Recently, there have been a number of studies showing that meat, especially processed meat, is bad for your heart.
However, there is really no mechanism or theory as to why this is so if it is so.
However, I think there is an explanation for the fact that some meat may actually be bad for us.
And this explanation points the way to safe consumption of meat.
Personally, I think that meat is an important part of one’s diet, so it pays to know,
what meat is safe and what meat is not so safe.
I’m going to take a quick detour to explain one of the reasons that food is not safe.
It is not safe when it has been contaminated with bacteria.
Bacteria are killed when food is thoroughly cooked, but that doesn’t make the food safer.
That’s because the problem with bacterial lipopolysaccharides. Or LPS.
LPS is extremely toxic to all animals. It’s the remains of the bacteria, and it activates powerful parts of the immune system when eaten.
So remember this: you can cook meat and kill the bacteria, but cooking does not destroy LPS.
And LPS is what may cause most of the harm when you consume processed meat.
One of the markers of LPS is called toll-like receptors that are found in food that has been exposed to bacteria.
This study examined the bacterial remains in food
In conclusion, apparently unspoiled foodstuffs can contain large quantities of stimulants of TLR2 and TLR4, both of which may regulate their capacity to stimulate inflammatory signalling
If you are diabetic, or you have heart disease or any other metabolic problem, you may want to minimize your consumption of foods high in LPS.
This study showed that ground beef and processed meat is highest in LPS.
The longer the beef sits on the supermarket shelf, the more LPS accumulates.
And it’s even worse when you get the meat home, perhaps because refrigerators at home are not as cold as refrigerators in the supermarket.
This is one reason why you may want to grind your own meat.
That’s what I do. I buy ground chuck or shoulder, and I grind it in a home meat grinder.
I grind fresh, and then make spaghetti sauce, or hamburger, or chili from the ground meat.
I’m realizing that this is probably the problem with processed meats.
They are ground up and exposed to bacteria for a long period of time.
Even if they are made in very clean conditions, they accumulate vast amounts of bacteria, and, therefore, LPS.
When you consume things like sausage, baloney, pastrami, bacon, ham, or any other prepared me, you’re consuming meat that has accumulated a large amount of LPS.
What to do next
Consider making sure that you eat fresh meat, rather than meat that’s been sitting around. It is common to age meet in the Western world.
For example, most beef and lamb is aged for two or three weeks before it actually gets into your refrigerator.
Aging reduces the toughness of the meat.
But the aging process accumulates LPS.
If you can get fresh meat, and not aged meat, you are better off because this study shows it will be much less inflammatory once you eat it.
Does cooking remove LPS?
In most of the studies that I’ve seen, cooking does very little or nothing to remove LPS.
All cooking does (and this is important of course) is kill the live bacteria, which is good, but it does not reduce the LPS.
Therefore cooking, in fact, does not significantly make the meat healthier or less inflammatory if it’s been sitting around.
I would stick to very fresh meat, including fresh chicken which is fairly easy to get fresh, and avoid aged meat and processed meat if I had diabetes or immune complications or a metabolic disorder.
The capacity of foodstuffs to induce innate immune activation of human monocytes in vitro is dependent on food content of stimulants of Toll-like receptors 2 and 4