Who’s Right: Is Meat Good or Bad for You?

by Adam J. Lavoie on September 6, 2016 - 9:30am

A subject on the rise in the last few years and the cause of many debates is the question of whether or not meat is good for you. Reader's Digest's expert Chris Woolston wrote an article on the matter and gathered some factual information from different reports and studies in order to bring some clarity on the topic. In his paper, he shared some results of a study done by Harvard researchers who tracked more than 121 000 adults in the United States during 28 years or so and found out that those who ate at least three ounces of red meat everyday had around 13 percent more chances of dying, from heart disease or cancer, before the end of the study. Also, the risk of early death was raised by 20 percent for those who ate processed meat such as bacon every day.

But wait, there's more. People who eat lean beef regularly get more nutriments such as vitamin B, potassium, zinc and protein than those who don't, according to a 2012 report. Furthermore, another report that came out in 2010 estimates that lean beef accounts for only 4 percent of America's total fat and around 15 percent of proteins. Carol O'Neil, PhD, professor of human nutrition and food at Louisiana State University (LSU) and co-author of both these reports, states that ''lean meat is a healthy thing.''

To conclude, the article states that red meat still has a place in a healthy diet, and that lean cuts is a better choice than processed meats when it comes to a nutritious meal.



 1. Eating red meat everyday raise by 13 percent the chances of dying of a heart disease or cancer.

2. Processed meat raises the risk of early death by 20 percent.


1. People who eat lean beef regularly get more vitamin B, protein, potassium and zinc than those who don't.

2. Lean beef accounts for around 15 percent of America's protein but just 4 percent of total fat.

3. Carol O'Neil, PhD, professor of human nutrition and food at LSU, says that ''lean meat is a healthy thing.''

Therefore, red meat, even though its variants have their risks, has a place in a healthy diet, especially lean beef.

Even if both reports and the statement used by Woolston to prove the benefits of red meat come from the same expert, his conclusion on the subject has a very solid reasoning and is enough to convince me that it is possible for someone who is concerned about their health to keep on eating red meat on a regular basis.

Here's the link of Chris Woolston's article on the Reader's Digest: http://www.rd.com/health/wellness/whos-right-is-meat-good-or-bad-for-you...


i like how for your article you chose one that is recent so the stats are recent as well, i find this helps the accuracy of the response. the problem i have with the response is it seems like theirs some fallacy in the article, your saying one thing but concluding another.i say this because it states that if you eat 3 ounces of meat your 13% more likely to die of heart disease, but at the same time it also says that meat can give you vitamin b,protein as well as potassium. in the end you conclude that meat is good for you. i guess for me where it gets a little miss leading with the argument is you say its more likely to give you heart disease but also say its good for you, i find it was missing that fine line that tells you exactly how much to have to fully get the benefits. maybe i miss understood could you please explain that part for me?

I am really interest in your article. Being a vegetarian, I like seeing both sides of eating meat. I like that you use cons and pros to formulate your conclusion. However, I don't think the article is trustful. First, in your summary, you wrote that Harvard followed 121 000 adults during 28 years. I think the research method is not possible. Can we really followed 121 000 people during 28 years? First, the number of the simple is really too big and the duration of the study really too long. Also, are people really going to respond each day during 28 years about what they ate? Consequently, I don't think the arguments are adequate and can be really justified.

I would like to hear more about your opinion.

I think your subject is important because I feel like these days more people are turning vegan. I also think that your premises are supported with relevant figures of authorities. I also like the fact that you bring us a lot of statistics throughout your summary and your standardizing. I, however, feel like your second premise in the cons section is a red herring because there is no relation with the fact that eating processed meat raises the risk of early death by 20 percent and the conclusion saying that red meat has a place in a healthy diet.
Please contact me for more justification.
Thank you.

I would like to start off by saying how I find your choice of topic to be a great one since the fight of “meat vs. no meat” is a very relevant topic today. However, if I were to comment on anything it would be that I believe you have a contradiction between two of your premises. First, you explain how in subjects who ate at least three ounces of red meat every day, studies showed around 13 percent more chances of dying from diseases such as heart disease or cancer, but in the following paragraph you go on to say how people who ate lean beef regularly got more vitamin B, potassium, zinc and protein than those who did not, followed by a statement made by a professor of human nutrition saying “lean meat is a healthy thing”. You go on to conclude that red meat still has a place in a healthy diet, yet you contradicted yourself in your previous statements. Perhaps I didn’t fully understand the message you were trying to convey, would you mind explaining it to me?

Your topic is quite actual and on date since more and more people nowadays are vegetarians/vegans so I see how the subject could touch much more people than it used to. However, I was confused at the end because you stated stats and facts against red meat but in your conclusion you stated that red meat can be healthy. It is contradiction to your premises and therefore confusing for the reader as you are proving one thing while concluding something else based of the numbers you gave. I might’ve possibly misunderstood your statement though and invite you to clarify for me ☺

Thank you.

I was immediately attracted to your article for the simple reason that this subject is such a controversial and interesting one. I loved the concept you expressed and the conclusion you presented by separating the pros and cons of eating red meat. However, I believe this article missed the point of the original study. The original study was to get a better understanding of the consequences of consuming red meat every day and how we should change our diet in order to reap significant benefits to our health. I would also like to point out that you only use one source, Readers Digest, which is definitely not the most reliable of sources. For instance, when I went to the original source of the study, on which your article is based, it said that the study actually lasted 22 years (from: Harvard) not 28 years (from the Readers Digest). I don’t know if there is something wrong with your source, however it would be interesting and would clarify a lot of things if you corrected your post. If you want to go to the original source of the article, here it is,

About the author

21 y/o

Concordia University - Interdisciplinary Studies of Sexuality