by DAVE PINK
Canada Beef Inc. is disputing the findings of another U.S. study which suggests eating large amounts of beef can be bad for our health.
That new study suggests eating large amounts of red meat are associated with an increased risk of death from cancer and heart disease, but Canada Beef says the results have little significance to Canadian meat eaters. Canadians eat red meat within national and international guidelines, based on a large body of scientific evidence — and that scientific evidence supports the role of lean beef in a healthy, balanced diet.
"Red meat continues to be a healthy part of a balanced diet and nutrition decisions should be based on the total body of evidence, not on single studies that include weak and inconsistent evidence and stand in contrast to other research and to the dietary guidelines for Canadians," stated Karine Gale, the nutrition program manager at Canada Beef, in a news release from the organization.
In addition to being physically active, the most important thing we can do as Canadians to live healthfully is to choose a balanced diet including a variety of nutrient-rich foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low-fat dairy and protein-rich foods like lean beef, said the news release responding to the U.S. study.
Canada's Food Guide recommends one to three servings of meat and meat alternatives per day, at 75 grams per serving, depending on age and gender. Canadians on average are eating 74 grams of red meat a day, about one serving from the meat group, the release said.
But many Canadians aren't eating a balanced diet, the news release says, referring to the 2004 Canadian Community Health Survey. The survey found Canadians aren't eating the recommended daily minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit and are getting 22 per cent of their total calories a day from foods low in nutritional value, such as fats and oils, condiments, candy, chips and beverages — which are not part of the four major food groups in the food guide.
Canada Beef Inc. is an independent national organization with offices in Calgary and Mississauga representing the research, marketing and promotion of the Canadian cattle and beef industry worldwide. Its efforts to maximize demand for Canadian beef and optimize the value of Canadian beef products is funded by cattle producers, the National Beef Check-Off, and the governments of Canada and Alberta. BF