Some great info here.
Red Meat – good or bad for fat loss and body fat control?
by Monica Molica
Consumption of red meat has been associated with fat gain (and weight gain) because of its high energy and fat content. Even though the role of fat intake as a causative factor for obesity recently has been seriously questioned, and rightly so, red meat still is a food that’s on the forbidden or avoid list of most diet plans. And while there are studies showing an association between meat intake and obesity [1-3], there are also studies not showing this [3-5]. And when digging deeper in the data, many of the studies that have reported a significant association with meat intake and fat gain / obesity have several flaws that invalidate their conclusions….
Meat consumption and long term weight change
One of the latest, and largest study to date on this topic, concluded :
“Total meat consumption was positively associated with weight gain in men and women, in normal-weight and overweight subjects, and in smokers and nonsmokers. With adjustment for estimated energy intake, meat intake of 250 g/d (eg, one steak at approximately 450 kcal) would lead to a 2-kg higher weight gain after 5 years compared to the same diet with less meat. Positive associations were observed for red meat, poultry, and processed meat”.
This is a pretty bold statement! However a closer look at its methodology and data reveals major weaknesses:
First; usual dietary intake was assessed only at baseline and not during the subsequent years. It is well recognized that peoples food habits often change over time. And it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that in order to track changes over time, at least two measurements are required. And the baseline food intake assessment was done with questionnaires, which are infamous for being inaccurate [7-9]. Using a methodology that begs the question “how bad is good enough” will obviously not provide very reliable data .
Second; in several centers, participants who consumed more meat actually had less weight gain, whereas those with lower meat consumption had higher weight gain. Despite this, and despite the very large number of participants (about 103,000 men and 270,000 women), the researchers behind this study lumped them all together in the statistical analysis. Also, the assessment of physical activity, which is strongly related to food habits , was done via self administered questionnaires, which do not accurately reflect objective physical activity or fitness data [11, 12]. Therefore, the stated adjustment for a possible influence of physical activity on the observed weight change, cannot be relied upon.
Third; the researchers reported an effect based on a combination of meat sources, but their analyses indicate that after exclusion of participants with chronic diseases and those likely to misreport energy intake at baseline, the following was found:
Cont: Red Meat – good or bad for fat loss and body fat control?