STOP IT!

There has been a recent spate of studies asserting that meat is bad for you, eggs are bad for you and statins cure everything.

Look, here is the liberating simple truth. Every single article is infected with profound bias that is not too hard to discern.

Let me illustrate. The egg article was an excellent example of bad intellectual history. There have been hundreds of papers asserting the link between high cholesterol, high cholesterol consumption, and Alzheimer’s, heart disease and stroke. At the same time and in the same timeframe there have been hundreds, statistically not only refuting those claims but, often, concluding exactly the opposite.

Depending on how you pick your citations you can assert that low is bad and high is bad and that statins are a godsend and statins cause a whole host of problems.

The egg paper was an example of selective citations and data importation.

How to choose, who to believe?

Well how about the recent article, which also made the newspapers, that even small amounts of red meat shortened your life expectancy. Wow, that is a pretty scary thought for those of us who grew up on the high plains of Texas.

What about that study? Well it was the product of researchers at Loma Linda University which is a Seventh-day Adventist school. What I am about to say has nothing to do with their integrity or their theology.

About 50% of Seventh-day Adventists are vegetarian and the rest consume little red meat. Practicing Seventh-day Adventists were the research pool for the paper.

Maybe a little bias in their subject selection? That is not the half of it: they fell victim to the oldest ‘meat mistake’ of them all, they included processed meat in their claim that ‘red meat’ could increase your risk of death. The poor value of processed meat has been known for a long time and almost all large studies no longer conflate the two categories for this very reason. Their data pool was too small, and the amounts of meat consumed so low, as to question any value to their much ballyhooed results.

Until the era of widely available complete biome, biome genetic, and our own genetic mapping and clear evidence of the interaction of these important variables ‘eat whole, real food’ remains the only sane, stable across time eating advice there is.

Unless you have clear objective evidence of deficiencies – age related malabsorption of B-12 for example or an abnormal production of triglycerides with certain foods or alcohol – unless you have real, external, objective evidence of specific food issues – Celiac disease, anyone? – eat fresh, eat broadly across many food types, and quit worrying. Worrying will kill you faster – e.g. guilty Seventh-day Adventist arguing with his wife – than almost any whole, real food.

Don’t worry, eat happy.

Smile, Have Fun, God Speed,

Dr. Mike

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