Meat and Eggs

      76 Comments on Meat and Eggs

Several people asked if I planned to take apart the latest “meat kills!” study to make a big media splash.  In case you missed it, here’s part of one of the many, many articles about the study that hit the news:

A diet rich in meat, eggs, milk and cheese could be as harmful to health as smoking, according to a controversial study into the impact of protein consumption on longevity.

The overall harmful effects seen in the study were almost completely wiped out when the protein came from plant sources, such as beans and legumes, though cancer risk was still three times as high in middle-aged people who ate a protein-rich diet, compared with those on a low-protein diet.

You just know the vegan crowd loved reading those words.  But let’s keep reading:

But whereas middle-aged people who consumed a lot of animal protein tended to die younger from cancer, diabetes and other diseases, the same diet seemed to protect people’s health in old age.

So there you have it:  meat, eggs and other animal protein will kill you until you turn 65.  Then the same foods protect your health.  Since I’m already 55, I’ve decided I’ll keep eating meat, eggs and cheese and hope I manage to hang on for another 10 years – then I’ll increase my consumption of those foods to ensure I live to age 90.

That contradiction alone – animal foods can kill you until you reach the age at which most people actually die, then protect you – should be enough to convince you this is another piece of observational garbage.

But if you want a more thorough take-down of this idiocy, Zoe Harcomb already wrote one.  Here’s a bit of it (and I’d suggest you read the whole post):

This is a direct quotation from the article (my emphasis): “Using Cox Proportional Hazard models, we found that high and moderate protein consumption were positively associated with diabetes-related mortality, but not associated with all-cause, CVD [cardiovascular], or cancer mortality when subjects at all the ages above 50 were considered.”

i.e. when we looked at the 6,381 over 50 year olds there was not even an association with protein intake and all-cause mortality, or CVD mortality, or cancer mortality.

There was a relationship with diabetes mortality and protein intake, but the numbers were so tiny (one death from diabetes in one group) that this was not considered important.

And that could have been the headline – “There is no association between protein intake and mortality” – but then there would be no headline.

One of those animal-protein foods that will kill you until you turn 65 and then save your life is the humble egg.  I recently received an article about the importance of a nutrient that eggs provide:  choline.  Here are some quotes:

Choline plays a role in multiple physiological systems from all cell membranes to the function of organs like the liver. Choline produces a neurotransmitter involved in memory storage, muscle control and many other functions.

For more than five decades, nutrition science has known that choline is an important compound in the body. However, because humans have the ability to synthesize choline and our diets generally contain significant amounts of choline, it has been difficult to de­finitively show that choline is needed in the diet.

One of the first clear indications that the body does not make choline quick enough to meet the body’s own needs was recently demonstrated. When healthy men were fed a diet which was adequate in all known essential nutrients but very low in choline, the men developed liver damage. This indicates that even though the body can make choline, there is a dietary requirement as well.

Foods especially rich in choline include beef liver, with about 450 milligrams per 3 ounce serving, and eggs, with about 280 milligrams per egg.

So according to the latest observational nonsense, animal foods will kill you until you turn 65 … but at the same time, clinical research shows that choline is an essential nutrient, and the richest sources of choline are beef liver and eggs.

I vote we ignore the observational nonsense and eat our eggs.  That won’t be a problem here on the mini-farm.  Now that the chickens in our second flock have started laying, they’re producing more eggs than we can consume.  I took this picture a week or so ago to demonstrate.

Then a couple of days ago, it occurred to Chareva to check the top level of the barn, which required climbing a ladder.  This is what she found.

Another 60 eggs or so.  Fortunately, with the cool weather, they’re still quite edible.  Oh, and Sara will be taking delivery of 25 chicks soon as part of a 4-H project.  So now she and Alana and Chareva are planning to open an egg stand by the road.

And I’ll keep eating eggs and other sources of animal protein way beyond age 65.


If you enjoy my posts, please consider a small donation to the Fat Head Kids GoFundMe campaign.
Share

76 thoughts on “Meat and Eggs

  1. Melissa Cline

    I’d drive to Franklin for farm eggs!

    You’d probably pass 100 chicken farms between here and there.

    But if you really want to make the drive …

    Reply
  2. Melissa Cline

    I’d drive to Franklin for farm eggs!

    You’d probably pass 100 chicken farms between here and there.

    But if you really want to make the drive …

    Reply
  3. Per Wikholm

    Donno if You have seen this Tom but a week ago I had the privilige to debate live with professor Valter (meat is as dangerous as smoking) Longo on web tv. I’m still proud of getting him totally out of balance and really pissed of and showing what an asshole he really is. Most of his babbling was about that I am not worthy to critizice him and his study that I had called “worthless”. If You have the time (25 minutes) You’ll find it here http://tv.aftonbladet.se/webbtv/nyheter/kropp-och-halsa/article35990.ab

    There is some introduction in Swedish but the whole debate is in (broken) English with some short Swedish segments in between.

    And if You have another 3 minutes of time, note how very similar Valter Longo’s ad hominem stile of debate is to this funny clip with Rowan Atkinson standing in for Valter Logo:

    Thank you, Per, I’ll give it a look later tonight.

    Just watched it. Friggin’ hilarious! Yup, pretty much his whole argument boiled down to “this man isn’t qualified to question me.” He must be a T. Colin Campbell fan.

    Reply
  4. Per Wikholm

    Donno if You have seen this Tom but a week ago I had the privilige to debate live with professor Valter (meat is as dangerous as smoking) Longo on web tv. I’m still proud of getting him totally out of balance and really pissed of and showing what an asshole he really is. Most of his babbling was about that I am not worthy to critizice him and his study that I had called “worthless”. If You have the time (25 minutes) You’ll find it here http://tv.aftonbladet.se/webbtv/nyheter/kropp-och-halsa/article35990.ab

    There is some introduction in Swedish but the whole debate is in (broken) English with some short Swedish segments in between.

    And if You have another 3 minutes of time, note how very similar Valter Longo’s ad hominem stile of debate is to this funny clip with Rowan Atkinson standing in for Valter Logo:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th6ts_O7Jno

    Thank you, Per, I’ll give it a look later tonight.

    Just watched it. Friggin’ hilarious! Yup, pretty much his whole argument boiled down to “this man isn’t qualified to question me.” He must be a T. Colin Campbell fan.

    Reply
  5. Firebird7478

    More Vince Gironda on eggs:

    Mid-morning fatigue may result from an insufficient breakfast of animal protein. It’s desirable that at least one third of the daily protein intake be derived from animal sources such as eggs. Some high quality protein, as from eggs and other animal products, should be included in every diet. The tissues must have all of the essential amino acids for cell synthesis. Eggs provide these!

    (IronMan Magazine July 1976 Vol. 35 No. 5)

    Reply
  6. maria

    What’s so sad is that there are so many health-conscious people(most of my relatives!) who read these kinds of studies and just completely skip over anything that should trigger the common -sense alarms because it’s an “official,” published “study”; and they trust that people who do these studies would never dream of twisting the truth or flat-out lie! And then they are very skeptical and critical of anything that goes “against the grain!” It just makes me want to drown my sorrows in eggs, bacon, and lard.

    Reply
  7. maria

    What’s so sad is that there are so many health-conscious people(most of my relatives!) who read these kinds of studies and just completely skip over anything that should trigger the common -sense alarms because it’s an “official,” published “study”; and they trust that people who do these studies would never dream of twisting the truth or flat-out lie! And then they are very skeptical and critical of anything that goes “against the grain!” It just makes me want to drown my sorrows in eggs, bacon, and lard.

    Reply
  8. Cary L

    The Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast did an excellent job of breaking down the “science” of this study and the various falsehoods that were produced. My favorite aspect is that the people running the study are marketing a vegetable-based food product … surprise surprise!!

    As always, job well done Tom in bringing to light the fiction behind the headlines!

    Thank you.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.