Middle-aged? Put down the meat
March 5th, 2014
09:12 AM ET

Middle-aged? Put down the meat

Eating a high-protein diet in middle age could increase your risk of diabetes and cancer, according to a study published this week in the journal Cell Metabolism. But don't stay away from meat for too long - the same study showed those over 65 need more protein to reduce their mortality risk.


Insulin-like growth factor 1, or IGF-1, is a protein in your body related to growth and development. Past studies have linked IGF-1 to age-related diseases, including cancer. Mice and humans with higher levels of IGF-1 often have a higher risk of developing these diseases.

Scientists believe protein intake plays a role in IGF-1 activity. Eating less protein, studies have shown, can lead to lower levels of IGF-1 in your body. So theoretically, protein consumption could be directly linked to disease incidence and death.

The study

Researchers analyzed survey data from 6,381 U.S. men and women aged 50 and above to understand the link between protein, certain diseases and mortality.

The study participants were split into three groups: a high-protein group who ate 20% or more of their daily calories from proteins; a moderate-protein group who ate 10 to 19% of their calories from proteins; and a low-protein group.

Researchers also looked at the differences in risk between those aged 50 to 65 and those over 65 years old.

The results

People between the ages of 50 and 65 who ate a high-protein diet had a 74% increase in overall mortality compared to those in the low-protein group. The meat lovers also had four-fold increased risk of dying from cancer during the study's 18-year follow-up.

However, this risk was only seen in those who got their protein from animal sources such as meat, eggs and cheese; the link disappeared if the protein came from plants, such as nuts, seeds and beans.

People who were over the age of 65 and ate a high-protein diet saw the opposite effect. Researchers saw a 28% reduction in death from all causes in this group. Cancer deaths in this older, high-protein group, were also reduced.

Study participants of any age who ate a high-protein diet had a five-fold increased risk of dying from diabetes.

The scientists had IGF-1 data for more than 2,200 people in the study. Analyzing this information, they determined that for every IGF-1 increase of 10 ng/ml, those on a high-protein diet were 9% more likely to die from cancer than those on a low-protein diet.

The study authors concluded that high levels of animal proteins cause increased levels of IGF-1 and possibly insulin in the body, which leads to higher mortality for people ages 50 to 65.

Tumors in mice

Researchers also reported on a separate experiment, where lab mice were either on a high-protein or a low-protein diet. Mice on the low-protein diet had a lower cancer rate than those on a high-protein diet, even after being implanted with 20,000 melanoma cells. The low-protein mice also had smaller tumors on average than those on a high-protein diet by the end of the six-week experiment.

When the mice were switched from a high-protein diet to a low-protein diet, researchers saw a 30% decrease in their IGF-1 levels.

“Almost everyone is going to have a cancer cell or pre-cancer cell in them at some point. The question is: Does it progress?” study author Valter Longo said in a press release. “Turns out one of the major factors in determining if it does is protein intake.”


Eating more than 10% of your calories from animal proteins in middle age could increase your risk of dying from diseases such as cancer and diabetes. But after 65, you may need that extra protein to protect your body from becoming frail.

“The majority of Americans are eating about twice as much proteins as they should," Longo said. "It seems that the best change would be to lower the daily intake of all proteins, but especially animal-derived proteins."

Walter Willett, an epidemiologist at Harvard's School of Public Health, says not much should be made of this study's findings. It's unreasonable to treat "animal protein" as one class, he says, as fish, poultry and red meat are all very different.

Willett also noted that the headline on the press release associated with this study - "Meat and cheese may be as bad for you as smoking" - is a vast overstatement. The researchers did not include data on smoking in their study.

The Institute of Medicine's Food and Nutrition Board recommends eating about 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight every day in middle age. So a 160-pound person should eat about 55 to 60 grams of protein a day.

soundoff (502 Responses)
  1. barb'sbarb

    We are vegetarian to the delight of our physician and our lab results are all "normal," including our B12 because we eat a healthy vegetarian diet. We also exercise. One of our friends is a vegan and runs marathons. She has more energy than most.

    March 5, 2014 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • brian

      Sorry, but it is a simple fact that humans weren't designed to eat only vegetables. The enamel on our teeth is not thick enough for a vegan diet. I know just people who eat meat and run marathons, race bicycles do triathlon and in their 60's are running circles around people half their age. The secret is the exercise more than the diet.

      March 5, 2014 at 21:34 | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      It is important to follow a lifestyle that you can sanctimonious about and brag about on social media. Otherwise it is not nearly as satisfying or reap as many health rewards.

      March 6, 2014 at 00:09 | Report abuse |
    • lerianis

      brian hit the nail on the head. It is more about exercise than what you eat. A little bit of how much you eat as well, but even that is not as important as exercise.

      March 6, 2014 at 02:28 | Report abuse |
    • jim

      you guys ever hear of jim fixx? he was a runner in the 70s, wrote the complete book of running. died of a heart attack at 52 after finishing up a run. clogged arteries. OK, now what were you saying about food?

      March 6, 2014 at 04:30 | Report abuse |
    • nepawoods

      Jim Fixx had a genetic predisposition to heart disease. He had an enlarged heart (congenital). His father died of a heart attack at 43. He was also a heavy smoker until age 36 when he started running.

      March 6, 2014 at 06:14 | Report abuse |
    • antoine dimov

      this is pure bs. Eating grass fed animal proteins is completely awesome for ya, while eating grain fed animals contain a lot more pro inflammatory fats. Humans ate a high protein/ fat throughout their history from the time they were cavemen and I absolutely hate how the media/government does what it can to dismiss the paleo diet and continue to support the greedy food industry. Even if ya eat corn fed animal proteins, you can offset the inflammatory issues by eating more olive oil, concount oils, and other fats that are anti inflammatory. To be published in journals these days, you have to obey the governments rules of low fat, which is the biggest scam of recent human history

      March 6, 2014 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
    • Li Herman

      This week's medical news says reduce animal protein until age 66, to avoid inset of disbtese and heart disease. Studies show that high protein diet after 66 actually increases life span. It has been known for years that inadequate protein intake is associated with bedsores in the elderly.

      March 6, 2014 at 16:14 | Report abuse |
    • L

      I agree that were not meant to be vegetarians. Also you can't get adequate B12 from just vegetables. That's a pretty known fact. You just may not be prone to low B12 or not low yet. Since I believe in eating whole foods – nothing processed as people use to do ... I don't believe that eating fortified foods is even remotely healthy.

      Go to the Vegan Society: "The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms.

      Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anaemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimise potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.

      To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:
      •eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (μg or mcg) of B12 a day or
      •take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms or
      •take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms. "

      March 13, 2014 at 08:48 | Report abuse |
    • Artemis MA

      The study is based on a 24 hour recall of food eaten `18 years before, and follow ups on health, without another survey of food eaten afterwards. It is entirely meaningless. The people asked about food intake did indicate if this was their usual diet or not, but they were asked this AT THE TIME OF THE INITIAL FOOD INTAKE SURVEY. A lot of people change their food plans. A lot of people may have changed their food plans a few months before the survey was conducted, too. This is a snapshot of diet at a very limited period of time.

      There is no way to know if the conclusions are right or wrong. Intriguing, but not something to base a diet on.

      March 18, 2014 at 18:31 | Report abuse |
    • Artemis MA

      Ummm, just want to clarify that these people were asked about what they ate 24 hours prior to being asked... and that these questions were asked approx 18 years ago. (NO, people weren't being asked to remember what they ate 18 years ago, around now!)

      March 18, 2014 at 18:34 | Report abuse |
    • Lojack

      Whadaya mean "we", Kimosabe?

      March 25, 2014 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
  2. Living longer eatin beef

    Known 2 vegans in my life, both worked out daily, riding bikes jogging and lifting weights. Both were dead by 35 from heart attacks. I'm 65 ate bacon and/or beef every day for 50 years and still physically capable. Who wins?

    March 5, 2014 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anne

      Taking out this study, at your age you shouldn't eat beef and less, bacon in a daily basis, any doctor will tell you that.
      Be careful with uric acid, toxins and high cholesterol. Get some fish some days instead.

      March 5, 2014 at 19:44 | Report abuse |
    • Smurfeater

      That's very strange. I know several vegans and they are all alive and quite well. I personally do eat bacon and lots of it. I also however am not trying to delude myself into thinking that I am anywhere near as healthy as my vegan friends, because I am not.

      March 5, 2014 at 20:23 | Report abuse |
    • dean patrick

      Beefman: I know someone who fell off a 7 story building and lived. I would not recommend that or use that as an example of why someone should jump off a building though. The scientific data on vegetarians and vegans blows your logic out the water.

      March 5, 2014 at 20:27 | Report abuse |
    • Living longer eatin beef

      Just stating the hard facts. 2 dead vegans @ an early age. One living large sexagenarian eatin beef and pork every day. You need something more profound to change my beliefs.

      March 5, 2014 at 20:30 | Report abuse |
    • Living longer eatin beef

      Hey Anne, remind folks that most fish, both free-range and farmed contain dangerous levels of mercury. I fear that most of the commenters pushing for vegganism are merely Animal rights protesters in disguise. They are everywhere these days and will stop at nothing to push their agenda.

      March 5, 2014 at 21:17 | Report abuse |
    • your mom

      sounds like a made story, the world calls BS, you have left out too many details to be an accurate account

      March 5, 2014 at 21:43 | Report abuse |
    • bs

      2 vegans dead by 35 from heart attacks I can tell you eat meat cause there's so much bull crap coming out of your mouth

      March 5, 2014 at 21:49 | Report abuse |
    • swipedcard

      I think the only way I'd believe that 2 vegans who both happened to know you and both died of "heart attacks" and the miraculous age of 35 is if you personally killed each one.

      March 5, 2014 at 22:47 | Report abuse |
    • Polly Urethane

      George Burns smoked till his 90's. On the other hand Terrie Hall smoked and died at 53. Point is, it wasn't because they were vegans that they died early. Stuff happens.

      March 5, 2014 at 23:52 | Report abuse |
    • Ubershaman

      @Living longer eatin beef – wrt to needing more info to change your beliefs, if not science then what would it take?

      March 6, 2014 at 02:34 | Report abuse |
    • jim

      hey beefy, you could eat nails for all i care. thankfully no one is stupid enough to take your advice. why not have some cake and ice cream while you're at it. i knew a guy who ate nothing but beef and M&M's and hes 97 and rides a tricycle to work. oh, in case you didn't get that last bit ... i was mocking you.

      March 6, 2014 at 04:38 | Report abuse |
    • Living longer eatin beef

      Real life experiences over 65 years. The fact that my father still does the same at 92 is science enough for me. Vegans.... Do as you please but quit selling your bull. I aint buyin it.

      March 6, 2014 at 07:38 | Report abuse |
    • Xavie

      Who wins? Nobody! The Federal government does more everyday to make our lives more frustrating and miserable than any diet could ever do!

      March 6, 2014 at 10:45 | Report abuse |
    • Artemis MA

      Beef, what about the family history of heart disease of your two vegan friends? What about their past history before they became vegan? (Smoking etc.) What is your family history of heart disease? What sort of vegan foods were they eating – packaged TVP-laden trash, or real veggies and fruits? There's a lot in your story here we don't know. And a lot of it may come down to underlying health issues (or genetic inheritance) in your friends.

      That being said, the overall evidence I've seen points to humans being omnivores. I don't really think being a vegan is truly healthy and I think it is wrong to raise children as vegans. Formative years are important. Vegetarianism, if one actually EATS vegetables and at the very least, eggs or dairy (pick one if you must), is a healthy choice.

      March 9, 2014 at 06:47 | Report abuse |
    • L

      Anne – according to this article at his age he should be eating more protein.

      Al – yep you may be right – that is why you have to choose grass fed / organic meats that aren't raised that way. The protein products today are not the quality from the 1950s. I totally believe our current system of food production is causing so many health issues today. Buy quality (or what seems to be the best quality) is the best way to go.

      March 13, 2014 at 09:22 | Report abuse |
  3. Say anything

    Animal lovers have been saying this and anything to get the population to give up meat products and let all animals roam free.

    March 5, 2014 at 19:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. just saying

    "People between the ages of 50 and 65 who ate a high-protein diet had a 74% increase in overall mortality compared to those in the low-protein group" So the low-protein group people don't die? That IS newsworthy.......

    March 5, 2014 at 19:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Protein source

      Might want to read that again.

      "the same study showed those over 65 need more protein to reduce their mortality risk."

      March 5, 2014 at 21:15 | Report abuse |
  5. Really?

    Drink whiskey~ die happy~!

    March 5, 2014 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Living longer eatin beef

      Hey Anne? You one of those animal loving PETA maniacs protesting at grocery stores?

      March 5, 2014 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
  6. nonsense

    Tell me exactly what DOESN'T cause cancer and diabetes in the 21st century?

    If you avoided every piece of food they've said to avoid, you would die of starvation.

    For years they told us eating butter and egg yolks would give us heart disease, and yet it was never based on any real science.

    Eat whatever you want; we all die.

    March 5, 2014 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dean patrick

      yes, it was the Egg Council representing the egg producers and wholesalers who influenced the benefits of egg products. The beef and dairy industry in the past did the same thing. Beef, Real Food For Real People who are Better be Real Close to Their Cardiologist and a Surgical Suite! Their spokesman-quintuple-bypass heart surgery and then RIP.

      March 5, 2014 at 20:34 | Report abuse |
    • mick

      Eating fat doesn't bother me at all, but moderating the simple sugars is probably a good idea. And I consume a mickey of whiskey a week.
      In my sixties and still doin' one armed pushups.

      March 6, 2014 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
  7. JKelly

    Read the original publication here http://download.cell.com/cell-metabolism/pdf/PIIS155041311400062X.pdf

    March 5, 2014 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. BKB

    Eat what you want. Die anyways.

    March 5, 2014 at 20:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Debbie

    the key to everything and anything is moderation. Had an employee where I work tell me about all his protein shakes etc etc,to the point of probably 150 gms of protein a day. I learned when I worked for a nephrologisthow hard that kind of protein is on the kidenys . I informed the guy that much protein can cause kidney issues. That's a fact. Does that mean no protein absolutely not. The same is true of plant food. It's good for you unless you over do it. Oh and if you're going vegan, you best know what your doing because most plant food (except nuts) contain incomplete protein, so even if they have it your body can't convert it for use. First it's no carbs then no protein or fat, what is left for crying out loud? Oh and excessive aerobic may be hard on the heart, but aerobic exercise improves health and quality of life. Again moderation.

    March 5, 2014 at 20:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Protein source

    A vegetarian diet is not necessarily a low protein diet.

    March 5, 2014 at 21:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. orionstyles

    The opposite... put down the wheat unless you want to die in your 60s.

    March 5, 2014 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. C.R. MacDonald

    Plant protein > Animal Protein. Makes sense, really.

    Plants have fiber; Animal products don't.
    Animal products have high cholesterol and saturated fats; Plants don't.

    There are cleaner sources to get your fiber, vitamins, minerals, etc. without all the added junk that harms you.

    Nutrition from plants is where it's at.

    March 5, 2014 at 21:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Artemis MA

      Nutrition from both plants and meat is where it is at. Not everything you eat needs to have fiber in it. We need a balance of healthy foods from both the plant and animal kingdoms. Yes, you can live without meat, but many if most of us cannot thrive. Granted, we don't need to eat mounds of it at a time. But some of us would not get adequate protein or healthy fats without meat. (I for one cannot eat tree nuts, so that's one avenue of fats and protein shut off from me.) AND I feel so much healthier now that I have essentially eliminated added sugars and most pre-packaged highly processed foods.

      March 9, 2014 at 06:27 | Report abuse |
  13. your mom

    this is not a news flash people know plants are way better for them, however people just love meat LOVE it willing to die for it happily, however if your just anti vegs and plants then eat your meat without all that plant seasoning all over it. in addition to meat people love cigarettes,sugar,booze, guns and god all of which are bad for you, poisonous in high doses and will fortunately kill you.

    March 5, 2014 at 21:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bs

      Or someone you know so fu mom

      March 5, 2014 at 21:59 | Report abuse |
  14. your mom

    im not sure what the vegans agenda that everyone is scared of is, they want you to be HEALTHIER ohhhhh, or the want you to be THINNER ohhhhhhhh. keep you healthy or to avoid cancer and heart disease, those bas^%$s and there agenda.

    March 5, 2014 at 21:55 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kevin

      Actually most vegans that I have know do not have such high minded goals. Vegans are just people. There motivations are just as selfish as anyone else. They are just more self deluded than most.
      People with actual character have a healthy diet and exercise and try to influence people by example, not by acting superior.

      March 6, 2014 at 00:18 | Report abuse |
    • bappysue

      Actually, the vegan agenda is more about animal rights then health. No animal by-products what-so-ever, including clothing. Vegetarian diet is about health.

      March 6, 2014 at 06:52 | Report abuse |
  15. Bboilerman

    As someone who eats primally, I would like to point out that there is a huge difference between pastured grass fed meats and the CAFO grain-fed crap meat that you find in your local grocery. The omega 3 to omega 6 ratio in grain fed is horrible, while in grass fed the ratio is great. In short, what you feed the animals does make a difference, just like in people. One needs to realize that you can puts a grassfed ribeye next to a grainfed ribeye, and they look pretty much the same, but one is much healthier (and, yes, it is healthy) than the other.

    I doubt whether this study makes this distinction.

    Pretty much everything at your local grocery is bad for you, even the herbicide and pesticide laden fruits and veggies.

    These studies never delve into how certain foods are better than others. All meats are the same, all fruits and veggies are the same, etc.

    I do my own research, and don't pay attention to any of these "studies"...

    March 5, 2014 at 22:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • me

      Nice to see that someone else gets it!

      March 5, 2014 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
  16. mary

    It has always seemed intuitive to me that meat is a processed food. We love it because it tastes good and is higher in calories. The animals eat the food, process it into what they need it to be to live. Problem is, it is what they needed to live, not what we need to live. I am not one to completely dismiss meat though. Especially in todays culture where we are quite risk-averse and wash everything so thoroughly so as to wash away all the B12 from our produce. To me it seems most practical to just eat meat once a week or once every 2 weeks as opposed to worrying about taking a B12 supplement. So often arguments such as this are framed as an all or nothing, but it does not have to be. Plant-based diets are healthier and we have known that for a while, we just don't like it 🙂 Look at what other primates eat. If they eat meat, it is very infrequently.

    March 5, 2014 at 22:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Robert

      Mary: What is processed about the cattle my brother raises on his small Idaho farms and has slaughtered, butchered and frozen? Not all meat is processed. Factory-farmed, corn-fed, antibiotic-laden is, and is even worse when filled with nitrates. But meat that is free of this processing is readily available to many.

      March 6, 2014 at 01:51 | Report abuse |
    • johninpa

      Using that logic, plant based foods are also processed foods. The plants use sunshine and materials they extract from the soil, plus water, and process it into plant matter. So, to avoid "processed" food, should I consume soil and water to obtain my nutrition, along with a health dose of sun?

      March 6, 2014 at 10:28 | Report abuse |
  17. zach

    Findings sound similar to the China "Study". It fails to include that those that eat more meat tend to exercise less, tend to consume less fiber, and that burnt or charred portions of meat are carcinogenic. If you consume a lot of meat yet are still physically active, consume adequate amounts of fiber, and cut off the charred portions of meat, your risk of developing cancer or heart disease are drastically reduced compared to if you were to not do those things.

    March 5, 2014 at 23:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. Sara

    I'm not a big meat fanatic, so I tried to go vegan two different times. I kept track of my food and found that I got plenty of protein, but after two months, I was absolutely miserable and craving things like steak, stuff I eat rarely. I finally gave in and bought a steak. Even though I don't like a lot of meat, my body has to have that type of protein once in a while. Vegan doesn't work for everyone.

    March 6, 2014 at 00:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mario

      I had a similar experience. Trying to go vegan (actually flexitarian) for over 6 months, I really felt weak and not good at all. Once I resumed a more normal diet, things went back to "normal". Everybody is different but we all need to adjust to our sedentary lifestyle and food intake. It's not so much about living longer (as in getting to 90-100) but to be relatively in good health as you age. We still have a lot to learn but variety (a.k.a. moderation) is definitely one key to solving the health enigma.

      March 6, 2014 at 01:28 | Report abuse |
    • dee

      it is possible that you need small amount of animal protein, or that you were mildy allergic, to a certain plant food(soy, corn or wheat) or slighly vitamin dificient. when you went vegan the problem popped up. maybe you neede b 12 or vitamin

      March 8, 2014 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
  19. Drake

    What does it matter. If you live in the USA you will end up with cancer. It's the American way to die.

    March 6, 2014 at 01:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JeniW

      There is a saying that goes "if you live long enough, you will get cancer." The same is true with animals.

      March 6, 2014 at 06:47 | Report abuse |
    • Xavie

      If you live in the USA, you already have cancer – it's called the Federal government!

      March 6, 2014 at 10:40 | Report abuse |
  20. Robert

    So we should not eat carbs, protein or fats. What's left?

    March 6, 2014 at 01:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. DR

    Good on CNN for at least publishing a "weak" report on a "miniscule" study. Check the link, read the data compiled from numerous, solid studies. A 33-1/3% return on your invested behavior? Would you make that investment?


    March 6, 2014 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. FLL

    Read The China Study and you will see how Meat only does harm in the long run. Proven fact we are plant eaters.

    March 6, 2014 at 03:02 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Living longer eatin beef

      Even "I" need / want more than just meat. I dont suggest anyone eat ONLY from one food group. Thats the best way to an early grave, like those two vegans I mentioned earlier.

      March 6, 2014 at 12:42 | Report abuse |
    • LCC

      The China Study is a cohort study in which the author unscientifically uses chains of observations to submit as proof. Bad science, with even worse conclusions. Don't be swayed by garbage.

      March 17, 2014 at 09:12 | Report abuse |
  23. Robert

    please, no one ever cite the China Study ever again. Thank you

    March 6, 2014 at 03:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. ScottyRotten

    A researcher of this study is the founder of a plant based supplement "diet plan" company..... how is this objective? http://www.l-nutra.com/index.php/about/partners

    March 6, 2014 at 04:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Riven Rock

    We raise organically grown, 100% grass finished beef, lamb and pork. This study is a joke. Tt makes no reference to the TYPE of red meat. Grass fed beef for instance has a 2 to 1 Omega 6 to Omega 3 ration- anything under 4 to 1 is very healthy. Grain fed store bought crap- 19 to 1. Ver bad fat profile. Grass based meats also contain huge levels of CLA- a powerful cancer FIGHTING substance only found in grass fed meats and dairy. Look it up- do your own research....or get in line with the rest of the conventional sheeple and veganites denying their own DNA. Try Weston A Price foundation for a start.....Whats killings people is INDUSTRIAL food, processed, grain based crap, and sugar.

    March 6, 2014 at 08:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bboilerman

      Hear, hear!!

      What is really scary, IMHO, is that, as a graduate researcher at a major agricultural university, I have the opportunity to speak informally with many researchers in the food supply chain and food/nutrition science fields (I'm a mechanical engineer).

      When I speak to the differences between grass fed and grain fed meats (remember that this is ag research going on), they have no idea what I'm talking about. Not that they disagree, they just have no idea what I'm talking about. These are the people doing these studies...

      You are correct when you say that processed foods are the problem. Processed sugar and almost all grains, especially GMO corn and all wheat are really bad for you. They lead to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, which is what causes obesity, not fat intake.

      Also, the food pyramid has been entirely wrong from its inception. The reason that we are an obese nation is not that the nation hasn't been following all of the 'expert' government nutritionists recommendations, it is because they HAVE BEEN FOLLOWING the recommendations.

      That said, I'm not one to force anyone to eat anything or follow a particular dietary path. Just don't try to force me to follow what you think is correct. In fact the fewer that want grass fed meats and raw milk, the better. Helps keep the price down for me, even though it is much more expensive that the standard American diet crap that populates the grocery aisles.

      March 6, 2014 at 10:29 | Report abuse |
    • Xavie

      No, what's killing people is our stupid federal government, and all the religious nuts in the world!

      March 6, 2014 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
  26. stupid

    Eat a balanced diet, with low sugar carbohydrates- and meat is good, but dont over do it. Drink lots of water, and stay very very physically active.

    March 6, 2014 at 08:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. johninpa

    So don't eat meat because it may increase risk of diabetes. That leaves you with a lot of carbohydrates that will accompany the higher level of vegetable proteins you are encouraged to eat. Most folks understand today that a higher carbohydrate diet also leads to an increased risk of diabetes. Personally, I'll continue to eat my lower carb diet, enjoy meat, and wait for the next study that will contradict this one.

    March 6, 2014 at 09:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • dee

      if you eat the right type of carbs you won't have to worry, also meat consumption is linked to diabetes. So eat wisely

      March 8, 2014 at 21:38 | Report abuse |
  28. Xavie

    So what?!!! Our Federal government is making our lives more miserable than any diet will! Most of the stress in our lives is a direct or indirect result of the stupidity of the government, and the frustration it causes in our lives! I will eat & drink anything I want, while I flip the bird at the government! I hope I die soon, with a beef steak on my fork, and a beer in my hand!

    March 6, 2014 at 10:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Keith

      @Xavie : and will you also expect your ( despised ? ) government to pay for any health issues resulting from your eating choices ? 🙂

      March 7, 2014 at 08:27 | Report abuse |
  29. chuck

    The key is portion control and exercise. I walk, ride a bike, and do a some resistance workouts. I am 66 and in the best health of my life, I am sorry that it took me so long to learn what is the right diet and life style for my self. Yes I eat meat, but I make sure it is as lean as possible. I also make sure to keep my salt intake as low as possible. And after over 30 years of being on blood pressure medications, I am now free of them. And by blood pressure is the best it has ever been. We are all different, and the key is to know thy self, and experiment to find what works yourself. I find that most doctors just preach what the government tells them.

    March 6, 2014 at 11:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Noanimalingredients

    Check out the study done in Denmark during world war 1. No factory farms then... Yet dramatic results when animal products were removed from the diet. Open your mind to a world without raising and killing animals for food. We don't need to depend on that. I think everyone can agree factory farms are an abomination and should be dismantled immediately. But at the end of the day, a diet without animal products is overwhelmingly likely the healthiest diet- not to mention the environmental benefits from not raising billions of animals... Even w grass fed animal products there are a number of environmental and animal welfare problems.

    March 6, 2014 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Artemis MA

      A link to this study, please?

      March 7, 2014 at 19:33 | Report abuse |
    • Artemis MA

      NO link.. it just doesn't exist.

      March 7, 2014 at 19:48 | Report abuse |
    • Shelia

      next thing you know you'll be putting lions on an all veggie diet. we are part of the food chain get over it.

      March 16, 2014 at 20:48 | Report abuse |
  31. furiouscuriouscancersurvivor

    Reblogged this on Furious Curious Cancer Survivor and commented:

    March 7, 2014 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Artemis MA

    I have put down the added sugars & most of the processed grains. For me, and triglyceride levels, works far better than declining real meat, raised up on farms that remain grass-fed.

    March 7, 2014 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. lil mama

    i eat meat everyday lots of meat mmmmmmmmmm good lol

    March 11, 2014 at 09:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. nicole caballero

    all people have cancer and then domt eat health

    March 12, 2014 at 08:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. nicole caballero

    yeah you are right

    March 12, 2014 at 08:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. al

    lot's of meat products are made from the animals that were given growth hormone, anabolic steroids
    and antibiotics, and no mention in the study about lifestyle things such as smoking, exercise, bodyweight etc.

    March 12, 2014 at 10:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. LCC

    Observational study by a self-proclaimed vegan. High protein rated at 16%! Somehow, protein magically becomes beneficial in older age? Sounds like multiple confounding variables at play here. Based on food survey information and animal studies.


    March 17, 2014 at 09:11 | Report abuse | Reply
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    March 25, 2014 at 07:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David Ward

      I wish I had time to read all the input, and apologize if I am redundant. There is some misinformation out there. The health benefits of meat are only as good as the food that the animal eats, and better yet, the soil that the food is grown in. Nutritious grass and veggies fed to active livestock and wild game provide much more nutritionally dense meat, high in B vitamins and conjugated linoleic acids which can actually prevent inflammation, cancer and heart disease. The way I see it, we should eat they way we've evolved to eat over hundreds of thousands of years. We only get one shot to get it right. Let's hope we do. http://www.wildforaged.com

      March 25, 2014 at 13:09 | Report abuse |
  39. Liz

    I steer away from meat only because I don't really like the taste. Unless you marinate the heck out of meat, there is no taste. Whereas, fruits and veggies are awesome tasting. I'm 58 with perfect cholesterol, weight, agility, ect.

    April 2, 2014 at 15:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. DerBaron

    Meat is getting more expensive and my doctors limit it, so a mostly vegetarian diet is not a problem. Not going to refuse that one steak per month cooked rare though when I'm by myself. Why? Most womenfolk have their guys cook steak well done = shoe leather – might as well go vegan after wasting the piece of cow.

    April 4, 2014 at 09:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • DerBaron

      .. or vegan until 6 then have an omelet, stir-fry. or fish to avoid carboloading at night. What the article failed to mention is getting old sux – I don't really recommend it.

      April 4, 2014 at 09:18 | Report abuse |
  41. Matt

    Apparently dr Gupta hasn't read any current studies indicating that a ketogenic diet consisting of meat, veggies & healthy (omega3) fats are far more effective for optimal Heath.

    References – "Grain Brain" by dr Perlmutter
    "Salt, sugar fat" by Michael moss
    "Healing ADD" dr Amen

    Funny how Atkins was right all along, we just didn't have imperial evidence at the time.

    September 7, 2014 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Williams

    IGF-1 and GH are both essential for health and vitality in adults.Low levels are associated with drastically increased mortality rates from most forms of vascular disease.

    March 1, 2015 at 18:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Richard

      Your comment has no numbers and so useless! Lower IGF-1 levels around 100 are associated with longer longevity in humans. One may reach that lower level by using different methods of fasting, by consuming reduced number of daily calories or by eliminating animal products while focusing on whole plant-based products.
      In all of the five Blue Zones where longevity is longer than average the focus is on whole plant-based products and reduced animal products.

      May 14, 2016 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
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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.