A Hot Dog a Day

Did you hear about the new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine?  The one that says a hot dog a day is worse for you than an apple a day?

The study finds that people who consume one serving of red meat per day ( beef, pork, lamb) had a 13% increased risk of mortality, compared with those who were eating very little meat. And processed meats raised the risk higher, to about a 20% increased risk of death from diseases including cancer and heart disease.

This study analyzed data from two  studies — the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and the Nurses’ Health Study — and included more than 100,000 men and women. Volunteers completed questionnaires about how often they ate meat and other foods. Researchers tracked participants for several decades, documenting the onset of diseases and death.


The study found that people who replaced 1 serving of red meat with alternative sources of protein decreased their risks of premature death. Choosing chicken and other poultry decreased the risk by 14 percent, fish decreased the risks by 7 percent and legumes decreased the risk by 10 percent. (Source)

My dietary choices reflect that I’m in the no-meat camp.  I’m not sure what to think of the fact that poultry reduced risk more than legumes.

Can you guess the real meat culprits?

This is Italian sausage wrapped in bacon. Source: bbqaddicts

Processed meat.  

The study researchers advise cutting back on the bacon, sausage, and processed meat and making them “once in a while” food.   A theory as to why processed meat is riskier is that the iron in meat works as a catalyst — to turn nitrites added as preservatives — into a particular kind of carcinogen in the body.

Dr. Dean Ornish, clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, who wrote an accompanying editorial to the study, says that more  than 75 percent of the $2.6 trillion spent each year on health care in the U.S. is for chronic diseases and that eating less red meat may reduce the incidence of these diseases. (Source)

There are two sides to every story.  The American Meat Institute Foundation disputes the findings that red meats including processed meats elevate the risk of cancer.

Maybe there are three sides to this story–how about a plant-strong diet?

Hooray for veggies!

Questions:  Did you hear/read about this study?  What do you think?