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J.C.
11-22-2009, 02:37 PM
I eat a lot of pig. I only buy outdoor-reared stuff and its still really cheap, its versatile, and it tastes great. Lately I've spotted a few really good deals on pork chops that I've snapped up and stuck in the freezer. I must have 20 pork chops divided up in pairs sitting there right now.

I'm also aware that red meat has been associated with various negative effects. So what's the deal with pork? It accounts for most of my meat consumption at the moment. The rest is mostly tuna, mackerel and beef.

Cmanuel
11-22-2009, 03:17 PM
What negative health effects have you heard about?

LuNa
11-22-2009, 03:24 PM
I love pork. Sometimes i get sick of eating chicken and pork is a good, relatively cheap alternative. I dont see any problems with eating pork.

skinny99
11-23-2009, 08:42 AM
Pork is good! I can't/won't eat chicken everyday either! Variety is the spice of life.

J.C.
11-23-2009, 12:59 PM
What negative health effects have you heard about?

Well, y'know the usual crap about being associated with various forms of cancer, and increased cholesterol.

I've always ignored this for several reasons:
1/ Red meat has an excellent nutritional profile of b vits and other minerals and micronutrients, and is high in calories (something I need).
2/ A lot of the research is less shocking than it seems on closer inspection.
3/ Much of the effects of high fat, red meat diets are mitigated by exercise and an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

That said, I do eat a lot of pork and quite a bit of beef. I eat practically no chicken. I'm just curious if there is anything really unhealthy about this or whether I should eat less. Weightlifters tend to be a bit cocky about health risks associated with diet. I can't say I'm all that bothered either, because I still have a low bodyfat. But its still good to do my research.

So, you have no problems with a diet high in pork chops, bacon and sausages?

BFGUITAR
11-23-2009, 01:26 PM
Well, y'know the usual crap about being associated with various forms of cancer, and increased cholesterol.

I've always ignored this for several reasons:
1/ Red meat has an excellent nutritional profile of b vits and other minerals and micronutrients, and is high in calories (something I need).
2/ A lot of the research is less shocking than it seems on closer inspection.
3/ Much of the effects of high fat, red meat diets are mitigated by exercise and an otherwise healthy lifestyle.

That said, I do eat a lot of pork and quite a bit of beef. I eat practically no chicken. I'm just curious if there is anything really unhealthy about this or whether I should eat less. Weightlifters tend to be a bit cocky about health risks associated with diet. I can't say I'm all that bothered either, because I still have a low bodyfat. But its still good to do my research.

So, you have no problems with a diet high in pork chops, bacon and sausages?

I diet of many pigs are quite horrendous... that alone turns me off from them.

skinny99
11-23-2009, 02:34 PM
I diet of many pigs are quite horrendous... that alone turns me off from them.

A chicken is just as filthy as a pig! Watch one for a little while. When it comes to meat,cook it and eat it. Man has been eating meat forever and physically has only went downhill after we introduced processed food. Fish,chicken,beef and pork will always be good for you,like most things moderation and variety is the key. I don't think there is anything you should eat every single day.

Mercuryblade
11-23-2009, 02:47 PM
Man has been eating meat forever and physically has only went downhill after we introduced processed food.

When do you consider this to have occured?

skinny99
11-23-2009, 03:04 PM
When do you consider this to have occured?
It is a broad generalization however physical health has gone down in the last 75ish years. Mostly in more developed countries.Diet is not the only factor but is a contributor for sure. If "most" people ate meat,milk and fresh vegetables in realistic amounts it would hard to be too outta shape.Include not smoking in those guidelines and it would really go up. IMO as I am not an expert! Just using common sense as a guideline.

Cmanuel
11-23-2009, 03:52 PM
It is a broad generalization however physical health has gone down in the last 75ish years. Mostly in more developed countries.Diet is not the only factor but is a contributor for sure. If "most" people ate meat,milk and fresh vegetables in realistic amounts it would hard to be too outta shape.Include not smoking in those guidelines and it would really go up. IMO as I am not an expert! Just using common sense as a guideline.

You are totally right, however you can't completely place the blame on "processed" foods. I dont like using the term processed foods because its so vague. Every food we eat is "processed" in a sense. Whole wheat bread comes from unpalatable commodities, it is then "processed" into bread.

I would say its more of a combination of eating high calorie fast foods and living a sedintary lifestyle. But you are right, if we just ate fresh food more often we would definitely be healthier. Damn you fast food

skinny99
11-23-2009, 08:18 PM
You are totally right, however you can't completely place the blame on "processed" foods. I dont like using the term processed foods because its so vague. Every food we eat is "processed" in a sense. Whole wheat bread comes from unpalatable commodities, it is then "processed" into bread.

I would say its more of a combination of eating high calorie fast foods and living a sedintary lifestyle. But you are right, if we just ate fresh food more often we would definitely be healthier. Damn you fast food

Yes processed is prob the wrong word but I couldn't think of a more accurate one! My point to these posts is that worrying about the negative effects of quality meat is not really needed! Meat has always been the most efficent means of nourishment for us humans,and always should be a major part of a any balanced "diet". Again this is my opinion! I am not an expert!

Hazerboy
11-24-2009, 03:19 PM
Its very difficult to look at just one food and say whether or not its good or bad. You can only do this in extreme cases - most people would agree, for instance, that a fried snicker's bar is pretty bad for you, no matter what your calorie requirement is. On the other hand, its generally agreed that Fish oils are good for everybody.

Outside of this, its all up in the air. Determining if a food is good or bad for you has to be done on a case by case basis -i.e. what is this persons calorie requirements, macro requirements, etc.

And I really don't believe most of those "pork causes cancer, hard disease, blah blah" studies. there are a lot of variables involved, and its very difficult to attribute the disease to just one thing --people that eat lots of pork are also usually overweight, so the question then becomes is it he pork itself thats killing you, or excessive amounts and the extra weight you're carrying around? Sure, take those same group of people and eliminate the pork, and you may even eliminate the heart disease, but you would also probably be eliminating the extra weight they're carrying around. Direct causation is very difficult to prove.

So can you really extrapolate this research to someone like yourself who has a low bodyfat percentage and is pretty active? In most cases, I think not. Remember - we're almost all outliers here, in terms of how we diet/exercise.

BULK_BOY
11-25-2009, 08:18 PM
So, you have no problems with a diet high in pork chops, bacon and sausages?

I would just watch the Sodium levels. They are usually quite high in those foods you listed.

My Dad was a Butcher for 35 years.:)

jp2
11-25-2009, 08:53 PM
My Dad was a Butcher for 35 years.:)

Wow, I could only imagine the awesome cuts of beef he brought home for dinner every night!

J.C.
11-26-2009, 04:29 PM
Thanks guys. I didn't think about sodium. You're right, I'll keep an eye on it.

I'm thinking as long as I eat my vegetables and vary my food sources as much as possible then large amounts of pig won't be an issue. I was getting bored of the pork chops anyway so left my haul in the freezer untouched today. I ate a Spanish fish stew with rice for lunch, eggs and tuna pre-workout and steak for dinner tonight. I did have bacon for breakfast though. :)

Clifford Gillmore
11-26-2009, 04:30 PM
I would just watch the Sodium levels. They are usually quite high in those foods you listed.

My Dad was a Butcher for 35 years.:)

Pork chops have sodium in them now?

J.C.
11-27-2009, 06:35 AM
^^ I think he was referring to the bacon and sausages.

J.C.
11-27-2009, 06:52 AM
On health risks, if you look at the Mediterranean/Spanish diet for instance, its very high in pork products but incidence of heart disease and cancer are far lower then you'd expect. You can't directly attribute it.

Another classic example of food myths debunked goes as follows:
"Bacon increases the risk of cancer by 20%" This was an actual warning given last year in numerous papers. What this actually means though is far different.

In every 10 000 people, 5 will get colorectal cancer in their lifetime. If every person added three extra pieces of bacon to their diet every day, there would be one more person per 10 000 who would get colorectal cancer in their lifetime. 20% of 5 = 1. So you'd get 6 people instead of 5. And that's only if the relationship is causal - which is almost impossible to determine.

While searching for the above example I found an excellent blog post (http://www.dcscience.net/?p=1435) that goes into this case in great detail and covers far more. Its all linked to actual medical reports and extensively researched. Although its quite long I would highly recommend you all read it as it explains the statistical methods used to reach these kinds of conclusions and which reports are meaningful and which are meaningless.

If you don't have time, here are some good extracts:


Anyone who has done much experimental work knows that it is possible to dream up a plausible explanation of any result whatsoever. Most are wrong and so plausibility is a pretty weak argument. Much play is made of the fact that cured meats contain nitrates and nitrites, but there is no real evidence that the amount they contain is harmful.

The main source of nitrates in the diet is not from meat but from vegetables (especially green leafy vegetables like lettuce and spinach) which contribute 70 – 90% of total intake. The maximum legal content in processed meat is 10 – 25 mg/100g, but lettuce contains around 100 – 400 mg/100g with a legal limit of 200 – 400 mg/100g. Dietary nitrate intake was not associated with risk for colorectal cancer in two cohort studies.(Food Standards Agency, 2004; International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2006).

To add further to the confusion, another cohort study on over 60,000 people compared vegetarians and meat-eaters. Mortality from circulatory diseases and mortality from all causes were not detectably different between vegetarians and meat eaters (Key et al., 2009a). Still more confusingly, although the incidence of all cancers combined was lower among vegetarians than among meat eaters, the exception was colorectal cancer which had a higher incidence in vegetarians than in meat eaters (Key et al., 2009b).

Mente et al. (2009) compared cohort studies and RCTs for effects of diet on risk of coronary heart disease. “Strong evidence” for protective effects was found for intake of vegetables, nuts, and “Mediterranean diet”, and harmful effects of intake of trans–fatty acids and foods with a high glycaemic index. There was also a bit less strong evidence for effects of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and for intake of fish, marine ω-3 fatty acids, folate, whole grains, dietary vitamins E and C, beta carotene, alcohol, fruit, and fibre. But RCTs showed evidence only for “Mediterranean diet”, and for none of the others.

As a final nail in the coffin of case control studies, consider pizza. According to La Vecchia & Bosetti (2006), data from a series of case control studies in northern Italy lead to: “An inverse association was found between regular pizza consumption (at least one portion of pizza per week) and the risk of cancers of the digestive tract, with relative risks of 0.66 for oral and pharyngeal cancers, 0.41 for oesophageal, 0.82 for laryngeal, 0.74 for colon and 0.93 for rectal cancers.”

What on earth is one meant to make of this? Pizza should be prescribable on the National Health Service to produce a 60% reduction in oesophageal cancer? As the authors say “pizza may simply represent a general and aspecific indicator of a favourable Mediterranean diet.” It is observations like this that seem to make a mockery of making causal inferences from non-randomised studies. They are simply uninterpretable.


Many RCTs have shown that various forms of nutritional supplement do no good and may even do harm (see Cochrane reviews). At least we now know that anti-oxidants per se do you no good. The idea that anti-oxidants might be good for you was never more than a plausible hypothesis, and like so many plausible hypotheses it has turned out to be a myth. The word anti-oxidant is now no more than a marketing term, though it remains very profitable for unscrupulous salesmen.

Progress
11-27-2009, 08:48 AM
Pork chops have sodium in them now?

Fitday says so. 110mg in one oz.