Last week (October 13th) an article was published in the Chicago Tribune written by S.E. Cupp, a Washington based CNN contributor applauding our government administration for declining to urge Americans to eat less meat and to not upset the meat and dairy industries. It’s this type of article that confuses the public and plays right into the hands of the lobbyists.
I offered a research supported viewpoint in response to the article. Here it is below.
If “winning the war” means eating more meat, then we have certainly accomplished that goal. The average annual consumption of meat in the U.S. today is roughly 200 pounds per person per year, an evolving increase from 123 pounds per person per year about 100 years ago.
Unfortunately, we’ve paid the price with our own carnage through an intimately related rise in heart disease, diabetes and other chronic illnesses. In fact, every minute someone in the U.S. dies from a heart attack or a stroke, in part from eating saturated fat whose source originates in animal products, a gateway to heart disease.
A body of solid research over the last 20 years concludes that the average American should be eating less saturated fat originating from meat and dairy sources to avoid a myriad of problems. Although a “political decision” was made by our government not to upset the influential livestock and agriculture industries, we will continue paying the price for this choice both health wise and financially for continuing to consume ribs, steaks, filet, burgers and dairy.
The cost of treating heart disease alone cripples our national healthcare budget with an annual whopping $250 billion expenditure which continues to rise. Clearly much of it could be avoided with dietary and lifestyle changes.
How do such findings help support the idea that we are “winning the war?”
If Americans are not yet convinced to stop eating the standard fare of meat and dairy all we need to do is look at other countries who have adopted our American meat eating habits only to find that their nation is now also experiencing the same health problems as the U.S. At a recent conference in Washington D.C., two very qualified research scientists from China and India (Ali Zeeshan Ph.D. and Jia Xu Ph.D.) presented research on dietary changes in their countries of origin and the resulting rise in health problems that followed. When meat and American fast food replaced rice and lentils rice as staples in the diets in China and India respectively, heart disease emerged as the major cause of death in both countries. This is well documented fact.
S.E. Cupp is right about one thing. Our government has a poor record in telling us what we should and shouldn’t eat and they seem to keep getting it wrong! Eating more meat and dairy is only going to compound the present pandemic of heart disease, diabetes and other diet related chronic illnesses that plague us today.
MS, CNS, LDN, Clinical Nutrition
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