Monday, September 13, 2010


More data is emerging, giving support to the age old believe that red meats are bad and white meat is good, and more info on what other foods are good. This re-confirmation comes from a very important long term study called the NURSE HEALTH STUDY. The latest results from a subset analysis of the NHS was reported by Dr Adam Bernstein ( Peter Bringham and Women's hospital, Boston ) in the Aug 16th issue of Circulation. Dr Berstein studied the effect of switching protein source, on heart disease. It was a simple, but time consuming study. The Nurses Health Study, is an on-going study. For his study, Dr Berstein and colleagues, looked into the records of 84,136 nurses, age 30-55yrs. These nurses are already on follow-up for 26yrs. Every 4 years, the nurses filled in a food questionaire. They were asked to declare what kind of food that they were taking 4 yearly. It appears that the nurses have been changing from red meats to white meats, with an increase in the consumption of polyunsaturated fats and also nuts and low fats dairy products.
Dr Berstein and group found that over the 26years follow-up, there were 2210 non-fatal MIs and 952 deaths. In those who switched from red meat to fish, there was a 24% reduction in heart attacks, for low fat diary products, a reduction of 13%, and in those who switched to poultry, a reduction of 19%. They also saw a greater consumption of nuts. In those who just stop using saturated fats, there was no reduction in heart attacks. But in those who switched from saturated fats to polyunsaturated fats, there was a significant reduction in heart attacks.
This important study clearly shows that we should all eat less red meat, and more white meat. We should substitute saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats, and eat more nuts, for munchies. Oh yes, I forgot to mention that preserved meats are tabooed. Preserved meats contain much too much salt ( sodium ), and heme ( iron ) and of course fats. In another related study, the investigators found that the incidence of CAD was higher in those who consume mainly preserved red meats when compared to those who ate fresh red meats.
The other not mentioned fact is that over the last 26years, the nurses are also more concern about cardiac disease, and so live a better cardiac lifestyle. They are also probably eating less salt and should they have any hypertension or diabetes, it is probably detected at a very early stage, and so are easily reduced and controlled.
Basically, lifestyles are better and we hope that it will continue. We are however all very concerned that the rates of obesity is rising, I am not sure about Boston nurses but it is surely true all over the whole. All the good that we have done so far, may be negated by the rising rates of obesity, world-wide. We must all stay lean and mean.

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