There has been much hysteria pro and con the Atkins-type weight-loss regime, with the low-cal/lo fat and portion control camp screaming that red meat and eggs are dangerous.
In a recent weight loss study Atkins folks sponsored, plant-based diet supporters gleefully point out that participants were being apparently counseled “to choose vegetarian sources of fat and protein.'’
Kathy Freston, a Dean Ornish low-fat, calorie-counting anti-meat fan girl, insists that "there's a growing shift toward healthy, plant-based diets, especially among people looking to lose weight and keep it off." And a shift away from meat, animal fats and eggs, she writes.
However, low carb, meat and blubber enthusiasts show proof of healthy weight loss and of keeping it off. Like me. Or Dr. Heidi and her ER clientele.
What should you believe?
Both. Steak (all red meats and poultry) and eggs are like cholesterol: There's good and there's bad. You need to know which is good and which is bad.
Bad MeatSo yes, the Dean Ornishes and Kathy Frestons are right. Eating bad meats and fats from from such animals can NOT be good for you. Avoid eating bad meats and fats.
Most meat in U.S. supermarkets and restaurants come from confined and un-pastured cows who are often sick. Poky's animal 'hospital' (described in Pollan's Omnivore's Dilemma) is one of many big-animal hospitals that treats feedlot cattle from industrial feedlots. Most of the animals' health problems, Pollan reports, are directly or indirectly related to what they're fed.
The cows are force-fed corn and soy which they can't digest. "They're made to eat forage, and we're making them eat grain," says Dr. Metzin who treats them. p. 77, Omnivore's Dilemma)
Virtually all feedlot cattle, according to animal scientists, are sick because they cannot digest grain.
The sick animals are then shot full of antibiotics so they live a little longer - so as to get a bit fatter before they're slaughtered. Happy Sunday cookout.
Good MeatGood meat shopping tip: When shopping for meat, ASK the meat person: Do you have 100% grass-fed beef (or pastured chicken)? If not, find a local farmer. They'll have grass fed beef and poultry. Google local farmers in YOUR CITY or check for local farmers online at Local Harvest or the Weston A Price Foundation.
Grass-fed animals. Grass-fed animals are pastured. [NOT pasteurized - but pastured.] This, my omnivore friends, you CAN eat. I do.
Grass-fed animals are allowed to forage and graze in pastures - on grass and other stuff on the grounds. Eating what they eat naturally. They're not shot full of antibiotics because they're not sick.
Until you find a farmer, at least get meats that have not been fed antibiotics and hormones
Bad eggsGood eggs shopping tip: Contact your local farmer for pastured chickens and eggs from pastured chickens. Organic is not enough here (not if you want that extra Vitamin D benefit, says Dr. Heidi here). See sources above.
Same story. Don't eat the eggs from chickens that are crammed together in spaces no bigger than an 8 and 1/2 x 11" sheet of paper, for their entire life. Don't eat those that are fed bio-engineered grain. Don't eat those kept awake with lights blazing into their cages 24/7 so they can lay as many eggs as possible before they're turned into soup. Those eggs can not be good for you. They're available in most restaurants and supermarkets.
Eat eggs from pastured chickens - they're the ones that go OUTSIDE and scratch around on the ground at the farm, eating grass, worms and such that they are designed to eat. NOTE: These eggs are also a surprise source of Vitamin D. Regular eggs do not have naturally occurring Vitamin D. See one minute Video: Surprise source of Vitamin D.
Bottom line: Find pastured grass-fed animals. Eat those. They're the good meat and animal fats. They have the same kind of GOOD fats that ocean fish have, they have more minerals and vitamins and they're not fattening or disease producing, like the feedlot animals.
True, you won't keel over after one McDonald's hamburger. But the cumulative effect over the years of eating bad meats and bad animal fats weakens a body and makes it ripe for a disease to strike. Usually when you least expect it.
P.S. I learned most of this filming an eye-and-ear popping nutrition course Dr. Heidi Dulay taught in CA this spring. I hope to make some of the videos available soon.