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Eat Less Meat For Health 2010-07-23

Posted by clype in Health.
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Eating less meat is the way to lose weight, a new study revealed 2010-07-21.

People who love steak gain more kilos than non-meat eaters –- even if they consume the same amount of energy.

The results of a Europe-wide study concluded that people should eat less meat if they want to be healthier, and that heavy meat-eaters may lose weight by cutting down.

The study of 370 000 people discovered that those who consumed processed meats –- such as bacon, ham and sausages –- gained almost 2.3 kg more in weight over five years than those who kept their meat intake down.

Experts were amazed because the research took into account the number of calories each group consumed as well as their eating patterns and exercise levels. It suggests that fad diets that promote a high-protein and low-carbohydrate menu may not help slimmers in the long-term.

The authors said their results ‘do not support the theory that a high-protein diet prevents obesity or promotes weight loss, contrary to what has been advocated’.

  • A number of high-profile celebrities claim that adopting a meat-rich diet has helped them shed kilos without becoming hungry.

The latest research, led by a team at Imperial College London, examined data from the respected Epic study, which is looking for links between diet and cancer.

Many studies have previously suggested that a meat-rich diet can lead to weight gain. However, it was thought that people who ate large amounts of meat could also have unhealthy habits such as smoking, drinking too much and not taking enough exercise.

But the authors of the latest study claim to have taken these factors into account, including calorie intake.

They looked at dietary questionnaires filled in by people across Europe. Some of those surveyed were weighed at the start and end of the five-year study, allowing the team to calculate average weight gain.

People in Denmark, Germany, Spain, Sweden and the Netherlands ate the most meat, consuming around 267 calories/day of it.

The Greeks ate the smallest amount of meat -– 142 calories/day, according to the findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Dr Anne-Claire Vergnaud, lead author of the report, said that when calorie consumption was equal, people who included just 250 grammes of meat in their daily diet – the equivalent to just a small steak a day – saw their weight rise by almost five pounds more than those who ate less meat.

‘Our results are in favour of the public health recommendation to decrease meat consumption for health improvement,’ the team concluded.

The team say that people should be encouraged to eat less meat if they want to be healthier and raise the prospect that heavy meat-eaters may be able to lose weight by cutting down.

  • However, other experts are baffled by the findings, which seem to suggest a calorie from meat is more fattening than from other foods.

They believe that some of the participants, especially the obese, may have lied about their weight gain.

The diet questionnaire was also only carried out at the start of the study, meaning that many people may have changed what they ate during the follow-up.

Last night, however, dieticians said it was worth cutting down on processed meat intake anyway.

Ms.Sian Porter, spokesman for ‘The British Dietetic Association’ said:

‘This is an interesting study and more research is needed. It may be that some of those involved underestimated their intake, which would have skewed the results.

‘The message is to limit your intake of processed meat, check your portion sizes and try to eat pulses, beans, oily fish, a variety of vegetables and wholegrains.’

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