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Heart Foundation Changes Advice On Dairy, Eggs & Red Meat

A few articles regarding the latest advice from the Heart Foundation regarding dairy, eggs & red meat.

https://www.fiveaa.com.au/news/There-s-Some-New-Advice-About-How-Much-Red-Meat-You-Should-Eat

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And the day after the Heart Foundation advises that full-fat milk is OK, we get this shonky advice saying to severly limit it with children who are already not getting enough calcium.

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Good news for meat lovers following a study by international researchers of 12 trials with 54,000 people that found no statistically significant or important association between meat consumption and the risk of heart disease, diabetes or cancer.

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I found 2 studies in the current “Annals of Internal Medicine” that relate to that story as the the authors of both shared a lot of the same names.

  1. https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2752327/patterns-red-processed-meat-consumption-risk-cardiometabolic-cancer-outcomes-systematic

  2. https://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2752328/unprocessed-red-meat-processed-meat-consumption-dietary-guideline-recommendations-from

From 1 the conclusions were as follows:

" Limitation:

Observational studies are prone to residual confounding, and these studies provide low- or very-low-certainty evidence according to the GRADE criteria.

Conclusion:

Low- or very-low-certainty evidence suggests that dietary patterns with less red and processed meat intake may result in very small reductions in adverse cardiometabolic and cancer outcomes."

For 2 the recommendations were:

"Recommendation for Unprocessed Red Meat

For adults 18 years of age or older, we suggest continuing current unprocessed red meat consumption (weak recommendation, low-certainty evidence). Eleven of 14 panelists voted for continuation of current unprocessed red meat consumption, whereas 3 voted for a weak recommendation to reduce red meat consumption.

Recommendation for Processed Meat

For adults 18 years of age or older, we suggest continuing current processed meat consumption (weak recommendation, low-certainty evidence). Again, 11 of 14 panel members voted for a continuation of current processed meat consumption, and 3 voted for a weak recommendation to reduce processed meat consumption.

…//…

Rationale for Recommendations for Red Meat and Processed Meat

The rationale for our recommendation to continue rather than reduce consumption of unprocessed red meat or processed meat is based on the following factors. First, the certainty of evidence for the potential adverse health outcomes associated with meat consumption was low to very low (13–16), supported by the similar effect estimates for red meat and processed meat consumption from dietary pattern studies as from studies directly addressing red meat and processed meat intake (13, 14, 16). Second, there was a very small and often trivial absolute risk reduction based on a realistic decrease of 3 servings of red or processed meat per week. Third, if the very small exposure effect is true, given peoples’ attachment to their meat-based diet (17), the associated risk reduction is not likely to provide sufficient motivation to reduce consumption of red meat or processed meat in fully informed individuals, and the weak, rather than strong, recommendation is based on the large variability in peoples’ values and preferences related to meat (17). Finally, the panel focused exclusively on health outcomes associated with meat and did not consider animal welfare and environmental issues. Taken together, these observations warrant a weak recommendation to continue current levels of red meat and processed meat consumption."

The major reason for their results in both cases came down to the very low to low certainty of evidence from the studies they analysed. So perhaps not yet a good reason to eat large quantities of red meat in a diet. I think more stringent studies may be needed to garner more robust recommendations than the current “weak” recommendation.

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Eggs again have come into question on how many should be consumed by a person in a week and the effect that eating too many (7 or more a week) increased the risk of diabetes type II by 60%. Research was conducted in a joint study by the University of South Australia & the China Medical University. As it was an observational data study the results are not necessarily accurate as there may be other factors involved. The researchers also state that further detailed study is needed to confirm whether it is a true link.

The excerpt from the research is linked below

There is a far bit of contention over the Study’s conclusion and I don’t think that changing a diet just based on this study is necessarily gong to be the right thing. For more commentary see (first link is to Twitter comments and the second to News articles):

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