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Heart Disease and Meat – 11/15/13 – Kira Lin
Some people associate the risks of heart diseases with the consumption of meat due to an increase in fat and cholesterol intake. However, a recent study has demonstrated a different mechanism and relationship between heart diseases and meat. As said, it is neither fat nor cholestrol that makes red meat unhealthy. Our gut bacteria can turn carnitine and choline (proteins in diets) into TMAO (trimethylamino oxide), increasing cholesterol buildup in our arteries. Therefore, you can avoid consuming carnitine – eating a sirloin steak or taking a carnitine supplement. However, consider the healthy food combo of beans and rice; virtually everyone in the nutrition field can agree that this may be a healthy meal to minimize heart disease, as demonstrated by the lower number of heart diseases found in those following this as their regular diet. The beans and rice contain two amino acids, methionine and lysine, which the body uses to make “carnitine.” Hence, what type of diet one should follow is still subjective and controversial. It is always good to eat more vegetables, but it is never a bad idea to consume meat proteins. Carnitine may well turn out to be the perpetrator of the “crime” of heart disease, but it is way too early to tell. Simple, sound-bite answers to difficult questions may make us feel good, but they rarely lead to effective solutions.
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