September 6th, 2010
07:09 PM ET

Animal-based protein diets increase mortality rate

Not all proteins are equal when it comes to the health of dieters eating low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets.

Animal-based proteins and fats are associated with increased mortality rates, including increased cardiovascular mortality and increased cancer mortality, a new study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine concludes. But low-carbohydrate, high-protein diets composed mostly of plant-based proteins and fats were associated with lower mortality rates overall and lower cardiovascular mortality rates.

The study followed more than 85,000 women and 44,500 men for a period of 20 to 26 years. All the study participants were without heart disease, cancer, or diabetes. To reach their conclusion, the study authors accounted for lifestyle factors such as smoking, exercise, multivitamin use, and alcohol intake. The study participants were all health professionals who filled out regular questionnaires about their food intake over the long follow-up period. The study authors acknowledged that while the large sample of participants was a strength of the study, its participant pool of all health care professionals was a limitation because it was not representative of the larger population.

The benefits of eating a low-carbohydrate, plant-based diet

Results of the study confirmed a "direct association" between animal-based low-carbohydrate food intake in men and increased cancer deaths, particularly from colorectal and lung cancer. That association aligns with previous studies that have confirmed a link between red meat, processed meat, and those two types of cancers. The study also found that men and women who ate diets heavy in animal-based proteins had higher averages BMIs and were more likely to smoke. Yet men and women who ate more plant or vegetable-based proteins and fats ate more whole grains and tended to drink more alcohol.

"The protein you get from combining rice and beans is the same quality as what you get from eggs and steak. You just don't get all the other stuff that's bad for you, " says Dr. Dean Ornish, founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute, who is not affiliated with this study.

"This is the diet that I've been advocating for for 30 years."

The study authors say the low-carb, high-protein diets followed by its participants "were not designed to mimic any particular versions of low-carbohydrate diets available in the popular literature." Yet when most people think of a high-protein eating plan, they think of the Atkins diet. Atkins says nothing about its eating plans can be deduced by this study. In a statement to CNN, the company says, "Major clinical research has demonstrated the health benefits of low-carb diets," including several dozen articles on the Atkins protocols that "demonstrate positive results in terms of weight loss, as well as improvements in lipid profiles, reduced inflammation and better blood sugar control."

Dieters interested in eating more plant and vegetable-based proteins should consider adding tofu, beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds in to their diet. Sunflower oil, olive oil, canola oil, soy oil, and peanut oil are also great sources of plant-based fats.

"Plant-based diets – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, a little fish, soy products, legumes – you want to eat more towards that end of the spectrum, not exclusively vegetarian," says Ornish.

soundoff (327 Responses)
  1. Mark and Justyna Ramotowski

    Please notice the "soy products" injected in there. soy products are not food. I bet this study was funded by the multi-million dollar soy industry.

    September 6, 2010 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JohnDorian

      Why all the angst against soy? From my understanding, it's pretty healthy for you in most of its different forms. Are there current independent/gov't scientific studies that correlate soy (aside from hydrogenated products) with premature health problems? It's a plant product like what they're suggesting. Not sure your argument has any merit without any references to clear sound science.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • Jenna

      You must be kidding.... because surely you would not be so worried about a "soy" industry if you knew anything about the multibillion dollar meat industry that is notorious for its secretive, and less than admirable practices. If you're going to talk about an industry trying to fool us, you're looking in the completely wrong place.
      Regardless, soy is far healthier for you, has virtually no risk of foodborne illness (**ahem, meat industry**), and requires FAR FAR less natural resources to produce than meat.
      Again, please do some research.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      The study was funded by the NIH, just so you know.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
    • George

      Please Google "the dark side of soy" , it was an article in the Utne Reader AUgust 2007.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      Have you ever read about soy? Its more dangerous then anythign else out there. No way would I touch that garbage with a 10 ft pole.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:44 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      links, please ~ mark, justyna, heather

      September 6, 2010 at 21:54 | Report abuse |
    • grofys

      it's getting more difficult to find non-gmo soybeans.

      September 6, 2010 at 22:06 | Report abuse |
    • NA

      To Tony, soy isn't as healthy as most of us think/want to think. Soy is heavily subsidized in the USA and there is basically a campaign to promote soy. Many people ask, "If soy's awful, then why are the Japanese so healthy?" Well, the average Japanese individual eats far less the amount of soy than the average American, both vegetarian and non-vegetarian. In the US soy is found in nearly everything, prepackaged food, it's fed to the animals those who eat animals eat, and many vegetarians substitute meat with soy. Additionally, soy contains phytoestrogens, which are estrogen like chemicals that can confuse the body (women who have hormonal breakouts should stay away from soy). In fact, phytoestrogens are often a part of women's "hormone replacement therapy" which many scientists now believe increase cancer risk in women. It's interesting to note, that the US, the nation in which soy is almost everywhere, and the nation with BGH (bovine growth hormone) treated cows, has some of the highest rates of breast cancer, and that the average age of puberty among girls is declining. A coincidence? Probably not.

      Here's one link that summarizes a lot of info, a good place to start: http://www.the7thfire.com/health_and_nutrition/truth_about_soy.html

      Btw, I do not eat meat, nor do I eat soy, I am HEALTHY. It's not at all hard to do.

      September 6, 2010 at 22:10 | Report abuse |
    • Esther

      Definitely too much GMO plugging in this statement. Folks- soy, and canola should be bought ORGANIC only whether as an additive in a can or in oils. . . non-organic is most likely a genetically modified product which means that genes of other plants, bacteria, viruses, etc. were injected into the seed which grew into a plant that could resist ridiculous amounts of pesticide-and these are being fed to us in corn, soy, cotton and canola products. Something tells me substituting meat with GMOs is not exactly going to do you any good when it comes to cancer. . . GO ORGANIC on these meat substitutes until the day comes that these products label themselves non-GMO.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • Nursehope

      IF soy (bean vegetable) products are not food, please enlighten us with your version of exactly what class of matter they occupy? Mineral? Animal? hmmmm

      September 6, 2010 at 23:07 | Report abuse |
    • Toshi O.

      Agree – they are not the same soy seeds that they used to be.

      I also here that eating too many increases the chance of having thyroid issues, ala Oprah.

      Toshi O

      September 6, 2010 at 23:35 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Nursehope, don't confuse food with plants. Food is what nourishes us, while plants are merely a non-sentient form of life on this planet. It's important to note that plants, unlike animals, can't run away as their primary form of defense against aggressors. Indeed, all animals know when to run away from danger. But plants, what's their primary defense against aggressors? Toxins and poisons. That's what. And what do toxins and poisons do to humans? Well, keep eating them plants and find out. Oh, but we've bred the toxins out. Yes, we did. That's why all the plants that we grow for food are sprayed with even more toxic pesticides that end up in our plates.

      It's not because we can't pronounce the names of those pesticides that they're harmless.

      September 7, 2010 at 00:39 | Report abuse |
    • KC

      Soy is one of the top ten food allergies. I'm one of the people for whom soy would increase my mortality rate. I can no longer buy most products at the health food store, because they've all been adulterated with soy.

      September 7, 2010 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
    • Bemused

      "Increased Mortality Rate"? LOL, these headline writers need to rethink their phraseology. Does that mean there are immortals walking among us? Last time I checked, everyone is going to die, regardless if you eat meat or soy. Besides, why do the devout worshipers of the soy or meat religion feel the obsession to evangelize? There's really no secret: Eat balanced meals, live balanced lives.

      September 7, 2010 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • Greta

      HAHA! All of you American sheep are all the same. You believe everything you read. Eggs are bad. Eggs are good. Meat is bad. Meat is good. All this misinformation is brought to you by whoever is plugging their agenda. GET IT? The egg council will of course say eggs are good for you !!!!!!!!! DUH! I feel so bad for you Americans. Your food is so overprocessed it is no longer able to be called food. Much better to live in small village and raise your own meat and vegetables. NO hormones. NO gmo garbage. NO crap injected into foods to stretch it. Utterly disgusting. Your country has so much money and resources for people to die by the millions of food-borne illness!

      September 7, 2010 at 15:07 | Report abuse |
    • CR

      Yeah... soy can get pretty scary. I'm vegetarian and I try my best to stay away from the stuff. It's in everything these days, though, and most people probably don't realize it. Moderation is key. Just eat sensibly. Even steak can be okay 🙂

      September 7, 2010 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • Edward Stack Sr

      This is why I eat only nuts..........ants and worms.........

      September 7, 2010 at 20:08 | Report abuse |
    • hellodenver

      Correction, it is the meat and dairy industry putting our false information about the "health" of their product, do your research.

      September 7, 2010 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • Truebob

      The mortality rate for humans is 100%

      September 8, 2010 at 06:32 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      In five years these "facts" will be completely reversed. And in five more years they'll be back to where they started. And so on. And so on. And so on.

      September 8, 2010 at 06:47 | Report abuse |
    • TNTom

      Soy is great for you and there are many other solutions to getting protein from foods other than meats, but just because this study says that the people eating meat products developed health problems doesn't mean that you cannot live a healthy life and eat meat. The reason that the people in the study were having cardiovascular and other health problems is because they were eating a high protein diet. Everyone thinks that carbohydrates are the enemy, when they are the most important aspect of food consumption. A person's body uses carbohydrates as your main energy source and proteins are supposed to repair muscles. A person's daily consumption percentages should be 55% carbohydrates, 15% proteins, and 30% fat. The types of carbohydrates that you eat are where the problems come in. People need to be eating whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, and some veggies in order to be receiving the nutrients the body needs from carbohydrates for energy. It is true that eating a lot of red meats is bad for a person's overall health, but that doesn't mean that people shouldn't eat any meat at all. Almost anything in moderation is not horrible for you. If the people on these high protein (meat) diets only ate 15% of their daily intake as protein from meats, than they would have a lot less of a problem with their health. People are eating a lot more protein than the body needs, and all excess protein does is turn into fat.

      September 8, 2010 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • Poe

      Agreed JohnDorian. Don't really get it. I have been a strict vegetarian since 1991 and have consumed it without any kind of negative effects of soy. I eat it maybe once a month and the whole argument seems pretty silly to me. I am amused with all of these articles that come out because people are so defensive about their diet. Not sure why, you eat what you eat and why be angry about or defensive about it?

      September 10, 2010 at 06:58 | Report abuse |
    • RockinRobbie

      That terrible soy conspiracy! Please.

      Here's a measured article: http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/soymessina

      September 11, 2010 at 16:05 | Report abuse |
    • Candice

      soy = soybean, bean = food

      September 11, 2010 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
    • Gary

      I have been a vegan for 27 years and have not any health issues concerning soy being unhealthy for me.

      September 11, 2010 at 22:57 | Report abuse |
    • Merewyn

      I want links to the individual studies, including who funded them, before I base any opinion on study data. There are enough flawed or biased studies to support any conclusion made by anybody...

      October 12, 2010 at 13:40 | Report abuse |
  2. Healthy Eater

    Good article overall. But promoting tofu as a healthy protein-based food is wrong. Tofu is a processed food devoid of nutrients and some studies link it to cancers and sterility.

    September 6, 2010 at 19:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenna

      Echoing another comment I made....
      It is so interesting that people jump on the bandwagon of calling soy unhealthy.... it is NOTHING in comparison to meat. Especially processed meats. If your decision is between a hamburger (or steak or hot dog or whatever) and a tofu based meal... the tofu is, hands-down, 100% the healthier option.
      And the research on soy's association with cancer is equivocal at best. While the research on meat and it's health effects, is resoundingly clear.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • Gilda

      Tofu's nota food. It's a filler.

      And one I use very very rarely.

      My STEAK, on the other hand...

      September 6, 2010 at 20:26 | Report abuse |
    • Jenna

      Seriously, Gilda. You should read my response to your other post. Until you have a rational basis for your statements, you are completely irrelevant. You clearly have no idea what your talking about and have absolutely no evidence to support any of your statements. Please educate yourself.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:29 | Report abuse |
    • Maxx

      A "processed" food? You have to be joking. Everything we eat is processed to one extent or another. Even meat is "processed" heavily, in the feed that the animals receive.

      Devoid of nutrients? Soy is heavy in isoflavones, some of the strongest anti-cancer nutrients out there, and it's a complete protein without being loaded with saturated fat.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse |
    • BrD44

      Jenna is an executive at Archer Daniels Midland and part of the Agri-business conspiracy to promote soy to Americans while at the same time destroying subsistence farming in developing countries. She is dangerous! Ignore her comments!!

      September 6, 2010 at 22:35 | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      You don't néed unhealthy tofu/soy to be a vegetarian. I am and I sont eat it. Frankly we don't need that much protein to survive it is overrated.

      September 7, 2010 at 06:56 | Report abuse |
  3. John Thompson

    Canola is a man-made oil – it is not natural... Go for olive oil – extra virgin is the ONLY way to go... and get rid of butter and margarine forever...

    September 6, 2010 at 19:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Suse

      Um, canola oil = rapeseed oil. It's just been re-branded in the US.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:11 | Report abuse |
    • LLLLLL

      Extra virgin first cold press.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • Maxx

      Oh no, not natural? I guess we should all be drinking hemlock tea, bathing in poison ivy, then. Natural doesn't mean healthy.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Canola oil is just rapeseed oil. It's low in saturated fat. If you're going to use an oil, it's a good one, and it has a higher smoke point than olive oil.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:40 | Report abuse |
    • laura

      Saying that EVOI is "the only way to go" shows a lack of education about oil.

      The type of oil you choose depends on the type of cooking you are doing. EVOI is best for salads and for low-heat cooking. Look the rest up.

      Also, canola oil ... well look that up too before you spew more inaccurate facts,

      September 7, 2010 at 00:42 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Extra virgin cold pressed olive oil coming right up. Oh, don't mind the diabetes that comes with it:

      You have to wonder why they guy didn't make his little stunt using animal fat.

      September 7, 2010 at 05:45 | Report abuse |
    • Chef

      LAURA: You are an imbocile. Extra Virgin Olive Oil is extremely healthy for you and has amazing health benefits. Also COCONUT OIL is wonderful for many things. I have silky smooth hair and skin thanks to using it. The American Media and its bias did a good job in poisoning people's minds into thinking Coconut Oil is bad for you so they can sell us their CRAP synthetic versions. Many people's throughout the world having been using in for centuries and no wonder island people have beautiful skin and hair while white people looking like trash when they age.

      September 7, 2010 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
    • Merewyn

      Bah. Extra virgin olive oil is delicious and better for you, but it isn't cheap enough for daily kitchen use...

      October 12, 2010 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
  4. Scott

    Watch out for soy. Increases estrogen and grows boobs, which is bad if you're a dude. Stick to food with parents.

    September 6, 2010 at 19:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chris

      Lol, no wonder why I'm a triple D 🙂 haha – some ladies might opt for soy then instead of the scapel. just sayin....lmfao.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • Daryn Guarino

      So that explains why Asian women are so busty, all that soy, eh?

      September 6, 2010 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
  5. Randy Green

    This article needs to clarify if it's referring to eating red meat (pork, beef) versus chicken, turkey & fish. The implication is that "animal"= beef & pork & not fish, chjicken or other fowl. This is a major clarification that's needed.

    Whoever is the editor of this blog needs to do a little more work to vet the posts.

    September 6, 2010 at 19:57 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tony

      Chicken and turkey are no better than pork or beef. Seafood which is not farm raised, can be considered a healthy food though.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:01 | Report abuse |
    • Jen

      Fish good if you like mercury poisoning and glowing in the dark.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      Tony, "not better" in what way? Chicken and turkey breast are low in saturated fat, and healthy sources of protein.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:44 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      It conclusively links all animal-based proteins. Using logic, higher amounts of animal protein would mean higher risk. There's nothing at all wrong with the article ~ it's obvious it's just telling you something you didn't want to hear.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
    • Kamikaze

      It's how much of it you it that's the problem. If you think pork is more healthier then chicken you have no idea what you're writing about.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
    • BrD44

      Hmmm.... the comment about male breasts is incorrect, but we are to take seriously a comment about glowing in the dark? Please jenna... some consistency sweety!

      September 6, 2010 at 22:37 | Report abuse |
  6. Bruce Eshbaugh

    Who Cares?

    At least I die to the smell of grilling meats and the taste of veal, a miracle of itself, which, I'm sure, the Good Lord made to go with my bourgogne rouge...

    September 6, 2010 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JohnDorian

      Hah! Amen, Bruce.

      My only problem with that argument is that you may want to avoid strokes and heart attacks early in life, and be healthy and strong when reaching "old age". With the wrong diet, you may actually live through your stroke or heart attack, and live a life not worth living with all the pills and restricted diets you'd have to put yourself on. Your health care may become too expensive, and you may be confined to having other people do things for you (like changing your diaper).

      Unfortunately, I can't follow my own advice, and eat hamburgers much more regularly that plants (although I throw lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on them whenever I possibly can).

      September 6, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
    • Maxx

      Did the "good lord" also make it so that those animals suffer at slaughter so that you can enjoy eating them?

      September 6, 2010 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      I love to eat meat, and I have no ethical problem whatsoever with the concept of eating an animal. HOWEVER, I draw the line at foods where animals must be tortured to produce the product. Veal is one of them. I haven't eaten veal since I was nine years old. And as big a foodie as I am, I've never eaten foie gras.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      Chuck – all factory-farmed animals are tortured ... not just veal. Egg-laying hens and dairy cows have it worse than any of the slaughter animals, but trust me, they're all, ALL tortured.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • meat

      I prefer to think of them as 'pre-tenderized'.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:45 | Report abuse |
    • nonesuch

      Suzanne, have you ever even BEEN on a dairy farm? Do describe how dairy cattle are "tortured", won't you? And by that I mean describe what you've observed in person, with your own eyes, on a daily basis, not what you've read somewhere.

      Go ahead. I can hardly wait.

      September 6, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse |
  7. Allergic to soy

    Using "soy products" as a substitute for meat based protein is causing major allergy issues. Soy allergies are now in the top ten of food items that people are allergic to in the US. Soy, in some form or another, is among the ingredients listed on most processed foods. I suffered for years with gastro-intestial issues until it was discovered I have a soy allergy. I've gone to preparing the majority of my food and carefully reading the ingrediant list of anything I do buy that is processed. The soy industry doesn't care that soy is causing more health issues that it is solving.

    September 6, 2010 at 20:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      There are lots of food allergies out there. Just because some people are allergic to peanuts doesn't mean everyone should avoid them. Some people are allergic to sunlight. Does that mean all of us should stay indoors?

      September 6, 2010 at 20:25 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      If soy was causing a big problem, don't you think they would have figured that out in Asia, where it's dominated their diet for centuries? Don't believe everything you read. (BTW, I also suffer from a food allergy- milk).

      September 6, 2010 at 20:51 | Report abuse |
  8. Gilda

    This kind of study is funded by the radical rabbit food faction.

    I take it all with a VERY large grain of salt.

    As for my beef, I marinate it nicely in Lea & Perrin's, garlic and pepper. Then grill it.


    September 6, 2010 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenna

      Apparently you are illiterate in the area of scientific research related to food and diet. Your beef has been overwhelmingly linked to heart disease, cancers, strokes, etc. The "rabbit food" that you reference has been overwhelmingly linked to decreased mortality and increased health.

      But then, I guess I should assume you're one of those "I don't believe science unless it tells me that what I already staunchly believe without evidence, is true" kind of people.
      Read an article or something. It might help.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      Actually, if you follow the link you will see that the grant support came from the National Institutes of Health, not the "radical rabbit food faction." But enjoy your steak, nobody's stopping you. Just wanted you to know.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck


      you strike me as someone that believes science when it is convenient. There's nothing wrong, or unhealthy, with eating any of the things you rail against – it's eating TOO MUCH that is the problem. That's what the science shows overwhelmingly.

      Do you also believe the science that shows that there is little to no health benefit to eating organic or genetically modified foods? Because that's what the real research shows.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:55 | Report abuse |
    • Kamikaze

      "Apparently you are illiterate in the area of scientific research related to food and diet. Your beef has been overwhelmingly linked to heart disease, cancers, strokes, etc. The "rabbit food" that you reference has been overwhelmingly linked to decreased mortality and increased health.

      But then, I guess I should assume you're one of those "I don't believe science unless it tells me that what I already staunchly believe without evidence, is true" kind of people.
      Read an article or something. It might help."

      Changes in body composition is apparently what is causing atherosclerosis. At least that is what most scientific evidence is linking to. Scientists still don't full know what causes atherosclerosis. It's possibly foreign germs that attack the lining of the blood vessels and our body trying to fix the problem which causes it.

      Check this out.


      There is absolutely no scientific evidence that shows food cholesterol causes atherosclerosis. Scientists have a pretty good idea of what happens but the cause is still unknown. Dr. In a 2005 interview a representative from Health Myths Publishing asked Dr Ravnskov for his viewpoint on what causes heart disease:

      "Most researchers to-day in this field agree that inflammation of the arterial wall is the start. The crucial question is, what starts the inflammation? As cholesterol has been demonized for so many years we have not been able to clear the blackboard and rethink... all studies of dead people have failed to show an association between their intake of saturated fat, or their serum cholesterol, and the degree of atherosclerosis. People who avoid all saturated fat and who have low cholesterol become just as atherosclerotic as people who gorge in animal food and whose cholesterol is high.Another misconception is that atherosclerosis is a disease. When arteries become inflamed the body immediately starts a repair process to strengthen the vascular wall. Smooth muscle cells proliferate, fibrosis follows, and later, if necessary for further strength, cholesterol and calcium are used for reinforcement. This is in particular important in the coronary arteries because due to the steady movements of the heart and the negative pressure at their outside they have to be stronger than for instance arteries running to the intestines or inside bony channels. Inflammatory processes go on now and then already from childhood; it is a natural defence mechanism and atherosclerosis should therefore be considered as scars, remnants from a long life's combat with noxious chemicals or microorganisms....I think that the final attack is caused by microorganisms, but this is not the only answer. Any factor that weakens our immune defense may facilitate the growth of microorganisms, also at the inside of our vessels. These factors may be environmental (toxic compounds) or nutritional. There is much evidence that microorganisms may play a role. I published a review about this issue a few years ago. This paper has since long been one of the most-frequently read article in that journal."

      September 6, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
  9. redjewel

    where do some of you get your facts on soy,the fear mongers?it is good for you ,Mature Soybeans (Edamame) have the 39.6 grams of protein per 100 gram serving,no cholesterol,sat fats,and other not so good things.soy does not raise estrogen in any significant amount to grow"boobs" though the growth hormones,and other growth addatives injected into cows,sheep,chickens,pigs probably will.anything they ingest goes into their meat and you end up eating it.
    and all of the asian population in the world cannot be wrong.

    September 6, 2010 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Maxx

    This all needs to be taken with a grain of salt. In the journal's editorial, Drs. Yancy, Maciejewski, and Schulman, of Duke University Medical Center commented on Dr. Funga's study. They wrote, "The participants in the highest decile of low-carbohydrate diet score (that is, those eating the least amount of carbohydrate) actually had a moderately high carbohydrate intake.

    September 6, 2010 at 20:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenna

      Is your skepticism due to the fact that you don't like the articles implications? I certainly hope not...

      September 6, 2010 at 20:31 | Report abuse |
    • Jenna

      However, Maxx, I certainly agree with you. All scientific research must be taken with a grain of salt. Good research is far better than opinion, though.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:33 | Report abuse |
    • Maxx

      Jenna: No, in fact, the conclusion follows what we know to be the case in general about nutrition: plant based diets are healthier. I just take issue with the fact that the popular press reports this as a study that is proof that the Atkins diet is harmful.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
  11. Greedo

    I suppose that ten THOUSAND years of man eating low carb isn't enough proof for some scientists. They gotta try and shove processed soy down our throats now.

    September 6, 2010 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      What about the MILLIONS of years our ancestors ate high carb diets? Our human ancestors who ate large quantities of meat were eating game, which is relatively low in fat, and literally running after their food. There is little evidence that they had extraordinary health, other than the "observation" that initial attempts at agriculture led to people of smaller stature. That's just because they didn't know enough about nutrition to prevent deficiencies. We know much more now.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • Veggie1970

      Wonderful point, Maxx. People always tell me (a vegan) that I was "made to eat meat." I was also "made" to hunt it down and kill it with my hands, which in all likelihood, I would not be able to do every day. Consuming factory-farmed, homrone and anti-biotic treated meat as we do now, multiple times a day, with the only energy exerted in its pursuit being what it takes to extend a hand to the drive-thru window, is not what anyone was "made" for.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • Pete Larson

      Ten thousand years ago, you would be dead by 30.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      But Maxx, what does that tell you about the food itself? That we didn't know about nutrition makes no difference on the nutritional content of the food we ate that caused deficiencies. If it caused deficiencies, then it wasn't adequate, was it? Ergo, our previous diet was better.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:23 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Maxx, we most probably hunted large mammals. We hunted the cave bear until it became extinct. The literature says we preferred the fattest animals, and that rabbit weren't adequate because it was too lean. There is a condition called "rabbit starvation" after all.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • Maxx

      Martin Levac:

      The previous diet was superior to a diet that is deficient, correct. However, scientific studies and lots of epidemiological evidence points to an even BETTER diet, one based around plants.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:32 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Really? Is that why the Ornish diet was worse than the Atkins diet in this scientific trial?:

      The Atkins group did better in all things measured including weight lost even though they ate more than the other two groups. It's the world upside down.

      September 7, 2010 at 00:17 | Report abuse |
  12. Colette Heimowitz

    How can you come to conclusions about animal protein without knowing whether or not it was processed meats, or cold cuts, or blackened meats? Was the protein pumped with hormones or antibiotics? Seems to me those variables pose more risk than the actual animal protein. A food questionnaire will not distinguish those important variables.

    How can you come to conclusions about low carbohydrate when the results reflected the participants were consuming 40 to 60% of their calories in the form of carbohydrates? Is that really low carb?
    Were these participants eating vegetables, and healthy fats?
    This seems like a huge a stretch. All important questions but clinical trails are more accurate and could give us more precise information.

    September 6, 2010 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      Yes, however, the golden standard is a double blind placebo trial, which is nearly impossible in this case. People are certain to know that they are consuming steak instead of tofu.

      September 6, 2010 at 20:43 | Report abuse |
    • Chuck

      The calories from vegetables are also from carbohydrates, they just have fewer of them in proportion to fiber, water, etc...

      September 6, 2010 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
    • Suzanne

      I wanted to reply to your comment but i accidentally hit "report abuse" instead!! those two tags should be farther apart. you raised legitimate questions here and i hope your comment doesn't get pulled because of me. 🙁

      September 6, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Most processed meat contains sugar. Maybe it's the sugar.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:29 | Report abuse |
    • Michael

      Colette Heimowitz works for Atkins, which she should disclose.

      September 7, 2010 at 00:46 | Report abuse |
  13. BruceFLL

    Common mistake that people make regarding the Atkins Diet is their motivational cognition – they hear what they want to hear.
    If one reads the book by Dr Atkins, it is readily apparent that low carb does not translate into high animal protein. There are plenty of alternatives such as fish. It is readily apparent that few have read the book before criticizing the diet. Those who have and who follow the diet have been doing quite well.

    September 6, 2010 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Colette Heimowitz

      Good point Bruce and very true.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:04 | Report abuse |
  14. Colette Heimowitz

    Even if it were not a double blind , a clinical trail is much more valuable. The assumption by the authors that that massive numbers of subjects overcomes the well known limitations associated with using food frequency questionnaires (FFQ) is the stretch I am referring to. I don’t see a nutritionist or dietitian as an author, so maybe they are unaware that the FFQ method is not quantitative. This is true whether there are 20 subjects or 200,000 subjects in the study.

    Even if we assume some level of accuracy in assessing carbohydrate and overall nutrient intake by FFQ, these authors only examined food intake at one time point at the start of the 20+ year studies. The conclusions are predicated on the notion that subjects did not change their dietary patterns (an unlikely assumption). If a person decided to change their diet at any point during the 2 decade study it would not be reflected in the analysis. .

    September 6, 2010 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Eric

    What types of meat did they use in the study? I'm going to go ahead and guess that a large portion of those used are lower quality meats, such as hot dogs, hamburger, as well as other refined meats. I have doubts that they primarily used higher quality meats, like skinless chicken breast, sirloin steaks and salmon fillets, based on the fact that they compared a less than optimal diet to one that is much healthier (Inclusion of more fruits and vegetables in the plant-based diet). Granted, a large amount of the population consumes meats that would be deemed lower quality and consumes far less fruits and vegetables than they should. However, I feel this study sends an inaccurate message that only meat increases the mortality rate and that a good practice would be to eliminate meats from one's diet.

    All in all, this study could be been carried out in a less flawed manner. I think a better take home message would be to eat better quality meats, to include more fruits and vegetables, and reduce the consumption of refined carbohydrates. On top of that, get regular exercise. There's no need to start a crusade on meat.

    September 6, 2010 at 21:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cathy Kayser

      There's really no meat that could be considered high quality. There are lower fat meats, but the quality of animal protein is the problem – it produces acidity in the blood, thereby starting the chain reaction of cholesterol production and calcium loss.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:36 | Report abuse |
    • Maxx

      This was an observational study done by food surveys. They didn't tell anyone to eat, and they controlled for confounding factors.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:46 | Report abuse |
  16. delay

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that CNN used the same meat photo for this article as they did for an article yesterday on Labor Day grilling tips?

    September 6, 2010 at 21:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Axman

      Notice also the meat was cooked on a different grill from the one where it was photographed. I imagine the actual cooking grill was all black and greasy, so the photographer posed the meat on a shiny one.

      September 6, 2010 at 21:48 | Report abuse |
  17. Kamikaze

    These studies are difficult to research. People who are vegetarians are more concerned about overall health. They usually don't smoke or drink mass amounts of beer either so you really cannot compare vegetarians with normal population. Check out this link which shows in depth scientific evidence that there isn't a difference between meat eaters or vegetarians in regards to mortality.


    September 6, 2010 at 21:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Tom

      Most vegetarians I know drink and smoke a lot.

      September 8, 2010 at 06:44 | Report abuse |
  18. Kamikaze

    "Diet and lifestyle characteristics were assessed with some degree of error. Sensitivity analyses indicated that results were probably not substantively affected by residual confounding or an unmeasured confounder. Participants were not a representative sample of the U.S. population."

    September 6, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Axman

    I enjoy a natural concentrate of soybeans, corn, alfalfa, clover, wild greens, berries, and acorns. It's called venison.

    September 6, 2010 at 21:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Cathy Kayser

    There is no need to combine rice and beans to get sufficient protein. The whole concept of protein complementarity has been discarded for about 20 years now. The average vegetarian gets approximately twice the quantity of protein than can be absorbed. Dr. Ornish is out of date in his notion regarding the desireability of fish. Plenty of Omega 3 can be obtained from flax seed and walnuts. The healthiest diet is a vegan diet (no animal products at all) – too bad main stream studies rarely use vegans as the control group – too much pressure from the meat and dairy industry probably.

    September 6, 2010 at 21:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      Vegetarian diets can be very healthy. However, the idea of complementary proteins does still apply. What has been debunked is the idea that these proteins must be combined in the same meal. Generally, vegetarians don't have to worry too much about getting adequate protein, especially with as many soy based products that are available.

      The Omega 3 that comes from vegetable sources is all ALA. There is no EPA or DHA, which are both essential for good health. That's why where are algae-based vegan sources of DHA out there now.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:02 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Cathy, vitamin B12 is essential to humans. Vitamin B12 can only obtained from animal flesh and dairy. Just saying.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
    • Gendznshmalts

      Just to clarify, we get B12 from meat but it is not produced by animals. B12 is produced by bacteria and is found in soil. Since only micrograms are needed, enough B12 ends up in our diet from the soils assimilated by the animal which ate them. That is, animals eat dirt and the B12 ends up in their muscles. There is nothing unnatural about taking a supplement derived from bacteria to be healthy. The B12 in supplements is not "synthesized" or artificially constructed. Compared to the chemistry in most processed foods, it's a moot point.

      September 8, 2010 at 03:39 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Just to clarify properly, read Wikipedia about vitamin B12 so you don't look like an idiot when you talk about it next time, mkay.

      September 8, 2010 at 21:06 | Report abuse |
  21. KC

    Soy products are foods just like peanut butter is a food. Read the study, people. Eat meat and die of cancer. Is your life so empty that you can't enjoy it without eating meat? You can still drink beer, LOL.

    September 6, 2010 at 21:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • j4

      How can we read the study? You have to be a subcriber to the AJM to read the study. Have you actually read the study? Really?

      September 7, 2010 at 10:02 | Report abuse |
  22. Dr Bill Toth

    Each person is an experiment of one.

    September 6, 2010 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Thomas H

    I've always loved the phrase "increses mortality rates." The mortality rate among humans hasn't changed since mankind came down out of the trees and started walking upright - it's 100%. Everyone who is alive today will someday not be. Why don't these reports say "reduces lifespan" or "shortens life expectancy"? The "mortality rate" will always be 100%.

    September 6, 2010 at 21:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Melissa

      Thanks for saving me the trouble.

      September 7, 2010 at 01:29 | Report abuse |
  24. NauticalMan

    Suggest that those who do want to continue to eat red meat switch to grass fed, such as buffalo or cattle, lamb, but it should have no finishing on grains. Much better for you. And a lot lower in fat. What fat is there has a much more healthy ratio of Omega 3 to Omega 6 than grain fed. Available locally and easily through the Internet. And I for one think it tastes much better. Just do not overcook it as it cooks much more quickly..

    September 6, 2010 at 21:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. magnus

    i love soy milk. drink it all the time and i have it with my cereal. i have no idea why i told everyone that....

    September 6, 2010 at 21:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Thomas H

      How does one go about milking a soy?

      September 7, 2010 at 02:53 | Report abuse |
  26. Sil

    Animal-based protein increases mortality rate. Really? So if we avoid animal-based proteins we'll live forever??? C'mon...humans have been eating meat since the stone-ages....maybe it's not the animal-protein but the crap we feed these animals and the crap we add to the meat afterwards. Think about it. Common sense people, everything in moderation.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      Everything in moderation? Excellent. I'll eat small portions of my rat poison now.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
  27. healtyalter

    I have been on a diet that my new doctor said was healthy for keeping bones aches to a minimum. It was different than anything else I have tried. It calls for no wheat, no corn, little or no meat, lots of fruit and vegetables and nuts and avocados -three a week. It calls for NO fruit juice or sodas ever. It also calls for almond butter in place of regular butters. I am not sure about eggs -I have been eating them too. Anyone heard of this one? It was new to me. He also wasn't big on cheeses except for mozarilla because of salt content.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      It sounds to me like your doctor is not one that cares to base his practice on science.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse |
  28. Rob

    Generally speaking, Americans are so fat because they eat in excess. Anything in large amounts is likely to be harmful to your health. Study after study suggest links to higher calorie consumption and accelerated aging.

    America, stop looking to fad diets for a quick fix, and instead do a bit of exercise and eat healthily such as in accordance to the US Food Guide.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      Rob, I tend to agree but I wonder what do they eat in excess? Last I checked, they don't eat more meat, or more fat, but they do eat more carbs. Maybe it's the carbs.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse |
  29. Dee

    We needed a study to for this. Isn't it common knowledge that plant-based protein is better for you.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      It's only common knowledge if you live now. If you lived in the last couple million years or so, the common knowledge is that if you want to stay alive, you must eat animal flesh. But maybe it's changed since then. I bet it didn't though.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:38 | Report abuse |
  30. Rachel

    Soy tastes nasty, period. Gimme a steak any day.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. nonesuch

    Reading all these comments by self-proclaimed "experts" (i.e. people who eat food) is hilarious. Soy is evil; no, no, soy is fabulous-it's meat that's really evil! No, you're wrong, tofu is the only perfect food, you idiots! Nonsense! Meat is necessary for brain development! Idiocy! There's no reason to eat meat! Plant-based food is healthy; anything else will kill you! No, you morons, soy is deadly and tofu is PROCESSED, OMG!

    Ya buncha whiners, you're all going to die anyway. And you can do everything some expert says is best and STILL croak at 55.

    Get over yourselves.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      You're right. We should give up on trying to better our health because some of us will suffer premature death due to other circumstances. Why don't we all just go out, drive without seatbelts, smoke 10 packs of cigarettes a day and drink until we pass out?

      September 6, 2010 at 23:06 | Report abuse |
  32. Julie

    CORRELATION IS NOT CAUSATION. Please stop publishing irresponsible, sensationalist headlines with these studies and clarify this. CNN drives me NUTS publishing studies that "link" things and implying that there is a causal relationship.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Katya

    Two words: eat less. Overeating kills you, not the menu.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Melissa

    This article seems to be nothing but common sense.
    What has the best rule always been? Everything in moderation!! Too much of anything over a long enough period of time will probably effect your overall health and how you eventually die. It's just about being smart.
    And at the same time, life is short as it is. You have to enjoy things. Honestly, I'd rather die knowing I got to enjoy eating good food and splurging here and there, than die anyways having ate nothing but stuff that tastes like cardboard! You can die any second, no matter what healthy or bad choices you make, so sometimes you just need to enjoy a few things.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Sine

    If you eat mostly meat you'll have a stroke when you're middle aged...and you probably won't die.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. angelique

    Hmmm...a diet high in fat, nuts & alcohol sounds just fine to me...

    September 6, 2010 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. LB

    I tried a vegan diet with plant-based proteins. Two things happened: 1) weight gain, 2) nuclear-level flatulence.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Linda

      You gained weight as a vegan? You must have eaten too much sugar and carbs. Vegans that eat healthy vegan are thin.

      September 7, 2010 at 06:51 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Correction, vegans are emaciated. Don't confuse thin which is merely the width of somebody's body, and emaciated which is a medical condition whereby lean tissue has wasted away. It happens when you starve yourself. See Ancel Keys Semi-Starvation Experiment, and the Bipsphere 2 project for more information about emaciation and neurosis.

      September 7, 2010 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
  38. sqeptiq

    Why are all you people trying to persuade them that the study is correct? Let 'em eat what they want, die early and cut overpopulation while helping to save medicare and social security.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. mbluesky

    All I know, is I started eating exactly as this article recommends about 9 weeks ago. I also started exercising more regularly – about 1 hour of good cardiac (rollerblading) daily. I've lost 25 pounds. I have not ever been hungry. I don't eat any fake food, artificial sweeteners or tofu disguised to look like a hamburger. I eat a lot of black beans, lentils, chick peas, or tofu, etc. every day. I have about 1 ounce of meat every week or two (a nice sized bite, just to be polite when I'm eating at someone's house or something). Fish once or twice a week. Lots of green and orange and red veggies and all the fruit I want. Very small portions of carbs, except for all the beans I want. Probably 3 or 4 eggs over the course of a week, but very little dairy, except yogurt 4 or 5 times a week. No cheese. No carbonated beverages. No alcohol (although, when I am at my proper weight, I'll have my drink of wine in the evening). The food is terrific, I've felt great and I found that none of this is as difficult as it seems to be.... take one step at a time & start converting to a healthy diet and you won't regret it!

    September 6, 2010 at 22:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dyb

      I've been on a very low carb, very low dairy diet for a month. Haven't exercised as much as I've wanted...but lost 12lbs and feel great. Agree with you on sticking to it and finding the healthy foods that satisfy. Glad I figured this out...it feels natural.

      September 7, 2010 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
  40. Ciara

    Soy is fine in moderation. Don't worry about soy. And if you're against soy, eat one of the other hundreds of plant based protein sources, like beans, spinach, nuts, to name a few. EVERY whole food has protein, and you don't need to eat as much as you think to equal the same amount as meat.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      Spinach? One whole cup of spinach doesn't even have a single GRAM of protein. And individual plant foods, with the exception of quinoa or soy, do not have all 9 essential amino acids to be used as a complete protein for the human body. If you eat only beans and nuts and spinach, you're not supporting your body's protein needs and will suffer ill-health in the long term.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:10 | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      Learn about nutrition spinach most definitely has protein as does beans, quinioa and some other grains. Again b-12 is a non-issue you pop a supplement and you are good to go. I've been a vegetarian for almost 30 years and yes my meat eating family is stunned I'm still alive considering I don't eat meat

      September 7, 2010 at 06:49 | Report abuse |
    • lola

      Spinach does contain protein. As does most everything we eat with the exception of sugar and oil.
      Additionally, what makes a protein considered "complete" is not that it contains the essential amino acids (8 for adults), it is that they contain them in the proper proportions. All protein sources contain all of these aminos; however, some do not contain enough of a specific amino acid in order to be considered "complete".
      This does not make them worthless as a protein source. In fact, it is quite possible to only eat one protein source that is not "complete" and get all of your required aminos. You simply have to eat a lot more of it. (Granted, with something like spinach, this would be an effort in futility. But with a higher protein source such as garbanzo beans, it would not.)

      September 7, 2010 at 20:22 | Report abuse |
  41. KBA

    I'm not surprised that eating meat increases one's chance of dying of cancer. If you buy your meat from one of the mega-corporations that produce meat in this country you are consuming meat that has been tortured for all of its' life and into its' death. There are small farms that produce clean, wholesome beef, pork and poultry that are not tainted by chemicals, that live, normal, healthy lives and die humane deaths. Check out Heritage Foods website (google search will get you there) then you can have your meat or poultry and not pollute your body. Our grandparents lived on meat produced this way and I know mine lived well into their 80's. You reap what you sow. Let's get back to small farms and farmers that cherish the animals they raise.

    September 6, 2010 at 22:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      Big corporations aren't inherently evil. You do realize that, without these chemicals and mass producers, we couldn't feed the population cheaply, don't you? You criticize "chemicals," but farmers have been using pesticides and herbicides for hundreds of years. None of them have been linked to increased cancer risk, but you'd have us give up all the progress that has been made in agriculture over the years to eat food from small farms because of some risk that doesn't even exist.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:15 | Report abuse |
    • Toshi O.

      I agree with you but for different reasons.
      I am all for buying local, but its just for that – i like to support home-grown farming communities.

      As for the article, does the end result change anything if it is local/organic vs. meat factory?

      Toshi O

      September 6, 2010 at 23:33 | Report abuse |
  42. Juju

    Interogating literature, I have concluded Red and dark meats are loaded with cholesterol. Mine is high, but Im failry fit and exercise. My diet has to change. So (for me) red meats need to be lean -you know the tough sirlions. On the other hand soy crops are extensively sprayed with pesticides. I also find the wood fired ovens at pizza places use commerical crops to gain access to fire wood, like pecan orchards, which of course are dumped on by crop dusters time and time again. Maybe we should be eating live grasshoppers...........

    September 6, 2010 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      If you exercise, you probably eat some form of high carb snack to power your workouts. Well, that might just be why your cholesterol is so high. Cut that out and see what gives. I promise, it won't hurt you to cut out sugar. Unless you believe sugar is good for you?

      September 6, 2010 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
  43. Martin Levac

    Ornish says we can get the same nutrition found in meat by combining rice and beans without getting any of the stuff that's bad for you. To which I reply, so now you're calling vitamin B12 "stuff that's bad for you"? Oh, Ornish rebukes, but you can get that from a pill. I know that but what does that tell you about where we've been getting it from for the last 2.5 million years?

    I'm just saying.

    If you like meat, enjoy it fully without worrying about your health cuz really, you think we've been worrying about our health for the last couple million years each time we bit into a nice fat juicy steak?

    September 6, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      Cattle in their current form have only existed for several hundred years due to selective breeding by humans. Vitamin B12 comes from dirt. Our food supply is too clean, so vegetarians don't get enough B12. It seems to me like taking a pill and not having to eat "dirty" foods is a much better solution than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:17 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Vegetarians get exactly zero vitamin B12 unless of course they are not actually vegetarians and eat dairy and eggs which contain the vitamin in adequate quantity. Vitamin B12 comes from bacteria that live in the gut of the animals we eat. Ergo, no meat, no vitamin B12. B12 is essential to brain health. Seems to me if you're a vegetarian and you believe your diet is good for you, even when your body starts to break down, then there's the reason for both your belief and your ill health.


      September 6, 2010 at 23:50 | Report abuse |
  44. kate

    I wouldn't worry about consuming cholesterol as much as saturated fats, you can eat animal based proteins and be fine. Everything in moderation, and people have a hard time understanding it. check out http://www.diet-myths.com for more

    September 6, 2010 at 23:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      Saturated fat is not a problem at all. It's never been a problem. Check this out for even more information:

      September 6, 2010 at 23:59 | Report abuse |
  45. tommy

    What a stupid headline. The mortality rate for humans is 100 percent regardless of diet.

    September 6, 2010 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Martin Levac

    @Kamikaze, atherosclerosis is caused by insulin or rather chronic hyperinsulinemia. Ergo, whatever causes chronic hyperinsulinemia causes atherosclerosis. There may be other factors but that's the dominant factor. I put my money on refined and easily digestible carbohydrates. Then on vegetables oils, whether hydrogenated or not, with the exception of coconut oil unless it's hydrogenated of course.

    September 6, 2010 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kamikaze

      The exact cause of atherosclerosis isn't known. Dr Ravnskov did many studies on atherosclerosis and he still doesn't know. However he does know that food cholesterol doesn't cause atherosclerosis.

      September 7, 2010 at 01:47 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Ravnskov is not the only researcher. And he did not try the insulin drip. Another research did try that. I forget the name but he discovered it accidentally, as so many scientific discoveries do, when he forgot to stop the insulin drip he had going in a dog's leg. Months later, he found out that the dog's leg which had the drip had all its arteries completely blocked with atherosclerosis while the other leg was just fine.

      September 7, 2010 at 05:58 | Report abuse |
  47. Kyle

    So why do carnivores live longer than herbivores in the animal kingdom if this study is legitimate?

    September 6, 2010 at 23:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      You would find this to be false: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_long-living_organisms#Animals

      However, this doesn't mean that this is relevant to humans.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:38 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Well, if you believe we ate meat throughout most of our history, and if we consider that we are one of the longest living species on the planet, then of course it's logical to believe that carnivores live longer than herbivores.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:55 | Report abuse |
    • Swamprattler

      carnavores eat herbavores, they'[re tasty

      September 8, 2010 at 00:10 | Report abuse |
  48. Toshi O.

    Is this 'direct association' just linked because of cholesterol?
    It sounds like this is something we could have seen coming, but now that we have more, what are the alternatives?

    Toshi O.

    September 6, 2010 at 23:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • veggiedude

      When the blockade cut of supplies to the Nazi's, the mortality rate went down for people in Denmark, who had to ration their food and not eat meat. They found it curious they actually felt healthier. So this isn't really news – it's just confirmation of what we've known for many decades. BTW, eat tofu! It's good for ya!!

      September 6, 2010 at 23:45 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Sure, and every single isolated population observed by Weston Price became sick once they adopted a modern diet containing lots of sugar and flour. Maybe the blockade also blocked the sugar and flour from going through so they ate less of both which allowed them to return to good health in spite of the clear lack of vitamin B12 from so little meat.

      Don't just look at the one side you see. There's another side you don't yet see that just might tell you more.

      September 7, 2010 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  49. Maxx

    "Rabbit starvation" isn't because rabbits are too lean; it's because they lack several of the essential fatty acids. The vast majority of what we know about traditional hunter-gatherer diets is from what we learned from more more modern hunter-gatherers. The diets of the various hunter-gatherer groups were so varied that the fact that one particular group hunted a particularly fatty animal to extinction does not prove that a diet high in animal fat is beneficial for modern humans. In fact, all of the evidence we have points a different direction.

    September 6, 2010 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      When your diet consists mostly of animal flesh, and when you eat mostly protein, you suffer rabbit starvation. The term comes from a time and place where the people ate mostly animal flesh. Ergo, rabbit starvation is due to the meat being too lean, not a lack of essential fatty acids.

      All the evidence that I know of points in the opposite direction. Would you care to point me in your direction so I can align myself with your opinion? Thank you.

      September 6, 2010 at 23:53 | Report abuse |
  50. Jeepers

    I was under the impression that we all had a 100% death risk.

    September 6, 2010 at 23:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rainwood

      I wrote my reply before I saw yours. These kind of articles are one of my pet peeves. Nothing reduces the mortality rate or the risk of death because, as you point out, they are always 100%. All these types of articles should talk about increasing the risk of early death or a reduced life span.

      September 7, 2010 at 02:39 | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.