In an article today in the NT Times, researchers have found that previous admonitions to avoid red meat because of deleterious effects on heart health were likely to have been significantly exaggerated. They further note that, if there is any benefit at all of avoiding red meat, the effect is small at best.

Bravo! I’ve been saying for years, and this article corroborates my point of view, that health in general, and heart health specifically, involves much broader and more fundamental issues than whether or not you eat a steak or a hamburger here and there.

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle consists of limiting the total number of calories your consume, along with other key elements such as avoiding excessive alcohol intake, getting enough sleep at night, and committing to a regular exercise program. For example, if you eat only chicken and fish, but are obese and don’t exercise, you are at far greater risk for developing heart disease than the person next door who has a steak once a week and a hamburger once a month, but exercises daily and has a normal body mass index.

I would like to see the campaign for health focus on these principles, rather than an obsession with avoiding red meat. So, go ahead and grill that steak, but be prepared to hit the road or pound the pavement!