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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. Steve

    The Link is meat is it? "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" I didn't see anything in the article where it matched people on Body fat ratio's and vitamin/nutrient intake. Perhaps we can next do a study on obese vegetarians v/s active omnivores to prove that veggies cause cancer & heart disease? This is either a very flawed study or a lot of the information is missing.

    September 6, 2010 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      Denise looked at the China Study here:
      http://rawfoodsos.com/2010/07/07/the-china-study-fact-or-fallac/

      September 7, 2010 at 00:06 | Report abuse |
  2. dyb

    All food groups lobby for your dollars. Educate yourself on nutrition. Eat whatever makes you feel healthy and happy in your journey of life. You could get hit and taken out by a car tomorrow.

    September 6, 2010 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Susan

    No one knows what a food does to their sugar until they test themselves, so, for some people, eating fruit is extremely unhealthy as is oatmeal (steel cut or rolled) and other grains (like whole wheat). And as for soy, real soybeans are not what most people are eating. The Japanese eat a meal of soybeans, fermented and not, on top of a bowl of white rice. Most of the soy that people eat is processed to the point of "why bother." I mean, it's fine it you want to eat everything and anything that they can think of to make out of soybeans but I just don't see how great it is just because it is not animal protein. Any kind of food that is processed to death is crap.

    September 7, 2010 at 00:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Martin Levac

    Ornish, Atkins and LEARN diets compared:
    http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/ketones-and-ketosis/low-carb-gaining-a-foothold-with-the-mainstream/

    So which diet did best?

    September 7, 2010 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Nathan

    I mix it up. I eat red meats occasionally, usually lean chicken though. I also switch it up with tofu and legumes. I eat carbs, but 90% of it is whole grains like Barley, steel cut oats, buckwheat... all of it organic and bought in bulk from the coop.

    September 7, 2010 at 00:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. brian

    anyone else find it interesting that the gentlemen who did the study found out that the diet he had been recommending for "years" was the healthier diet? Sounds to me like someone was just looking for proof that they were right rather than any real science.

    September 7, 2010 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Justin

    It could well be a statistical abberation, with a sample size as large as theirs you will almost always show some kind of significance, but there is no way of knowing if that kind of significance is significant. If you don't believe me just look up null-hypothesis based statistics.

    September 7, 2010 at 00:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Twain MacPherson

    Blindly citing studies is myopicly daft...
    "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."
    Eating meat makes one smoke??? Vegans are alcoholics???

    If you must, smoke Salmon, if you must drink, rain is a good thing...

    September 7, 2010 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Scott A

    That Atkins diet was debunked as a decent diet plan years ago (helps some, hurts others, therefore unproven and debunked). Plenty of people who don't feel like exercising claim that this diet helped them. Well that's great for them, as long as they didn't exercise (and odds are they didn't if they went for a diet they knew cut out carbohydrates). However, for those who want their pulses to rise more than what's necessary to grab the remote, eating carbohydrates is essential to heart health and like this study showed, your life span. And I sure hope nobody would stay on this diet for a good amount of time (or go back on it if they ever gained weight). Getting sick with heart disease shouldn't be the result of wanting to lose weight.

    September 7, 2010 at 00:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. morgan painter

    Forget all that processed food. Many years ago there was an amazing man on TV. Anybody here old enough to have seen Jack Lalanne? Back in the 60's he was telling people to eat whole natural foods. Fresh fruits, and to avoid fatty meat products. He knew clear back then what science and medicine is just now proving with their tests and surveys. The most ironic part of it is, I watched some of his shows but didn't absorb it. I wish I had, I would be much healthier now.
    To make it worse, I have a friend who belongs to one of those seven day churches, he says his church leaders have been advocating the same things as Jack since about 1880. They were considered kooks back then and even now many think vegetarian can't be healthy. Jack eats NO red meat and only the occasional fish. No white bread and no processed foods. Jack is stronger and healthier than most 29 year old men. Check him out, I dare you.

    September 7, 2010 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Adam Sanders

    I am perplexed by the doctor's comment that plant-based protein has the same qualities as animal-based. Don't animal-based proteins contain certain amino acids that aren't found anywhere else?

    September 7, 2010 at 00:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      Not exactly. I think animal flesh contains all the essential amino acids while plants contain only some of them. However, they say if you combine plants properly according to their nutritional profile, you can get all the essential amino acids that way. What you can't get that way is vitamin B12 which is only obtained from animal flesh or dairy. Or if you are really trying to be politically correct and want to avoid eating animal flesh and dairy at all costs, you can get it by setting an industrial fermenting plant to produce the vitamin using genetically modified bacteria.

      September 7, 2010 at 01:36 | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      The only thing a vegetarian can't get is B-12 and they have supplements for that which I take so no biggie there can't use that as an excuse to eat meat!

      September 7, 2010 at 06:43 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      In a discussion about which diet is best for humans, what does that tell you about where we've been getting our vitamin B12 for the past 2.5 million years? The fact that you can now get it from a pill changes nothing about your physiology and your requirement for that nutrient and the food we got it from before that pill. The only thing between you and the truth is that little red pill. Maybe you feel good about yourself avoiding meat and thinking fewer animals are killed because of you, but it's not real sacrifice until you actually sacrifice something of yourself, is it. Take away the pill and live your own convictions properly to the fullest.

      September 7, 2010 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • lola

      If B12 is so prevalent in meat, why do we need to fortify cereals with it?

      It strikes me that B12 is a meaningless argument against vegetarianism (or ultimately veganism as lacto-ovos get it from dairy and eggs) as we do fortify cereals with B12. Meanwhile, we feed B12 to swine & poultry and supplement many ruminant's feed with cobalt which they require to make B12. (This is both all animals in CAFOs and many who are grazing.) So it seems to me that if one chooses to be vegan and therefore consumes B12 via supplementation or fortification, or they are omnivore and therefore are eating animals whose feed was supplemented/fortified (& consume products that are fortified) – either way the B12 is not obtained as it was 1,000 years ago. And thus the point is moot.

      September 7, 2010 at 20:37 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Au contraire, the point remains all the more relevant. Ornish claims his diet is the best for humans. The facts about vitamin B12 directly refute that claim.

      If we require that vitamin and if we can only obtain it from animal flesh, it means we are fully adapted to eating that which provides it to us, i.e. animal flesh. It further means that we are not fully adapted to eating things that do not contain it, i.e. plants.

      You can eat that pill and get your vitamin B12 that way and forget about your physiology and live like nothing happened. But your physiology won't ever forget about that vitamin at your peril.

      September 8, 2010 at 01:28 | Report abuse |
    • Gendznshmalts

      Our food supply is complex. B12 is easily obtained and does not require animals at all. B12 is vegan. Compare that to the countless food additives that aren't healthy. Choosing to eat this one extract because it allows for a healthy and ethical diet is not hypocrisy. Furthermore, depending on one's age and situation, taking at least a multivitamin is a good idea. We know so much now, why not take advantage of this knowledge to maximize our health instead of spending our time rooting around for the fruit or vegetable or bacterial excretion we lack. Eating meat because it has B12 in it is like eating cow feces because it has B12 in it...which it does.

      September 8, 2010 at 03:57 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Speaking of ethics. How ethical is it to advise others to eat a diet which lacks essential nutrients? How ethical is it to advise others to avoid eating foods that contain essential nutrients? Because that's the kind of ethics Ornish adopted.

      "You don't need to eat this because you can get the same thing from this PILL!"

      Are you saying your ethics are based on a pill? Well then, take away that pill and your ethics go down the drain in a jiffy.

      September 8, 2010 at 21:14 | Report abuse |
    • Candice

      B-12 is from bacteria. Bacteria in your meat. Or cultured bacteria. Regardless of what shape it is in, filet, cube, tablet, it's goes in the mouth and through the digestive system. There's nothing unnatural there. You culture cheese into a disc shape, you culture b-12 into a tablet shape. it is food

      September 11, 2010 at 18:05 | Report abuse |
  12. Mike S.

    Anyone have anything negative to say about THE CHINA STUDY..?

    September 7, 2010 at 01:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Maxx

      Sure, check this out: http://www.sciencebasedmedicine.org/?p=6092

      September 7, 2010 at 01:27 | Report abuse |
  13. John

    Here you go folks. If heart disease, strokes, or anything related to these two run in your family you better listen to this doc. He's telling the truth about our food we eat (unlike the cardiologists that want to keep busy with their ultra expensive procedures). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AYTf0z_zVs0

    September 7, 2010 at 01:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. MashaSobaka

    We’re all going to die. I’m going to enjoy my food in the meantime.

    September 7, 2010 at 01:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Rainwood

    The mortality rate is 100% regardless of what you eat because everyone dies. Stories like these should refer to early death or a reduced lifespan because that's what they're really talking about. The risk of death for every person on this planet is 100%. It may be a premature death because of a bad diet, but it will still arrive eventually. I wish writers of these types of articles would read what they're writing a little more closely.

    September 7, 2010 at 02:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Dan

    Have these jerks ever heard of the Scientific Method? Let me refresh:
    1) Ask a Question
    2) Do Background Research
    3)Construct a Hypothesis
    4)Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment
    5) Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion

    What they have here is a HYPOTHESIS. They found an association in data they analyzed, and instead of actually TESTING this hypothesis,(forming a controlled experiment where two groups were given similar meals, with one group having more animal based fats) they simply claimed what they saw as a conclusion! They didn't test anything. This is mind-baffling irresponsible research, and they should be the laughing stock of the scientific community. Instead, Vegan activists will pat them on their smug, sickly backs and claim their agenda proven.

    September 7, 2010 at 03:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Colette

      I am with you Dan

      September 7, 2010 at 10:28 | Report abuse |
  17. dema

    I'm a 71 year old man and a Vegetarian for the last 53 years.
    Last time I went to a doctor it was " 29 years ago "
    I take no pills, no medicine (I had 3 Tylenol 28 years ago)
    Last time i ate fish it was 1970 in Cape Cod, Mass. cot by myself.
    No eggs no butter either, only animal product i consume is
    powder milk In my coffee. and i make yoghurt with it!.
    I used to ate meat up to the age of 18, and i was not very health.
    I had a trauma then and i did not wanted eat meat ever again.
    It was THE BEST THING I EVER DONE FOR MYSELF EVER.
    There are no foods that i don't enjoy and like.
    To me people that eat meat are very demanding, like smoking if
    they don't have it, they don't feel good, I used to be like that.
    There are many health reasons not to eat meat.
    and i'm not going to get into that, I very happy and with myself
    As far as ben a carnivore – Been There Done That – IT IS OVER

    September 7, 2010 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      Vitamin B12 is essential to humans and it is only found in animal flesh and dairy and some insects. Or it is produced industrially. Either you take a supplement that contains vitamin B12, or you eat some form of animal flesh or dairy or eggs, or you lie about what you eat or your health or both. Because the last alternative, that you don't require that vitamin, is impossible unless of course you're not actually human.

      Like Sherlock said, take away the impossible and whatever remains must be the truth.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12

      September 7, 2010 at 06:05 | Report abuse |
    • lola

      #1 – He said he eats dairy.
      #2 – Another possibility – he doesn't wash his food.

      There have been studies done on vegans in developing countries. They have no supplements, and surely no animal products. And yet, they also have no B12 deficiency. Why? It is postulated that this is simply because they don't live in the sterilized world that those in industrialized nations do. Thus they get it from "contamination" on their plant food. They get it from not washing their hands all the time. In other words, they get it, and do so without consuming flesh/animal products.

      #3 – why the angst against vegetarians/vegans over B12?
      Throughout my nutrition studies, I have discovered that there are many nutrients that many of us are potentially deficient in without fortification/supplementation (vitamin D being a big one). Based on your posts, I have to assume that like me, you get most of your vitamin D from the sun, fortified milk, and occasionally fish. Meanwhile, vegans get it from the sun and fortified milk alternatives.
      The cereal in my cupboard has added D, iron, B12 (and a few other nutrients). Theirs might as well. Yours might too.

      In other words, in the last hundred years or so, the USDA has started fortifying a lot of our foods simply because despite consuming meat, we still weren't getting everything we need. So vegans don't eat animals/animal products and as a result, they need to make sure they do get B12. So what? I do eat them and I need to make sure I get a lot of things too.

      September 7, 2010 at 20:58 | Report abuse |
    • lola

      PS – He also could eat the same cereal that I do (which has added B12).

      September 7, 2010 at 21:01 | Report abuse |
    • Gendznshmalts

      "Ultimately, animals must obtain vitamin B12 directly or indirectly from bacteria". "Animalia, Plantae, Fungi, Bacteria, Archaea and Protista." These are the kingdoms as currently defined and widely understood. B12 is not a product of animals (Animalia). B12 is not a sticking point for Veganism or Vegetarianism. "B12 doesn't exist in plants" is a tiresome faux pedantic argument being used shamelessly in this forum to demonize plant based diets. FUD.

      September 8, 2010 at 04:18 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      Then why don't you tell us which plants contain vitamin B12?

      September 8, 2010 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
  18. wanna2know

    That burnt animal flesh photo makes me want to vommit. What poor beast was that, a cow, horse, human? Meat based diets are destroying the earth. Soy, other grains and tons of water are needed to make a pound of animal flesh. Carnivores don't understand that they are eating the flesh of their own children.

    September 7, 2010 at 04:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      So it's not fine to make our cattle eat the grains but it's fine to eat it ourselves? You have to wonder why we should prefer to eat the same thing we feed cattle for the express purpose of fattening them. What, you wanna to fatten us instead? Apparently, that's precisely what's been happening for the last 30 years or so. Yeah, heart-healthy-whole-grains used to fatten up cattle is now used to fatten humans.

      September 7, 2010 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
  19. Joe

    More health food nut bs.. always somethin.

    September 7, 2010 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. DB

    The headline is: "Animal-based protein diets increase mortality rate". Am I do understand from this, that being a vegetarian would mean less chance of dying?!!?

    September 7, 2010 at 06:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Linda

    52 year old vegetarian here with perfect blood work, workout 2 hours a day need no prescription drugs non-smoker non-drinker have more energy than my meat eating kids! Protein is overrated and over eaten

    September 7, 2010 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fred Hahn

      Linda do you eat fish? Eggs? If so, welcome to the club of meat eaters.

      September 7, 2010 at 06:54 | Report abuse |
  22. Dee

    The vitamin B12 conundrum is very interesting. It is only found in animal protein- true. However, many grain-type foods are fortified with vitamin B12, so it is possible for the 71 year old vegetarian to be getting his nutritional requirements through those type of foods.
    Other interesting facts are that unlike most B vitamins, B12 can be stored in the liver. Also, you need only a very small daily amount, about 6 micrograms, and one large serving of seafood or beef can give you quite a bit (80 micrograms for clams or crab for example!), so its pretty easy to build up a big store of the stuff with just a tiny bit of animal protein!
    What often happens when people become vegetarians (as I am), is that we live off our B12 stores for many years and feel fine. However, after 5-10 years, we may need to reassess our diets to be sure we are getting enough B12. In most cases, its just a matter of mindful nutrition.
    Another fact that may complicate things is that in order to absorb vitamin B12, your intestinal machinery must be working properly! One in 31 adults over 50 years old cannot absorb vitamin B12 due to a breakdown in their intestinal process. In those cases, vegetarian or not, you are going to need a supplement once those liver stores are depleted! This used to mean painful shots, but now there is a nasal spray too. (You can't just take a pill, because you can't absorb it, remember?).
    Lack of B12 can lead to fatigue, numbness in arms and legs, trouble walking, and a very specific type of anemia. There is also an irreversible nerve damage of neck and spine that can happen in symptoms are ignored for too long.

    PS- I thought the comment about the Labor day grilling tip steaks was hilarious!!! 🙂 I noticed the same thing!

    September 7, 2010 at 06:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Fred Hahn

    Associated!!! Correlation does not = causation. Please people, please. This sort of data is worthless – worse than worthless because it is misleading. Do you really think Oog and Og suffered from heart disease, cancer and diabetes? When will this nonsense end?

    September 7, 2010 at 06:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Dennis

    Def. lame survey . this was not done over the last 20-30 yrs!

    September 7, 2010 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. LimRickNews

    he Annals of Internal Med,
    Has news that carnivores may dread.
    The report is alleging,
    That those who are vegging,
    Live longer than those who eat red.
    For more, google "LimRickNews".

    September 7, 2010 at 08:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. LimRickNews

    The Annals of Internal Med,
    Has news that carnivores may dread.
    The report is alleging,
    That those who are vegging,
    Live longer than those who eat red.
    For more, google "LimRickNews".

    September 7, 2010 at 08:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Angelique Swingle

    The study should have also included organic animal proteins tested separately. Organic meats have less fat and have Omega 3's also- from the grasses they eat – another health benefit. This alone should encourage more farmers to stop feeding fillers to their animals like corn. When we have these studies that give partial conclusions, it does not help people make complete decisions.

    September 7, 2010 at 09:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mrlewish

    Yes but they are happier.

    September 7, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Gala12

    In the study they just put in one pile all kinds of meat eaters together. It is like combining fish oil and trans fats. Of course, people who eat processed meat and have tendency to smoke are expected to have more health issues(low carbs or not). For the purpose to prove dangers of meat they joined in one pool organic meats and fish consumers and junk meats consumers. Our ancestors evolved by eating meat for almost 3 million years. Soy looks like too recent addition.

    September 7, 2010 at 09:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Maria

    Correlation does not equal causation!
    "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"

    There are too many confounding variables in this, and most, observational studies to be able to draw conclusions about two individual variables. It does, however, make it easy to cherry-pick the results to suit whatever a priori hypothesis you started with. So, unless the researchers controlled for things like BMI and smoking, it is inaccurate to attribute differences in mortality or disease to diet, or anything else for that matter. The "conclusions" drawn are the same as saying people smoke because they eat diets heavy in animal-based protein.

    September 7, 2010 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jrad

    So...eating meat gives you cancer now? Cripes, everything that's good in life kills you. 🙁

    September 7, 2010 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Don Freidkin

    I moderate the on-line Community at Atkins.com, and in my experience, it's difficult enough to get people to track what they eat, even though it's an integral part of the Atkins Nutritional Approach, and we know of at least two on-line sites which offer tracking at no charge.

    So I would question whether the study subjects who claim to follow a low-carb regimen are really following it, or even know what defines "low-carb".

    Further, I know how many folks come to our site with the conviction that Atkins is all steaks, butter, and bacon, and are shocked - SHOCKED I say - to find that vegetables are an integral and required part of the regimen, from the very beginning.

    So, based on that very real experience, I am completely comfortable questioning the wisdom of relying on self-monitored dietary information from respondents, and thus, the validity of the conclusions drawn from the potentially faulty data.

    Don

    September 7, 2010 at 11:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Captain Obvious

    EVERY MEAL I EAT IS GOOD FOR ME BECAUSE IT ONLY HAZ BREAD AND BUTTERZ IN IT

    September 7, 2010 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Dennis George

    Can't live forever. So enjoy what you like now, in a balanced diet sort of way. Exclusion of any foods or eating just "one thing" is a crazy way to live.

    September 7, 2010 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. happy healthy Atkins follower

    Where are you getting the notion that Atkins is high-protein? It's a moderate-protein way of eating, with no more than 30-35% protein each day. Consumption of large amounts of high-fiber vegetables is required in all four phases (yes, there are four phases). Even in Phase 1, people on Atkins eat far more veggies than most Americans do, and we add even more as we move through the phases. Atkins is a controlled-carb plan, not a zero-carb. Beans and nuts are perfectly fine beyond Phase 1, and Atkins can be vegetarian and vegan in all phases. I've been wildly successful on Atkins (70 pounds lost 8 years ago, goal weight since then, perfect health markers including low cholesterol) by eating tons of veggies along with higher-fat foods. I eat beans, brown rice and fruits in addition to fish, eggs, cheese, bacon, meats, sour cream, olive oil, etc. I eat so many veggies it's ridiculous. The media is so wrong about what Atkins is and isn't – please go to aktins,com and do a little homework before bashing it. Or at the very least, check out the Phase 1 food list. There are more than 50 vegetables! http://bit.ly/6bnVvn

    September 7, 2010 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      To be sure, if you eat the Atkins diet, it can't be vegetarian nor vegan. Unless, of course, you follow the latest version which is not the Atkins diet since Atkins did not write that one: He's dead.

      September 7, 2010 at 19:55 | Report abuse |
    • Swamprattler

      had Atkins ate a little grilled meat, he might be alive today,lmao

      September 7, 2010 at 21:37 | Report abuse |
  36. Yet Another Nonsensical Report

    I find it astonishing that such enormous resource can be utilised to spend 26 years studying 85,000 people and still end up with a report that holds little or no water. The variables in any nutritional study are so vast that to call this "controlled" is I am afraid wholly inaccurate. Unless the study included the monitoring of such things as the type of carbs (slow/fast releasing, refined/unrefined), organic/non-organic meat, local fresh seasonal vegetables, proportions, meal sizes, number of meals, chewing food, eating under stress, drinking with meals, types of fluid consumed, stimulants such as caffeine and chemical laden fizzy drinks, body type, bio-individuality, other lifestyle factors such as exercise etc. the list I am afraid is endless but clearly demonstrates that studies of this nature are by their nature flawed. One thing is for certain – mankind did not evolve over 100,000 years to be the prime specimen he/she is today by eating processed soya bean curd – least of genetically modified soya bean curd. I unwittingly ate tofu for 7 years. I wasnt pretty. Please don’t make the same mistake

    September 7, 2010 at 14:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Joe Red

    There is more hope for cancer patients now thanks to inLife LLC. Their new product inForce Immune Builder is bottled in the US and contains PSK and PSP from the coriolus versicolor mushroom.
    http:inforce-immunebuilder.com

    September 7, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      There is even more hope once you realize that cancer cells require glucose or it dies. However, we don't require dietary glucose so we can do just fine without it while our cancer shrinks by glucose starvation.

      September 7, 2010 at 19:57 | Report abuse |
  38. Gala12

    I believe that Dr. Ornish deserves to be put in a archive as a representative of failed movement to make all America as a no-fat diet land and contributed heavily into rise of obesity rate with his false ideas of unnatural eating. Instead he is asked about his educated opinion on some unscientifically designed research that supports the same bias idea he is preaching. The bias approach is a traditions for low fat crowd.

    September 7, 2010 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. mike

    Makes me want a cheeseburger...Seriously, I think I will go and get one now... 🙂

    September 7, 2010 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. chick

    All valid and stupid points. I celebrate my 3 month vegetarian anniversary tmwr! Was very easy to stop eating meat.I still drink milk. That will be very hard to drop

    September 7, 2010 at 17:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gala12

      There are some people for whom vegetarianism does work (not for me). Eating junk food (sugar, refined carbs, processed anything, trans fats) is the main problem.

      September 7, 2010 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
  41. Steve

    Show me a healthy Vegan Super-Centenarian who is working full time like many Super-Centenarian omnivores & I might put some weight into meta-analysis studies based on a third world population. Until that point the vegan fanatic writings will read like a narrative on scientologists waiting for the UFOs to land.

    September 7, 2010 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gendznshmalts

      100 years ago we didn't even have a word for, let alone tracking system in place to monitor vegans. There was scant research on the matter. At present, vegans only represent a tiny percent of the population, probably much less 100 years ago. If the foundation of your argument is that "since we do not see century old vegans everywhere it must be nonsense", you are missing scale and perspective, which in this case is key.

      September 8, 2010 at 05:11 | Report abuse |
    • mike

      cows are tasty...we are meant to eat meat hence the CANINES!!!!

      September 8, 2010 at 16:43 | Report abuse |
    • Martin Levac

      He is not missing scale, he is pointing out that if a vegan diet was good for humans at any point in our existence, then we would have known about it a long time before today. But it seems you are missing that point.

      September 8, 2010 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
  42. Will

    This study is a farce, they used the worst meat to compare to vegetable protein. So yes eating greasy burgers and high fat steaks all the time will kill you, that is old news. But eating a high protein diet of meats, where the meats are Fish, Turkey Breast, Chicken breast, and sometimes 96% lean ground beef and the top part of the round, or London Broil, as well as whey then this study changes.

    This study is actually designed to promote vegetarianism, and not to give the reals fact of meat verses vegetable protein simple due to the fact that it has been well established greasy high fat burgers all the time is not good for you. Another scientific study that has used faulty science to promote a certain lifestyle.

    September 7, 2010 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Gala12

      There is a new research that demonstrated that saturated fats are unhealthy only as apart of a high carb diet. Unfortunately, I can't find the article I have read with results on a moment notice. I believe I can find it if somb. is interested. Looks like you can't do both – eating a lot of carbs and grease burgers at the same time.

      September 7, 2010 at 18:06 | Report abuse |
  43. Lee

    All I can say is that my husband and I have been organic vegans for over 25 years and we are the healthiest people we know. We do eat soy(organic soy) – My Boobs are the same size as they have been since I got them, no bigger and my husband looks very much the same as when I met him (no boobs on him – total man!). We have no health problems. We are extremely active and have lots of energy. So, for us, our vegan diet has been great. Just thought a comment from someone who has eaten a plant based for so long would be a qualified commenter! America could eat a tad more healthy . . . So much of our tax dollars goes to the healthcare of unhealthy eaters and unhealthy lifestyle choices (also why health insurance rates are sooo expensive). What will probably make me sick is the unhealthy land, air and water from pesticides and factory farms (animal waste/drugs/hormones). Breathing air and drinking water is not a choice so eating healthy is something I can control, something I can do something about . . .

    September 7, 2010 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      I'd like to believe you but the facts about nutrition and physiology says you either eat some form of animal flesh or dairy or insects that you're not telling us about, or you take a vitamin B12 supplement that you're not telling us about. Because, like I told another poster, the alternative, that you do not require the essential vitamin B12, is impossible unless of course you are not human.

      But congrats on your return to good health nonetheless.

      September 7, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
  44. zenda

    False! Watch this: lnk.nu/href.hu/1eq3

    September 7, 2010 at 17:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Amber

    I do not like how the lady's comments on black bean burgers being severely salted because they "don't taste as good, obviously." I bet she has never had a veggie burger-but if she has, it was probably a Boca or Morningstar Farms. I make my own (using simple recipes from The Engine 2 Diet) and add no salt at all. And they are delicious-even my meat loving momma thinks so.

    September 7, 2010 at 18:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. On behalf of brilliance

    With 110g of 85/15 ground beef + 1 egg, a 70kg individual meets the amino acid requirements (as per WHO/FAO). For both the egg and the beef, calories to achieve the necessary amino acids is 353 calories.

    Need Amino Acid Egg Beef Total
    0.280 Tryptophan 0.83 0.157 0.987
    1.050 Threonine 0.277 1.181 1.458
    1.400 Isoleucine 0.335 1.346 1.681
    2.730 Leucine 0.541 2.377 2.702
    2.100 Lycine 0.455 2.525 2.918
    1.050 Methionine 0.190 0.785
    Cyctine 0.136 0.314 1.425
    1.820 Valine 0.428 1.497 1.925
    1.750 Phenylaline 0.339 1.187
    Tyrocine 0.249 0.939 2.714

    Contrast this to rice + beans. To meet the same amino acid needs with rice and beans, one need to consume 350g of each, with a calorie load of 956 calories. In the case of the rice & beans, more was needed to achieve the methionine and cystine levels needed.

    Need Amino Acid Rice Beans Total
    0.280 Tryptophan 0.098 0.378 0.476
    1.050 Threonine 0.297 1.158 1.455
    1.400 Isoleucine 0.361 1.491 1.852
    2.730 Leucine 0.689 2.677 3.366
    2.100 Lycine 0.301 2.205 2.506
    1.050 Methionine 0.196 0.409
    Cyctine 0.172 0.294 1.071
    1.820 Valine 0.508 1.816 2.324
    1.750 Phenylaline 0.445 1.858
    Tyrocine 0.280 0.745 3.328

    Ornish's statement is that you can consume the same protein (specifically amino acids) with rice & beans.....you can, but only if you consume 2-3x the calories to do it and even then, you're missing B12 and D completely and totally deficient for methyl donors for the folate cycle.....you can consume all the folate you want, but without adequate methyl donors, it doesn't work the folate cycle as well (as completely) to convert homocysteine to methionine....B6 and riboflavin (also higher in the egg + beef) are also part of the cycle.

    Also, while the potassium is higher in the rice + beans, the ratio of potassium to sodium is better in the egg + beef....we need both.

    The other big difference is the iron – while the egg + beef has less, it has heme iron, so less is more bioavailable than the iron in the rice + beans.

    Oh yeah and calcium without vitamin D is pretty useless.

    September 7, 2010 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Martin Levac

      LOL! Go knowledge go! That will put a damper on ignorant postings about alleged healthy vegans for a while I think.

      September 7, 2010 at 20:05 | Report abuse |
  47. Keith1952

    The biggest cause of death is living. It is a pretty stupid study.

    If you do everything in order to live longer and don't enjoy your life then I would ask "what is the point?"

    September 7, 2010 at 19:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. StrangerRick

    Vegatarians have a high risk of death if they try to get me to stop eating steaks, chops and burgers.

    September 7, 2010 at 20:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Swamprattler

      well spoken Rick

      September 7, 2010 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
  49. Sam1982

    This is such a silly article, we all have the same death risk..... 100%... enjoy it people.

    September 7, 2010 at 20:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. John Philadell

    You can spend your life worrying about getting cancer from this and dying from that or just enjoy life and do and eat what makes you happy. There are so many studies out there that if you take every one of them seriously, you'll end up sitting in a dark room naked with filtered air, no cell phones, computers or electricity and munching on a head of lettuce. Live life and enjoy...we all die at some point.

    September 7, 2010 at 21:26 | Report abuse | Reply
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