Meat and Cholesterol
Amount of Meat and Cholesterol Level
Relationship between Amount of Meat eaten (Times per week) and Cholesterol Number
Human heart is directly affected by the consumption of unhealthy diet. The major problem suffered by all heart patients is the cholesterol number. Intake of meat really matters when it comes to high cholesterol. Heart problems and cholesterol number vary with age; however gender does not make any difference. This study is based on description of relationship between meat intake and cholesterol number. It is assumed that number of meat meals per week is directly proportional to increase or decrease in the cholesterol level. A build up of cholesterol in the arteries can eventually stop blood flow and bring on a heart attack. People from an age group of 25 to 50 years are studied and the results will be analyzed on the basis of age, diet, cholesterol level and other diseases affecting each individual. We expect that the relationship between meat intake and cholesterol number also gets worse due to other factors such as smoking, less exercise, alcohol consumption; hence it can be improved if the respected person wants so.
Relationship between Amount of Meat eaten (Times per week) and Cholesterol Number
Meat intake substantially varies around the world. The intakes of meat whether red, white or processed has different risk factors for total mortality, also as a cause-specific mortality, including cardiovascular disease (CVD) and cancer mortality. “Meat contains highly toxic substances that are responsible for many deaths and diseases. “Heavy meat consumption increases your risk of dying from all causes” (Moritz, 2009).
Review of the Literature
One of the risk factor for cardiovascular disease is the high blood serum cholesterol levels. One can suffer a heart attack if his or her arteries are blocked by cholesterol as it eventually stops the blood flow. Human beings do not build up cholesterol in their body due to intake of diet only but the human body itself produces a lot of cholesterol. Therefore there are two sources of cholesterol; the diet intake and cholesterol made by the body. Heredity partially controls the cholesterol levels in the human body. Liver present in a human body produces cholesterol. “Cholesterol is an important building block, especially in the membranes of cells. Each cell in our body contains cholesterol-cells couldn’t function without it” (Farnworth, 2002, p.152). Each day a human body produces about 1000 milligrams of cholesterol. In some cases the human body produces cholesterol greater than the amount of cholesterol it gets from the diet.
Meat is an essential part of diet; the only thing matter is the right choice of meat. Many nutrients are provided by the lean red meat. Lean red meat is trimmed of fat and it is cooked in a way that drippings run off and become a part of balanced diet. Types of meats have varying cholesterol value (mg/100gm). 100gm of Ground beef, lean, pan fried has 84mg cholesterol, 100 gm of pork tenderloin that is broiled has a cholesterol value of 94 mg; 100 gm pork chop with bone-in, broiled, has 86 mg of cholesterol. Thousands of studies show varying results regarding red meat intake and cholesterol number. Although there is a usual thought that red meat consumption increases the stroke risk as it increases the cholesterol level. Also “Dietary cholesterol, the cholesterol that you consume everyday through the intake of food has nothing to do with your serum (blood) cholesterol levels” (Bernstein, 2012, pg. 555). The theory that cholesterol causes heart disease has gone through several stages. A consistent theme was followed that tells people should avoid consuming red meat, eggs, cream and butter as these contain both cholesterol and saturated fat. In the 1950’s a strange idea was revived that cholesterol causes atherosclerosis. In the early twentieth century the death rate from heart disease began to rise in the United States of America and after 1975 it began declining. During the decade when the death rates were increasing, the consumption of animal fat was decreasing. If it is to be studied that meat consumption leads to heart diseases and increases the mortality rate then there are other factors that are to be considered as well. “When people eat less of one kind of food, they will likely exchange it for a different one, because they usually eat “ad libitum,” meaning until they are satisfied. So it is always about exchanging one food item for another one” (Scholl, 2012, p. 2).
Chronic diseases and obesity are linked with high cholesterol consumption. “Red meat consumption has been associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases; however, its relationship with mortality remains uncertain” (Schulze & Manson, 2012, p. 560). Cholesterol is a bad stuff; this is not only proved by early researches but through media and television as well. Some journal articles have promoted that the lower the serum cholesterol is, the better it is for the patient’s health. “Some experiments in Russia showed that feeding rabbits cholesterol caused them to develop atherosclerosis, but subsequent experiments showed that rabbits are unusual in responding that way to cholesterol, and that even rabbits don’t develop atherosclerosis from cholesterol if they are given a supplement of thyroid” (Graubard, 2009, p. 562). Vegetarian diets differ from the non-vegetarian diets in some respects. In a vegetable diet, the main source for protein intake includes nuts, grains and legumes. These diets have high intake of dietary fiber, antioxidants, unsaturated fats and vegetables. Vegetable diets have a very low amount of zinc and iron. “Moderate consumption of lean red meat as part of a balanced diet is unlikely to increase risk for CVD or colon cancer, but may positively influence nutrient intakes and fatty acid profiles, thereby impacting positively on long-term health” (McAfee, et al., 2009).
Consumers have been led to believe that meat is meat. In other words, no matter what an animal is fed, the nutritional value of its products remains the same. The diet of the animal has profound influence on the nutrient content of its products. Studies have shown that grass fed animals tend to have much lower fat as compared to ones fed on grain. “Grass-fed meat has about the same amount of fat as skinless chicken or wild deer or elk. When meat is this lean, it actually lowers your LDL cholesterol levels.” (Johnson, 2008). Eating a typical amount of beef (for example 66.5 pounds) in a year, and then switching to grass-fed beef, will make you save approximately 18,000 calories a year. This includes no will power for changing eating habits. Grass-fed beef provides extra Omega-3s. Omega-# fatty acids play a vital role in human body. People having ample amount of omega-3 fatty acids in their body suffer less blood pressure. They are less likely to have heart attack. Grass-fed animals provide healthy beef and prevent the consumers from cancer and heart problems. Grass-fed beef is rich in vitamin E as well as omega-3 fatty acids. The meat and milk from grass-fed animals are a rich source of another type of good fat called “conjugated linoleic acid” or CLA. Therefore more studies are carried out in this issue and it is proved that grass-fed animal’s beef is healthier than the one fed on grain.
The present study sought to determine the relationship between meat intake and the cholesterol level. It is hypothesized that active adults (age 25-50), who consume less meat and exercise more, will score higher on a survey then those who consume more meat and exercise less.
“There is an inverse correlation between high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol levels and coronary artery disease (CAD)” (Foody, 2011). The method of determining relation between cholesterol and meat intake (times in a week) involves consideration of several factors. This is a vast topic and the related heart diseases, alcohol consumption and less activity factor cannot be ignored. “Various diets failed to lower LDL cholesterol levels in men or women with high-risk lipoprotein levels who did not engage in aerobic exercise; this highlights the importance of physical activity in the treatment of elevated LDL cholesterol levels” (Stefanick, 2008, p. 338). Making a hypothesis that considering a specific age group of adults and considering all the related factors of meat consumption and cholesterol, a simple statistical analysis will be presented. This statistical analysis might not present each and every factor considered in this study but will give a clear idea of the research proposal. This essay (in simple words a research proposal) highlights the heart diseases that are expected to occur within the participants. “A broad, scientific consensus supports the role of cholesterol as a risk factor for coronary heart disease and agrees that lowering cholesterol levels will reduce coronary heart disease incidence” (Goldman, 2002). The method adopted for determining the relationship between meat consumption and cholesterol number is simple. A group of adults (age 25-50) has been selected and the number of participants is 10. This group can be further divided in to five small groups, such as adults (age 25-30), (age 30-35) and so on. Each group has 2 participants then.
Proposed Design and Results
According to the hypothesis mentioned above, all the participants are observed in terms of age, alcohol consumption (late night or after the meal), meat intake (times per week), cholesterol level, exercise routine, the kind of meat consumed (red meat, processed meat, unprocessed meat, grass-fed meat), smoking habits and medical check-ups.
Also to clarify that in each of the five groups we have one man and one woman. This statistical analysis gives an idea of the proposed design. Consumers of meat (mostly everyday) are more likely to indulge in drinking habits and smoking; hence having higher cholesterol.
Participants were questioned about their diet and exercise routine. Fifty percent of the participants (mostly from the first three groups) told that they eat well but make sure that they exercise three or four times a week. They stated that they consume meat at least four times a week. They prefer eating steaks, hamburgers, lasagna, hot dogs and lamb curry. The drinking doze and meat consumption increases on weekends. On the other hand, the participants of the last two groups (age 40-50) were more in to drinking and smoking habits. Hence the cholesterol levels were expected to be higher. The hypothesis also includes a fact that some of the old aged participants prefer consuming beef of grass-fed animals. Therefore it is expected that they have good cholesterol level and obviously a good amount of omega-3 fatty acids as well. Such participants are likely to have rich vitamin E, omega-3 fatty acids and healthy cholesterol in their body. Smoking and alcohol consumption greatly affects cholesterol number. Consumption of butter, cream and eggs also increases the cholesterol number.
Discussion Audience Utilization
Working on this hypothesis, a lot of difficulties were faced. It is a common behavior that most of meat consumers are aware of basic facts only. They just know that meat consumption, especially beef increases cholesterol and block the arteries. They are unaware of other studies and facts; hence they neglect their health. Hiding health issues and not exercising seriously can affect the heart directly. Cardiovascular disease and cancer are some of the diseases suffered by meat consumers (who eat meat four or five times in a week). It is expected that meat consumption will likely to decrease in coming decades but no matter what ever is the amount of meat consumed, the use of chemicals for growth of animals is also affecting the health of human beings. More than 60% of meat providing animals is fed on grains and chemicals. This increases their size and growth but their products lose health and benefits. Dairy products and meat are affected equally. Healthy eating and burning calories is possible if the consumer keeps a check on the amount of meals he or she is consuming. To keep one self away from heart strokes and diseases, indulgence in daily exercise is very important. Aerobics and walk of 30 minutes is enough to reduce cholesterol and obesity. First, exercise stimulates enzymes that help move LDL from the blood and blood-vessel walls to the liver. From there, the cholesterol is converted into bile for digestion. So the more you exercise, the more LDL your body expels.
Second, exercise increases the size of the protein particles that carry cholesterol through the blood. Some of those particles are small and dense; some are big and fluffy. The small, dense particles are more dangerous than the big, fluffy ones because the smaller ones can squeeze into the linings of the heart and blood vessels and there. Hence the relationship between meat intake and cholesterol can be defined and explained using various parameters as discussed above.
Bernstein A.M. (2012). Red Meat Consumption and Mortality. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol.172, 555-563.
Farnworth, E. (2002). Meat and Cholesterol Levels. Journal of Science of Health, Volume 6, pages 152-155.
Foody, J.M. (2011). Evacetrapib Raises HDL and Lowers LDL-but then What? Journal Watch Cardiology, Vol. 60, pages 300-306.
Goldman, L. (2002). Cost and Health Implications of Cholesterol Lowering. AHA Journals, Vol. 85, 1960-1968.
Graubard, B.I. (2009). Meat Intake and Mortality. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 169, 562-571.
Johnson, J. (2008). The Health Benefits of Grass Farming. Retrieved May 09, 2012, from http://www.americangrassfedbeef.com/grass-fed-natural-beef.asp
McAfe, A.J., McSorley, E.M. & Cuskelly, G.J. (2010). Red Meat Consumption: An Overview of the Risks and Benefits. Meat Science, Vol. 84, pages 1-13.
Moritz, A. (2009). Eating meat kills more people than previously thought. Retrieved May 09, 2012, from http://www.naturalnews.com/025957_meat_eating_cancer.html
Scholl, J. (2012). Traditional Dietary Recommendations for the Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease: Do They Meet the Needs of Our Patients? Cholesterol (Hindawi Publishing Corporation), pages 02-09.
Schulze, M.E. & Manson, J.E. (2012). Red Meat Consumption and Mortality: Results from 2 Prospective Cohort Studies. Archives of Internal Medicine, Vol. 173, pages 560-570.
Stefanick, M.L. (2008). Effects of Diet and Exercise in Men and Postmenopausal Women with Low Levels of HDL Cholesterol and High Levels of LDL Cholesterol. The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 339, 12-20.
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