Picture yourself cutting into a big juicy steak fresh from the grill... Is your mouth watering yet?
I know mine is after just typing that. After all, who doesn't enjoy a little indulgence from time to time?
But make steak (and other red meat) a regular part of your diet, and it could be pretty darn harmful to your health. I mean, we've known for a while now that a meat-heavy diet brings a higher risk of heart disease and certain cancers.
But there's one link that hadn't really been explored until now — and it's a scary one. A study of 34,670 Swedish women found that women who ate at least 3.6 ounces of red meat daily (and to many people, that's not a lot) were 42 per cent more likely to suffer a stroke due to blocked blood flow in the brain than women who ate an average of less than an ounce daily. Women who ate at least 3 ounces daily had a 22 per cent higher risk.
The risk didn't just come with steak — women who ate at least 1.5 ounces of processed meat per day had a 24 per cent higher risk of stroke than women who ate only half an ounce per day.
Only three studies had previously looked at red meat and stroke risk, and only one of those had found a connection. That was enough for doctors at the Karolinsak Institute in Stockholm. They launched their massive study in 1997, when their subjects were all free of heart disease and cancer.
Over the course of 10 years, four per cent of the women (that's 1,680 women) suffered a stroke. The most common type (78 per cent of the strokes) was caused by blockage of an artery supplying blood to the brain. It's this type that was linked to red meat consumption in the study.
The increased risk was in non-smokers and women who didn't have diabetes — in fact, women who met both descriptions and ate the most red meat were at the highest risk — 68 per cent higher than women who ate less red meat.
So it looks like being in good health and making good choices in other areas of your life won't necessarily balance out this particular vice.
If you're the type who simply can't get enough red meat, it might be time to rethink your daily menu. Why not try saving red meat for special occasions? And get the very best you can — organic, grass-fed beef has health benefits that can't compare with conventional meat.
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Q: During my last visit, my naturopathic doctor recommended I have a hair mineral analysis done. But then I heard they're usually inaccurate. I trust my doctor, but I don't want to spend money for a test that isn't going to be helpful. What do you think?
Dr. Jonathan V. Wright: Hair mineral analyses get a lot of bad press. While I agree with critics that they're not perfect tools for determining accurate levels of every mineral in the body, I've been using them since 1973 and believe they're still very useful. They check for between 30 and 50 minerals, and are fairly cost effective. Bear in mind we are not addressing anyone's personal situation and you should rely on this for informational purposes only. Please consult with your own doctor before acting on any recommendations contained herein. Wishing you the best of health,
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P.S. In the latest issue of Nutrition & Healing, Dr Jonathan V. Wright reveals how patent medicine can raise your risk of prostate cancer... and the test that could very well save your life. Also, learn how the new daily recommendation for vitamin D is off by THOUSANDS and how much you really should take... plus much, much more...
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"Eating lots of red meat ups women's stroke risk," Medline Plus (nlm.nih.gov) Your customer number is: 000052221104
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