more evidence that meat-heavy diets kill

Posted on: Sat, 09/11/2010 - 10:40 By: Tom Swiss

New research published in the Annals of Internal Medicine uses data from the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals' Follow-up Study to compare the overall mortality effects -- i.e., how likely something is to help you to your death -- of two different sort of low-carb diets: those based on animal products, and those based on plant foods.

Unsurprisingly, overall low-carb diets were associated with an increase in overall mortality. But what's interesting is that when they broke it down by plant-based versus animal-based diets, people consuming animal-based low-carb diets had higher mortality overall and also from cardiovascular disease and cancer, while vegetable-based low-carb diets were actually associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular disease mortality.

The usual disclaimers about these sorts of studies apply: assessing diet based on recall and questionnaires is fraught with problems. People forget, and outright lie. As the study notes, "Diet and lifestyle characteristics were assessed with some degree of error." But folks, when you keep getting study after study after study saying "eating this type of food produces poor health", it's time to stop pretending that said food is healthy.

And I would not take this as an endorsement of plant-based low-carb diets over plant-based diets based around complex carbs and low in processed sugars.

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