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Author Topic: Enjoy your steak  (Read 1007 times)

Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Enjoy your steak
« on: July 07, 2021, 1317 UTC »
A new study from the American Society for Nutrition members has found no association between eating red meat and the risk of early death, heart disease, cancer or stroke.

The study involved 1,330,352 individuals, with 137,376 deaths, and, overall, indicated that unprocessed red meat was not associated with an increased risk of mortality.

https://www.farmersjournal.ie/red-meat-not-associated-with-heart-disease-cancer-or-early-death-report-632943
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Offline Zoidberg

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Re: Enjoy your steak
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2022, 0020 UTC »
Good to know, because as a result of inflation and fluctuating food prices, moderate quality steak has been a comparative bargain in my area, compared with chicken, fish and even eggs. Eggs skyrocketed from $1/dozen to $5/dozen in some local stores. Usually I can buy 18 brown eggs for $5 or less, since most folks prefer the white shell eggs that are easier to crack but have little flavor. In terms of nutritional density, it's hard to beat steak at $5-$6/lb.

It's not usually the best for grilling, pan frying or broiling, although it's not bad after a few more days of wet aging, or a little papain enzyme tenderizer. And some cuts contain at least a few ounces of well marbled beef that's suitable for pan frying or broiling. The tricky bit is Kroger butchers usually slice the steaks too thin, around an inch or inch and a quarter. But recently I found some sliced around 1-1/2" to 1-3/4" inch that cooked nicely with a charred outside and medium rare inside.

At worst, the leaner cuts are fine for longer cooking to tenderize it for BBQ, stew, etc. Much more pleasant texture than the usual stringy muscle cuts sold for stew.
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Enjoy your steak
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2022, 1214 UTC »
Ribeye has become rather... astronomical in price. But as a close substitute I put chuck roast in the immersion circulator at 128F for 24 hours, then give both sides a hard sear in a pan. In fact I made that last night. The local stores often have chuck roast on sale for $3.99/lb. so I load up the freezer when I can.

Not sure if you have Aldi down there, they have fairly good prices on cheese.

As far as eggs.. they come from our backyard. Sadly feed prices have gone up recently.

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Offline MDK2

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Re: Enjoy your steak
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2022, 1820 UTC »
UNPROCESSED should be a key word. Big difference between a grassfed steak from a minimally medicated cow and your average Oscar Meyer product.

Since other studies have been questioned based upon financing on this board, it's fair to ask if this organization is also receiving funding from interested parties.

http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/ASNReportFinal.pdf

Now, it's important to note that that's hardly a smoking gun to prove any bias. Research needs funding and corporations have it, and they far more often don't tie strings. (It's something else entirely when industry creates their own research groups a la big tobacco in the latter part of the 20th Century.) But it would help if we had a link to the study instead of a media report about it. It was tricky to find. In fact, I'm still looking. But at least I found this which is just more common sense stuff that now has some scientific confirmation:

https://nutrition.org/dietary-pattern-more-so-than-consumption-of-red-or-processed-meat-is-associated-with-chronic-disease-risks/

In other words, how much you eat has a lot more to do with your health risks that what exactly you're eating.

EDIT: found this through their website as being the closest to corresponding to the Irish Farmers Journal story, being that it draws essentially the same conclusions and came out in 2021 (same with that news report), but the number of participants given in the report was far greater than the one given here. And though I found it through the American Society for Nutrition's website, it's not published in their journal. That's all the time I really feel like chasing it.

https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/114/3/1049/6195530#299191672
« Last Edit: October 28, 2022, 1844 UTC by MDK2 »
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Offline Zoidberg

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Re: Enjoy your steak
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2022, 0428 UTC »
The problem with most studies I've read that cautiously suggest an association between "processed" meats and health risks is that the documented health issues could be attributed to a number of other factors.

For example, among the above links, one study involved a smallish cohort of post-menopausal woman. That's an oddly specific sample group for which health issues could be attributable to a number of other factors -- notably, age and hormonal imbalances.

If someone were to study a sampling group of me, they might conclude that my health problems might be associated with processed meat, sugar, carbs, coffee consumption, exposure to cat dander and changing their litterboxes, or rubbing the wrong type of crystal the wrong way on a new moon in August.

But most of my physical health issues can be attributed to incompetent or indifferent doctors failing to diagnose and treat a fairly mundane thyroid problem more than 20 years ago when it first occurred. Had they done so back in the 1990s on one of my many medical appointments, they might have prevented two or three decades of misery and declining health that turned out to be quite ordinary and easily treatable. But that diagnosis didn't come until a few years ago after I was hit by a car and routine X-rays in the ER to check for neck injuries revealed a long neglected thyroid cancer, with consequent issues affecting bone density, cortisol levels, etc.

I've always eaten a healthy diet, with low to moderate intake of alcohol. I quit smoking decades ago and even then smoked only occasionally. I tried more dietary screenings than I can keep track of to rule out gluten (back in the early 1990s, long before gluten was a faddish thing to worry about) and other foods.

And it all turned out to be a wonky thyroid, a problem that runs in the family. But allopathic medical doctors, especially in HMO programs, tend to treat only symptoms, and only want to hear about your single major complaint. They aren't interested in hearing about a grab bag of possibly relevant maladies, or patients speculating about family medical histories.

At 65, I've given up on worrying about diet as a significant issue. I exercise as much as possible, probably more than most guys my age (I was a serious amateur athlete when I was younger, especially in amateur boxing and cycling). I'm usually only 5-10 lbs over my optimal weight when I was in my 20s, and could still easily drop that modest amount of belly fat by eliminating junk carbs and sugar.

But I no longer try to "eat a balanced diet." I can't digest legumes, even with digestive enzymes. Some carbs, especially rice, gives me gas. Fresh fruits and vegetables have zero noticeable beneficial effect on my digestive system and elimination. So I rarely eat salads or anything like it, unless I just happen to crave a change of pace in flavor and texture. Mostly I eat meat -- appropriately cooked for the type of meat -- and I don't avoid meat fats. I eat eggs. Potatoes, especially if I'm planning a workout bike ride or run the next day and can make use of the high glycemic index from white potatoes. A few cooked veggies for flavor with meats -- onions, garlic, carrots, mushrooms, etc. That's about all and I'm fine with that.

A few times a week I'll eat oatmeal, which mostly irritates my digestive system. I suppose some folks find it gratifying to feel that urge to take a huge poop after eating oatmeal or grains, but I don't find any particular benefit to it. I have no problems with elimination eating mostly meat and a modest amount of a few other items that agree with my digestion.

I like yogurt and half and half creamer in my coffee. And I use some whey protein powder, mostly to mix with my instant coffee and various supplement powders to mask the unpleasant flavors of some supplements. But I've cut out milk and other dairy, although I enjoy them. I just have fewer problems with digestion and nasal sinus phlegm when I avoid milk and milk based ice cream. I'm okay with a modest amount of yogurt, coffee cream, whey protein, etc. Occasionally I'll switch to faux-milk: oat milk, almond, banana, etc. But often that stuff seems overpriced for being mostly flavored water with a bit of thickening agent to mimic milk.

I do try to buy relatively unprocessed meats for sandwiches when I want something quick and handy -- usually deli sliced roast beef or chicken. I just prefer the flavor and texture. Most processed deli cuts by popular commercial brands is just terrible in flavor and texture. I don't care whether it's supposedly a health risk. It's just awful stuff to put in my mouth. And decent deli cuts of meats that are only seasoned and cooked don't cost much more nowadays.
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Offline ChrisSmolinski

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Re: Enjoy your steak
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2022, 1224 UTC »
Three significant problems with the claimed links between consumption of meats, processed (whatever that means) or not and health issues are:

1. Confounding factors - ie: don't blame the steak for what the cigarettes, beer, and potato chips did. While study authors may claim to adjust for such factors, it's essentially impossible to do so correctly. How do you how to adjust and by what amount? Based on other (flawed) studies?   

2. You can't do "real" experiments here like you can in physics, chemistry, etc. It's nearly all observational studies. And really bad ones at that. Typical are the food survey questionnaires. Ask a group of people to think back (or log) and report how much of such and such types of foods they ate over a 5, 10 or 20 year period. No, don't laugh. They actually do this. And then use the data to write papers. That get published.   In cases where some sort of pseudo-controlled experiment is performed (feed N subjects substance X and measure some body response), N is often surprisingly small. This allows for the fun game of running a bunch of such experiments, and cherry pick the one with the results you wanted. The rest get memory holed.

3. The claimed risk factors (17% greater risk of dying from eating two eggs a day!) appear large, but in reality are quite small compared to associations we know are real, smoking and lung cancer being perhaps the gold standard here. Physicists and other hard science folks routinely laugh at medical study results, and for good reason. The p values from nutrition/etc. studies are so abysmal that not only would similar results in a physics experiment not get you published, you'd probably be laughed out of the the room for even suggesting it.

Consumption of meat has, if anything, been on a decline, especially red meat. What has also been on a decline is home-prepared meals. What has been on an increase is pre-prepared convenience foods, which is evident by glancing in the carts of your fellow shoppers at the supermarket, not to mention the shelf space at the store. Virtually the entire typical supermarket now is prepared foods. Quick and easy which leads to more consumption (as MDK2 pointed out is certainly a major factor). And a HUGE profit center for store and manufacturer. You can turn pennies of potatoes into a bag of chips. That sells, per pound, for more than chicken. Follow the money is certainly as true today as ever. No need for any conspiracy theories either, it's just all the interested parties do what is in their best interest, though perhaps not yours.

As with Lex, I eat an animal centric diet, and have for 22+ years now - shifting slowly over that time to almost but not quite exclusively animal based after first starting with just cutting out the obvious crap sugar and starches (cookies, bread, pizza, rice, pasta, etc.) I've documented my maintained 100+ pound weight loss elsewhere so I won't go into that here. My diet is essentially meat (mostly beef and chicken, pork, and rarely lamb (which I love but it's insanely expensive)), cheese (cheddars are my favorite with smoked gouda a close second), and eggs.  I do occasionally add mushrooms, and somewhat rarely small amounts of onion/tomato for flavor. I just made a big batch of meatballs, there's some minimal tomato sauce coating them, I also melt an 8 oz block of shredded cheese on top.   

Nearly zero fiber.  Not only did I not find any beneficial effect (as Lex noted) I found a negative effect of fiber consumption. Others with a similar diet have reported this. There's some conjecture that fiber is only necessary if you're eating a high starch/etc. diet.

I've made my own deli style meats in the past, it's a bit of a pain, but not terrible, and I have an electric meat slicer, which considering the insane prices of sueprmarket deli meat quickly pays for itself. I have found a few supermarket brands that are not terrible, they do have more salt than I'd like (from a taste POV, my blood pressure runs 105/60 or so, so that's not a health issue) so I don't eat them that often. Sometimes I'll take deli ham and put it in a pot of warm water on the stove for a few minutes to both warm it up and remove some of the salt. Then throw it on a plate, put sliced swiss onto top, and melt that. Ham & cheese "sandwich" on a plate. I do similar things with cheesesteaks and hoagies - I think you midwesterners use the term "sub"  :P

What I don't think is (or should be) controversial is that the proliferation of what is called "junk food" by all sides of the nutrition debate, as well as the normalization of the result, is taking a huge toll on society, both in terms of health and medical costs.  How many steaks or salads people should eat should be waaaay in the margins of the debate. But, again... follow the money. Also, Big Pharma(R) cannot be too displeased with the results of SAD (Standard American Diet), either.
Chris Smolinski
Westminster, MD
eQSLs appreciated! csmolinski@blackcatsystems.com
netSDR / AFE822x / AirSpy HF+ / KiwiSDR / 900 ft Horz skyloop / 500 ft NE beverage / 250 ft V Beam / 58 ft T2FD / 120 ft T2FD / 400 ft south beverage / 43m, 20m, 10m  dipoles / Crossed Parallel Loop / Discone in a tree

 

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