High protein diets and smoking

meat tornado

There has been a lot of studies recently that have been brought to the spot light about the dangers of living a diet high in protein and relating it to Cancer. Studies such as the one from the University of Sydney (conducted on mice), and from the University of Southern California (conducted on humans), provide what some would consider as convincing evidence that high protein diets particularly proteins derived from animals are “nearly as bad as smoking for your health” said Dr Longo of the University of Southern California.

The links for some of the articles on those studies are provided so that if you don’t know what the hell I am talking about you can have a look at it yourself.

And now I will provide my two cents on this topic without slamming either side (too much) or falling into conspiracy theories, because it is too easy to say “oh who funded this study?” or “the government wants us to die by cereals and grain” or “meat is murder!” it is easy but it is not constructive and it is not helping anybody.

First of all, I believe comparing protein to smoking is very extreme and very vague. For example if they said:

“Eating a diet high (over 20%) in heavily processed and unethical meats from animals with horrible diets, poor living conditions and drastically exposed to drugs and medications, will have similar side effects to that of smoking.”

Well yeah 100% agree! Low quality proteins are bad, as a matter of fact low quality of ANY micronutrient (proteins, fats, carbs, alcohol) are going to result in a very unhealthy life followed by a very short life. But unfortunately that is not how the argument and results of the study are being represented in the media.

Not only that, but the studies are suggesting a diet high in carbohydrates will help you live healthier and longer lives. For example if they said:

“Eating a diet of high quality carbohydrates from fruits and vegetables will help you live a longer and healthier life”

Yeah, who can argue with that!? But that is also not specified.

These articles on the studies, and many other slightly more or less informative replicas of these,  provide a whole lot of percentages to do with the micronutrients the subjects ate in the experiment, but never specify the sources of what they were eating, the environment in which they were in, how it was monitored, the preexisting conditions of the participants, exercise, lifestyle???

This is a a real problem because we are not getting the full information and people might argue well go read the actual paper, I did and it does not provide any of this information, and the reality is no one is going to read the actual report even if it had sound information, they are going to read it out of a “health and lifestyle” magazine, a Facebook post, a twitter feed and in the midst of vulnerability, without the full information, make a decision with their life, or other peoples life that can actually cause more harm than good and back up all the great healthy revolution progress we have been kick starting for quite some time.

I think what angers me the most is the way they demonise and refer to the Paleo diet as the main example of a deadly high protein diet when in fact; Paleo is all about eating a clean healthy balance between proteins, fats and carbohydrates. It is a misconception to think that people who eat Paleo eat meat with a side of bacon for breakfast lunch and dinner and never eat carbs. It amazes me how many people don’t realise that your fruits veggies and nuts fall into the group of carbohydrates. (wow, I know!)

It is vague to blame ONE micro nutrient for a heavily complex disease such as Cancer, never the less compare it to the effects of smoking, because protein and other micro nutrients exist in both processed foods and naturally found foods, but there is a big difference in how you balance these into your life and what we should take away from these scandals and experiments is that we should always:

Eat a moderate and balanced diet that is as natural as possible.

Doesn’t that just make sense?

(and do your damn research before you decide to give up meats or take up smoking)

Here is the study published by Cell Metabolism
And here is a very interesting in-depth analysis of the experiment on Examine.com

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