Full fat dairy and meat for a longer life

Full fat dairy and meat for a longer life

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If people eat more meat and dairy, it would be a good start.

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DINNER SORTED: Butcher Joshua Watson holds up some steak trays at Lake Albert. Picture: Supplied

DINNER SORTED: Butcher Joshua Watson holds up some steak trays at Lake Albert. Picture: Supplied

My girlfriend of the time asked: "Is that all you blokes eat?" She had called in at around about dinner time, and we each were sitting down to a large slab of rump steak - one of our more popular choices.

"Well, no," my flat mate answered. "We sometimes have T-bone, or oyster blade, or topside," he teased.

She rattled off a number of vegetarian ideas "for variety", not realising that she was crossing herself off the list.

Australian of the Year Dr James Muecke is trying to convince Australians to eat more meat and dairy. A story in The Canberra Times about type 2 diabetes caught my eye.

Dr Muecke pointed out that in its first three months, COVID killed just over 100 Australians. But "during the same period, we lost more than 5000 lives to type 2 diabetes, unnecessarily."

He adds: "A flawed dietary guideline, which we have obediently and blindly followed for 40 years, is literally killing us.

"We've been encouraged to eat less fat and consume more carbs and yet we've never been fatter, our teeth never more rotten, and type 2 diabetes and its complications never more prevalent ... we saw the introduction of sugary drinks and highly processed foods, the consumption of meat was proclaimed the root of all evil, and - bingo - our health started to plummet."

Luckily, I've never been badly addicted to sugary drinks, although Coke and Pepsi get a fair trot in summer.

But right through my life I have eaten mountains of red meat and cheese.

And, according to the latest research, that's what we all should have been doing.

"A multitude of businesses and entire industries have been built on the demonisation of foods sourced from animals," Dr Muecke says.

But, "when the Australian Dietary Guidelines were revised in 2013, a decision was made to not change the recommendations related to dietary saturated fats, despite evidence to the contrary.

"I want Australians to be aware they can eat eggs, full fat dairy and red meat without fearing for their lives or eternal damnation," Dr Muecke said.

So, what has changed? The Australian reported the same story more than a month later, citing a Journal of the American College of Cardiology review of literature which found there was no evidence that cutting saturated fats from your diet would help you live longer.

The review added that "eating more of the much-libelled lipids - found most abundantly in red meat and dairy - might help you avoid stroke".

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt has funded a $2.5 million review to update the 2013 guidelines.

The JACC paper listed some of the recent papers that will change dietary recommendations.

"There was the PURE (Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiological) study of 135,000 people from 18 countries on five continents.

"It found that increased consumption of all types of fat (saturated, mono-unsaturated and polyunsaturated) was associated with lower risk of death and had a neutral association with CVD (cardiovascular disease).

"By contrast, a diet high in carbohydrate was associated with higher risk of death," The Australian report said.

I want Australians to be aware they can eat eggs, full fat dairy and red meat without fearing for their lives or eternal damnation. - Dr James Muecke

The JACC Paper adds: "And those who ate the most saturated fat had lower risk of stroke ... a newly-published study of 195,658 Brits over 10.6 years found 'no evidence that saturated fat intake was associated with cardiovascular disease'."

There have been eight randomised trials "into the question of whether saturated fat will cause heart disease."

Systematic reviews and meta-analyses showed "that replacing saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat has no significant effect on coronary outcomes or on total mortality."

There's much more, but the evidence for me came when I had a heart scan in 2013. The heart specialist said I had the arteries of a young man.

As old age speeds on, I still eat steak several nights each week. But smaller portions these days, of course. I still have the same normal blood pressure reading that I had when I was much younger.

Dr Muecke faces a challenge to defeat type 2 diabetes, but if people eat more meat and dairy it would be a good start.

And dark chocolate. That's the sort of report I like!

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The story Full fat dairy and meat for a longer life first appeared on The Daily Advertiser.

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