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Your Health & Wellness, Iss #103 -- Fight Sarcopenia With Red Meat
June 01, 2012
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Fight Sarcopenia With Red Meat
There is a difference of opinion between alternative health advocates and those who follow a more conventional health path (traditional health practitioners) concerning the consumption of red meat. Conventional health followers seek to eliminate red meat, or at least keep it to a minimum believing saturated fat is bad.
While many alternative health authorities are more tolerant of red meat, here too there are degrees of acceptance.
I currently stay on top of the writings of the following alternative doctors: Al Sears, MD, Joseph Mercola, David J. Blyweiss, MD, and Jon Barron. Although all tolerate red meat in the diet, some advocate that consumers limit the amount eaten.
David J. Blyweiss, MD says, "taking our cue from our structural design, if 13% of our teeth are for tearing flesh, it makes sense that 13% of our diet should be composed of flesh. The rest should be fruits and vegetables" ("Meat You Can Eat", retrieved from http://www.advancednaturalmedicine.com/).
Jon Barron more or less agrees with Dr. Blyweiss by saying, "...keep consumption to less than 4 oz. a day" ("The Paleo Diet", retrieved from http://www.jonbarron.org/weight-loss/paleo-diet-review-good-bad).
Doctors Mercola and Sears are at the other end of the spectrum. Both believe that red meat should be a substantial part of the diet.
"Foods that are high in protein are the most delicious. Meat and eggs are your best sources. If possible, eat grass-fed beef. The flavor is great, and it's far better for you because it has the right kinds of fats" (Al Sears. Health Confidential. June 2012 issue #75. "Having Muscle Means You Call the Shots ... No Matter What Your Age".)
Dr. Mercola states:
"Saturated fat is not the root of all evil ... and it is NOT to blame for the modern disease epidemics facing Americans. Saturated fat is actually an incredibly healthy, nourishing and all natural fat that humans have been thriving on for generations" ("7 Reasons to Eat More Saturated Fat", retrieved from http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig10/mercola44.1.html.)
There is one common thread that run through all these doctors' belief. The red meat should be sourced from free-ranged animals feeding on their organically raised natural diet. Unlike conventionally raised animals, this meat is hormone-free, anti-biotic-free, and GMO-free.
Like doctors Mercola and Sears, I am of the opinion that grass-fed organic meat should be eaten freely. It is only conventionally raised (factory farmed) meat that should be avoided at all costs.
All of this brings me to the reason for this post. I reiterated, and perhaps clarified, my stance on red meat because it affects a health issue faced by many seniors - sarcopenia which is the subject of this piece.
Sarcopenia can result in another devestating health problem - osteoporosis. It is muscle which so stresses the skeletal system that it causes bones to literally increase in strength and density. Osteoporosis primarly affects older women.
A mainstream magazine, AgingWell carried an article entitled Nutrition's Role in Sarcopenia Prevention in its May/June 2012 issue. Written by registered dietitians Becky Dorner and Mary Ellen Posthauer, the article brings out the devastating impact sarcopenia has on senior citizens, and that it is a growing problem.
The authors provide two nutritional remedies that seniors can implement to stop and reverse sarcopenia - protein and vitamin D.
They suggested many ways that at-risk seniors can boost their protein intake. These include adding nuts, peanut butter, seeds, and cheese to appropriate foods, beans (navy, pinto, etc.), hard-boiled eggs, and protein supplements (drinks.)
There was a very conspicuous gap left by the authors though. They didn't mention meat - any meat. Fish, poultry, and of course red meat were nowhere to be found as suitable recommendations.
That omission is sad and disturbing. Animal products such as red meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products are complete proteins. That means they carry all nine essential amino acids needed for human health.
Unfortunately, the article in AgingWell magazine echoes the sentiment of mainstream health and the media. But don't you buy into it. Red meat from grass-fed organic meat is sanctioned by God.
"Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things" (KJV, Genesis 9:3.)
If you are not a bodybuilder or other elite athlete, chances are you are not getting enough protain in your diet - regardless of age.
I recommend everyone get at minimum one (1) gram of protein per pound of lean body weight (total body weight minus fat weight.) See protein for weight loss for further details.
The recommended daily dietary protein allotment is not nearly enough for the average man and woman. Go by my guide instead. Dr. Al Sears also recommends one gram per pound of lean weight.
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