You’ve been hearing for decades that it’s a good idea to cut back on red meat. But a controversial study, released last week in Annals of Internal Medicine, turned that long-standing advice on its head and started a contentious debate. It found no statistical evidence that eating less red or processed meat will provide health benefits to an individual.
The flip-flopping of nutritional advice is nothing new. Eggs, fat, coffee, and even chocolate have gone from bad to good and sometimes back again. The volleying is enough to confuse anyone. How can you avoid getting whiplash from health advice that seems to change almost every day?
While you shouldn’t discredit new research entirely, you should take what you read with a grain of salt. Don’t just make big changes in your habits based on one study. Instead, use long-standing research on nutrition to support what you put on your plate. Focus on lean proteins, eat an abundance of fruits and vegetables, limit how much sugar and processed foods you eat, and pay attention to your hunger cues to avoid overeating. That’s the best research-backed thing you can do.
And while the jury’s still out on how much red meat (if any) is safe, no one’s arguing that people should chow down on more burgers and steaks than they’re already eating. No matter what it is that you’re eating, just remember moderation is key.