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Does red meat accelerate aging?

Commented on June 16, 2015
Created December 05, 2012 at 11:19 PM

I noticed that people that eat a diet high in red meat look much older than what their age is. They gray and wrinkle faster and have big pot bellies. I notice that populations that eat a more plant based diet of nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables and starchy tubers with a little animal protein every now and than age better. They tend to look younger, not sure if it's genetic. I'm talking about the Okinawans and Kitavans. They live really long and look younger for their age. I think that too much animal protein in the diet is to blame. I know that fat and protein are essential, but too much can be a bad thing right?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:51 PM

Exactly, if you look on their plate in restaurant, there's a lot more than steak on the average red meat eater's plate. There are often rolls with margarine, macaroni salad made with mayo, salad with canola oil based dressing, and a beer or soda to wash it down. Red meat is just a scape goat in these types of observations.

E35e3d76547b18096a59c90029e7e107

(15613)

on December 06, 2012
at 03:23 PM

Who do you mean by "people that eat a diet high in red meat" and where did you get the data on their red meat consumption?

42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a

(1930)

on December 06, 2012
at 03:47 AM

+1 for high-meat eaters and SAD eaters get lumped together. Furthermore, not distinguishing the quality source of the meat etc

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on December 06, 2012
at 02:28 AM

+1.. I agree on the iron issue.

5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:32 AM

THe Masai also have some strange notions about nutrition, like women barely eating during pregnancy to encourage small babies. Starvation during pregnancy can cause all kinds of conditions that would become forcefully selected for over time. Their cholesterol levels are actually quite low compared to the average American so it could easily be any number of factors contributing to the issue. Correlation is not causation remember. Also we are omnivores which means there is such thing as too much of a good thing. We need a decent balance of food.

5457372e78a910c00cd1dd579ecbdce3

(1230)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:29 AM

The Inuit also have a very high rate of smokers, get very little exercise now and are exposed to many marine toxins and pesticides. http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/26/6/1182.full.pdf The Masai seem to be mostly free of atherosclerosis unless they start eating the grains and such offered by the Indian dukas that are quite common there. http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.ca/2008/06/masai-and-atherosclerosis.html

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:24 AM

I have not heard that the maasai have high rates of osteoporosis. I'd like to see a citation for that. Either way, observational evidence isn't as strong as clinical evidence, which seems to absolve animal protein from playing a role in osteoporosis. In the case of the inuit, I would look first at the lack of vegetables in their diet for inducing this particular malady.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:11 AM

eating lots or refined grains and sugars along with vegetable and seed oils causes premature aging.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:07 AM

Most of the vegetarians i know dont even eat a whole foods based diet. They eat lots of processed factory made stuff with gmo oils, soy and legumes.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:05 AM

I think that protein from lean white flesh animals like fish, fowls and eggs are not as bad as red meat.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:04 AM

The masai also have a high rate of atherosclerosis

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:02 AM

Yeah? Well explain the Inuits and the masai. These people have the highest fat and protein consumption in the world and they have an alarmingly high rate of osteoperosis.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:57 PM

I went vegan for a week as an experiment and i felt weaker, thinner and more feminine.

A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Too much animal protein causes osteoperosis? Common misconception actually. The opposite may is more likely true.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:56 PM

Eating lots of gmo soy and canola oils and other vegan crap will do that to you.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:55 PM

Protein does give me more strength, but it does not help me build larger muscles. Dietary protein is important. Besides we are talking about red meat here, not all protein is created equal. I get most of my protein from seafood and eggs and some poultry. I dont do dairy and that much red meat.

D3ac0beb316838ec9ea4e0c3eabd6daf

(40)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:40 PM

@jason, I only have a little room to speak here, cause everyone is different and this is my experience.. When I quit a vegan diet for Paleo, the added protein (and probably other things) did make me feel much stronger. A lot of people complain about losing muscle mass on a Vegan or Raw food diet as well.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:33 PM

Eating lots of protein will not make you more strong or muscular. Muscularity mostly depends on your genetics, bodytype and ethnicity.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:31 PM

I probably get no more than 70 grams of protein a day and i'm doing just fine.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Dont get me wrong. I'm not a vegetarian or vegan. I eat fairly paleo, just more plant based(lots of fruit and veggie and tubers) with less animal proteins.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:21 PM

Also too much animal protein causes kidney stones, osteoperosis and acidosis.

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13 Answers

10
103a639b040a17bb579084287f2a5307

on December 06, 2012
at 02:13 AM

I think that, in general, high-meat eaters and SAD eaters get lumped together. Many of the plant eating populations who get written up frequently (ie. kitivans and obkinawans) tend to eat whole-food, VEGETABLE (not grain) based diets. Populations with high meat consumption whO are typically written up are "western" countries with diets high in refined grains, sugar, seed oils and other additives.

Personally, i dont know anyone who has been eating a health-conscious/high meat (paleo) diet for more than a few years But I know plenty of long term (2+ decades) vegetarians... They tend to age about the same as everyone else: some emaciated, some fat, some athletic.

To my knowledge, there has never been a study comparing health-conscious meat eaters with vegetarians. But I'd love to see the results!

42cd0feeeda5fa2e2fe1c4fd8255073a

(1930)

on December 06, 2012
at 03:47 AM

+1 for high-meat eaters and SAD eaters get lumped together. Furthermore, not distinguishing the quality source of the meat etc

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 20, 2013
at 07:51 PM

Exactly, if you look on their plate in restaurant, there's a lot more than steak on the average red meat eater's plate. There are often rolls with margarine, macaroni salad made with mayo, salad with canola oil based dressing, and a beer or soda to wash it down. Red meat is just a scape goat in these types of observations.

8
Cc3ce03985eac5ebcbb95fc2329f13b0

on December 05, 2012
at 11:26 PM

The meat eaters I know look better and feel better than vegetarians I know, who often have an emaciated, lean but no muscle look.

Regardless, it isn't just about meat or no meat, it's about whole foods, and movement, and what you don't eat as much as what you do eat. So, I guess we're at a stalemate with our seemingly objective opinions.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:31 PM

I probably get no more than 70 grams of protein a day and i'm doing just fine.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:29 PM

Dont get me wrong. I'm not a vegetarian or vegan. I eat fairly paleo, just more plant based(lots of fruit and veggie and tubers) with less animal proteins.

D3ac0beb316838ec9ea4e0c3eabd6daf

(40)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:40 PM

@jason, I only have a little room to speak here, cause everyone is different and this is my experience.. When I quit a vegan diet for Paleo, the added protein (and probably other things) did make me feel much stronger. A lot of people complain about losing muscle mass on a Vegan or Raw food diet as well.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:55 PM

Protein does give me more strength, but it does not help me build larger muscles. Dietary protein is important. Besides we are talking about red meat here, not all protein is created equal. I get most of my protein from seafood and eggs and some poultry. I dont do dairy and that much red meat.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:57 PM

I went vegan for a week as an experiment and i felt weaker, thinner and more feminine.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:33 PM

Eating lots of protein will not make you more strong or muscular. Muscularity mostly depends on your genetics, bodytype and ethnicity.

6
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:27 PM

i haven't noticed.

5
A2c38be4c54c91a15071f82f14cac0b3

(12682)

on December 06, 2012
at 01:00 AM

I think there may be something to the idea that high intake of dietary iron, particularly heme iron found in abundantly in red meat, may promote (rather than cause) oxidative stress. That's why when I go through periods of eating lots of red meat I like to check my hematocrit levels to make sure my iron isn't getting too high.

I'm don't think people should avoid red meat for this reason, it's just something to be aware of. It often seems no food is truly without its potential drawbacks, primarily when excessive amounts are consumed.

363d0a0277a8b61ada3a24ab3ad85d5a

(4642)

on December 06, 2012
at 02:28 AM

+1.. I agree on the iron issue.

3
197651282ddd8d675b974ee811d2269e

on December 06, 2012
at 04:13 AM

I'm a 40+ year old Paleo (for 3 months). I hang out with the granola crowd because I used to be low meat flexatarian, though I did spend a couple of years as a vegetarian and tried really hard to be a vegan. Anyway, many of my vegetarian friends look very gray and wrinkled on their faces now. Many are chubby around the waist, skinny fat. A few are very thin but constantly worry about their daily caloric intake and do chronic cardio.

I'm rather muscular next to them, not necessarily great esthetically speaking, for a middle aged woman. I would personally prefer the thin waif ish body but, on the other hand, i feel great and have no wrinkles on my face.

3
Ef32d6cc543a74319464e2100e5a9ffd

on December 05, 2012
at 11:52 PM

I have noticed that for people in the same demographic group (income/education/politics) when they are younger it is hard to tell, but by the time they are in their forties and fifties, the vegetarians look much older. Specifically, they looked dried out..much more wrinkley and no longer luscious. I see a lot in my town which contains mostly liberal vegetarian MA or PhD runners and cyclists who care deeply about what they eat and have their entire adult lives.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 06, 2012
at 12:07 AM

Most of the vegetarians i know dont even eat a whole foods based diet. They eat lots of processed factory made stuff with gmo oils, soy and legumes.

5c9fda2bd0018516806bba200a93f6fa

(608)

on December 05, 2012
at 11:56 PM

Eating lots of gmo soy and canola oils and other vegan crap will do that to you.

2
Cb9a270955e2c277a02c4a4b5dad10b5

(10989)

on December 06, 2012
at 02:05 PM

No .

1
3ce6a0d24be025e2f2af534545bdd1d7

(26217)

on December 06, 2012
at 03:16 PM

The flux capacitor can speed up aging.

A3b68d64a2c30e91ef7b5dd05fbae715

(50)

on June 16, 2015
at 11:47 AM

Not necessarily; Dr. Brown looked exactly the same for 30+ years of his life.

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on December 06, 2012
at 02:42 PM

Firstly, Kitavans look younger for their respective ages? I would have to disagree. Also, don't forget, the average height of a Kitavan is 5'2" -- 5'4" males, 5'1" females.

Secondly, it's a myth that Okinawans are vegetarian rice-eaters. While rice is part of their diet, if you were to discern the main components of their diets it would be fish and sweet potatoes. I know some "vegetarians" that call themselves vegetarians and eat fish ("I just don't eat red meat"), but they are definitely not vegetarians (pescetarians at best).

Thirdly, you have an interesting hypothesis, but n=1 doesn't work when making general statements about various cultures.

Now, all in all, I would have to disagree with your hypothesis. Healthy seeming people eat animals; fact. Some vegetarians are healthy seeming, too; fact. However, if you factor in those things we know to be unhealthy -- sugars, processed oils, processed meats, then a better hypothesis would be that SAD eaters should seem the least healthy, vegetarians somewhat better, and paleo/traditional eaters somewhat better than that. My own observations of people tends to jive with this.

0
Medium avatar

on June 14, 2015
at 07:09 AM

Absolutely 100%!  Keep in mind the few who still manage to look "younger" arent that old and are a huge minority, PLUS they SHOULDNT be looking "old" at their age to begin with!!!  You must compare them to the rest of the world who are all aging very quickly.. easy observation to make.

I made this observation at least 30 years ago. People in San Marino all dying from heart disease, diabetes and cancer and often frequenting steakhouses, and eating meat every day. They all looked horrifically aged. 

I have been making these observations ALL my life. Go to any diner, any meat house, and look at the people who come out of it.. if it wasnt so sad, it would be a comedy. Stuffed to the gills, emotionaly stunted, igniting diseases and accelerating aging.. its a lose lose situation.

The problem with most people who are unaware of this sad fact, is that by the time they realize what is aging them, they already look too old. I stopped eating meat at 30 and I still look in my 30s. I made my observations about what was aging and killing people years and years ago. I also knew back in 1993 meat causes cancer, and it wasnt until the 2000's that british researchers found that link and thoroughly explained why. 

There has been scientific research that eating meat shortens the telomeres of the chromosomes that kick off the onset of aging and disease. They shorten naturally after time, eating meat accelerates the process dramatically. 

 This is why people who seemed to pull off their health and looks for a long time, suddenly get sick when they hit middle age. It took its toll on their body and the body can bear no more.


Theres a lot of cognitive dissonance out there, people rationalizing away what they dont want to face. They should realize they are rationalizing away their health, looks and youth.. and get SMART instead.

I have had decades of anatomical observations noting people dying and aging because of meat, and my staying younger looking because I dont eat it. People think its "normal" to look like shit in your 40s and 50s, and I have often heard over the years the prejudice about people over 40. People under 40 think people over 40 are basically.. dead. Of no value. This is due in large part because of a meat eating society that ages people so quickly, that they look horrendous and it has become accepted as "the norm" that when you look old, your life is "over". ITS NOT THE NORM. Its abnormal to age so quickly. I know noone who is eating meat who looks great "for their age", EVERYONE SHOULD look good in their early to mid 40s! Thats a given. Anyone who looks "better" and feels "better" is not looking and feeling that way because of the MEAT.. theyre feeling that way because of the vegetables and fruits they are eating, yet, they still run the risk of premature aging, which is thought of as "normal aging", and think how much better they would have looked if they hadnt eaten "meat".  Im 56.

0
006f2e9b763058ff2332681c206563e4

on June 25, 2013
at 03:53 AM

those "red meat eaters" are at the same time mostly grain eaters, dairy eaters and sugar eaters. also called SAD-people. that's the point, don't blame it on the red meat just cause the vegans do.

0
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 20, 2013
at 10:11 PM

If someone eats enough red muscle meat to create a protein, iron or copper overload, especially without balancing their nutrient and mineral balance by eating nose to tail, there does seem to be a chance of increasing the diseases of aging. But there is no way by just looking at someone to determine whether they are aging at an accelerated rate from deficiencies or excesses of nutrients. So, I don't think generalizing like this is a particularly helpful exercise.

0
Fcc479ca64edb21dda74952117dd63e0

on June 20, 2013
at 03:35 PM

The Okinawa diet does contain some meat and that too red meat in the form of pork. Though they don't consume a huge amount the fact is meat is present in their diet.

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