Red meat consumption: Emphasis on chronic diseases or sticking to nutrient deficiency?

Leila Azadbakht, Mohammad Hossein Rouhani


  • In a manuscript in this issue of the journal, entitled "Determination of the Causes of Tendency toward Red Meat and Meat Products in the West of Iran", Falahi et al.[1] concluded that the amount of red meat (beef or lamb) and red meat products (such as sausages and hamburgers) intake was approximately high among the population of western Iran (594.6 ± 956.2 g/week for red meat and 132.5 ± 251.1 g/week for red meat products). Although correct for western Iran, such a finding cannot be generalized to the whole Iranian population. They suggested the most important factors of tendency towards red meat consumption to be delectability, palatability, accessibility, cultural and traditional beliefs, lack of food diversity, animal husbandry, nomadic life, and hospitality in this part of Iran. Cautious recommendations regarding red meat consumption should be provided as some reports showed that red meat consumption was associated with the prevalence of metabolic syndrome among Iranians.[2] In fact, increased red meat intake was cross-sectionally related to higher level of inflammation among Iranian population.[2] Inflammation is in turn related with increased risk of chronic diseases.[2] The same results have also been mentioned in other studies on different populations.[3,4] Previous studies have also reported the relationship between red meat intake and other chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.[5,6]

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