heart health.

Houston Chronicle: Want a healthier heart? Eat a steak


Cardiologist in The Washington Times: ‘Carbohydrates are killing us’

Nina Teicholz in WSJ: “Carbs, good for you? Fat chance!”

‘What the Health’ review: health claims backed by no solid evidence


The science of low carb

A low-carb diet for beginners

Dietary guidelines

Low carb


  1. Tina Willis
    Oh dear lord. Yeah let's crank up the meat and stop eating broccoli. Makes perfect sense.
  2. April Michel Stevenson
    This logic makes no sense at all!!! You want a healthy heart become a vegetarian or a vegan. Get plenty of exercise and sleep. Saturated fats are bad for you. So is trans fat. Coconut milk is good for you. Coconut oil is the worst thing you can put into your body!!!
  3. Rt453
    Not sure what article you read, but it said nothing of eshewing vegetables in favor of red meat. It was focused on grains: carb-dense foods that have little micronutrient value unless 'fortified' during processing. Veggies can and should be a part of a healthful, whole food diet.
  4. Theresa
    I'm sick of hearing it's good it's
    No good! What the hell do people do?🙄
  5. BobM
    Rt453, there's not a lot of RCT evidence that veggies are good for you. The Women's Health Initiative Dietary Intervention trial, for instance, split 49,000 women into two groups. The group under test ate less fat, less saturated fat, less red meat (20%, a statistically significant difference), more fruits and vegetables, yet at the end of 8 years and 400+ million US dollars, there was no statistically significant difference between either group for heart disease or cancer.

    Personally, I think meat, particularly red meat, is much better for you than are vegetables.

  6. Cecil Cat
    Yay! Please keep spreading the word. I watched several shows on the dangers of sugars and other carbs and decided to give them up. It's been almost 2 years. I've lost 80 lbs and feel great. I eat lots of meat, dairy,nuts, vegetables & fruit. Everytime I see a story saying low carb diets are bad, I wonder who is really funding the study.
  7. Lisa
    Seriously?? The information in this article is ridiculous. What do you think we are, idiots?
    Reply: #15
  8. Swaraj Chakrabarti
    Everyday conflicting reports are published by so called experts about what is good for you to eat. No, you are wrong. They are publishing articles not to do you any good but will in turn help businesses they have been funded by. Just use common sense and eat in moderation variety on non processed foods and pay no attention to these reports.
  9. Liveonairnow
    Just eat grass, drink water.
  10. Dr Salah Amer
    I strongly believe the diet issue is settled and firm scientific studies confirmed that too much meat kill people and that the endothelium stop producing nitric oxide after one fatty meal
    Look at statistics the highest longevity and healthier people are in Okinawa and Lima Linda
    They eat organic food from their farms
  11. Louise
    I agree 100% with Cecil Cat in April I was diagnosed with one Carotid Artery 100% blocked a heart 35% functioning & was told by my cardiologist to go out and do what makes me happy and live my life... that was after he asked me if anyone was with me to drive me home? I found a new Dr, started eating only chicken, cod, haddock and eggs raw veggies and fruits, nuts skim cheeses and honey. No sugar or fats or anything that had cholesterol listed. 50lbs fell from my body like I walked out of a shell by September... I didn't measure in any sense of the word, if I'm hungry I eat, anythinn on the healthy list..let's not forget the can of COCONUT MILK! NOT the carton of Coconut milk in the dairy section..too many additives..get the pure stuff and drink a can of it straight if you like!
  12. 1 comment removed
  13. Giu
    Check Dr Berg on YouTube... There is science behind what is being said here... I have no interest in pushing a side or the other... Just make your own researches and try to keep a wide view and possibility to learn something different from what you knew... One thing is certain: If you are not healty right now, whatever you are eating and drinking, is wrong and you should change it .. Nevertheless whatever is your knowledge, try to study and really understand others', leave your comfort zone. try and then state that something is right or wrong... Otherwise you are just staying in your small safe place and you'll never learn anything new..
  14. Donald
    Good stuff. I will always take the steak over the broccoli. Or have both of them together. I do not care if you are carnivore, paleo, keto or even vegan. You know what has everything beat? FASTING. Stop eating!!! Eat one large meal every 3 to 4 days and watch as your body heals itself. Do that a couple times a month. Probably seems impossible if you are a glucose burning addict.
  15. Ronda
  16. Gato
    I have been on Keto since May. I have lost 30 pounds, my blood sugar went down 40 points, my A1C down two full points
  17. AuggieD
    The Houston cardiologist just wants to insure he will have a steady stream of patients.

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