long been an advocate of reducing red
meat consumption, acknowledges the
issue. “Part of the problem is that the
public is interested in nutrition…Very
often science is presented to the public
in a way that is conclusive when in fact
the science behind it is often very preliminary, very inconclusive,” Willett
told PBS’ “Frontline.”
But just as the public is bombarded
with this news, researchers are not immune either and their attitudes and
opinions can be impacted by the media
“buzz” —and sometimes steeled against
new findings that are so important to
As Klurfeld points out, “The trouble is, we don’t eat nutrients, we eat foods, and we
don’t eat them in isolation, we eat them as a dietary pattern.”
Recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association and the
New England Journal of Medicine that have looked at dietary patterns both found that
low-carbohydrate and Mediterranean diets caused more weight loss than low-fat diets.
It has been documented that meat can contribute to a sense of satiation that can control hunger. Emerging research on the role of protein and satiety is promising and positive. Therefore, meat protein in the diet may play an important role in weight
The fact that the National Cancer Institute has estimated that 25 to 30% of seven
major cancers are linked to obesity would suggest that meat can be a very important
part of a weight reduction program and potentially reduce cancer risk.
So What Does All the Evidence
Were a panel to analyze all the research—epidemiological and experimental—and consider the number of studies
that have shown that red meat’s nutrition benefits, the conclusions surely
would be far different compared with
those of WCRF/AICR.
Sodium Nitrite and Cured Meats: The Facts
Similarly, evidence of sodium nitrite’s safety and benefits also is emerging in a way
that is turning scientific heads—and evoking skepticism from some corners.
When WCRF/AIRC declared in 2007 that there was no safe level of processed
meat consumption—a statement that defies logic given that there are safe levels of
everything—especially nutritious foods—they cited sodium nitrite in cured, processed
meats as a potential reason to support their hypothesis.
In the same 2008 IAFP symposium where Klurfeld challenged WCRF, Nathan
Bryan, Ph.D., of the Institute of Molecular Medicine at the University of Texas Health
Science Center at Houston said many people have outdated notions about sodium nitrite’s safety.
“The public perception is that nitrite and nitrate are carcinogens but they are not,”
Bryan said. “If nitrite and nitrate were harmful to us, then we would not be advised to
Solar Biological; sterile
laboratory products for the
collection and transportation
of food borne pathogens.
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