Monday, September 22, 2014

Processed Meat is Bad for You, But Only if You Are Already a Type II Diabetic - Reduced Satiety Hormones, Vitamin C and Glucose Control After Veggie vs. Meat Burger

Is your love for meat going to kill you? Not if you're not already a walking candy stick with sugar coated ateries and a beer belly.
I am pretty sure that the mainstream interpretation of the study at hand will be missing the important "but only if you ARE ALREADY a type II diabetic" in the headline of today's SuppVersity article. Meat bashing and vegetarian protein worshiping is simply too "en vogue" these days for the average "science journalist" to stick to the actual data and tell you that the ingestion of isoenergetic processed meat vs. vegan high carbohydrate meals leaves only one conclusion:

For healthy individuals, processed fatty meals produce a much more favorable postprandial peptide response compared to the "allegedly super healthy" (and morally superior ;-) acetic vegetarian plant-based burger meal (a couscous burger: boiled couscous, baked with onion, garlic, plant oil, spices, oat-flakes in a wheat bun with sesame seedsmeal).
Learn more about meat at the SuppVersity

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Grass-Fed Pork? Is it Worth it?
Apropos burger! Now that you know the constituents of the the vegetarian test meal the 50 type II diabetics and 50 healthy controls were forced to eat contains, it's about time to reveal that the processed meat meal was a standard fast food menu: cooked-pork seasoned meat in a wheat bun with sesame seeds, tomato, cheddar-type cheese, lettuce, spicy sauce, onion.
Table 1: Composition of the processed meat and vegetarian test meals (Belinova. 2014)
As you can see in Table 1 the veggie burger had a significantly lower caloric density, but delivered the same 455kcal per serving as its meaty counterpart.

In view of what you've read about the importance of energy density as a determinant of food intake and subsequent obesity risk in previous SuppVersity intakes, you'd be forced to believe that 56% lower nutrient density alone should be an unfair advantage for the vegetarian meal.
Figure 1: Differential reaction of markers of glucose management (plasma glucose and immonreactive insulin) and satiety (Ghrelin and GLP-1) in response to processed meat or veggie burger (Belinova. 2014)
As the data in Figure 1 clearly indicates, the low nutrient density alone couldn't make up for the low nutrient quality and protein content. At least in the healthy subjects (dashed lines),
"[t]he plasma concentrations of glucose-dependent insulinotropic peptide (GIP), peptide tyrosine-tyrosine (PYY) and pancreatic polypeptide (PP) were higher and the ghrelin concentration was lower after the [processed meat] M-meal." (Belinova. 2014)
Similarly, the postprandial increase in triglycerides (rectangles, solid lines; Figure 2), we see in the diabetic subjects is not present in the healthy individuals, either.
Figure 2: Changes in markers of inflammation (Belinova. 2014).
And the TBARS and vitamin C levels (see Figure 2), as well as the levels of glutathione and superoxide dismutase (all markers of the inflammatory response to the meal; not shown in figure 2) didn't differ between the allegedly bad meat and the allegedly healthy vegetarian meal, anyway.
My previous article "CHO Shortage in Paleo Land" deals w/ another instance of over-generalized data from studies on obese / sick subjects and the confu- sing consequences | learn more.
Bottom line: Don't fall for the tricks of vegetarian bloggers and mainstream science journalists who abuse hand-picked data from the study at hand to "prove" their personal (or the public) conviction that meat is bad and vegetarian meat "alternatives" are good for all of us - that's bullshit.

If there is anything the study at hand "proves", it is the already well-known, but commonly ignored  fact that overweight individuals with a BMI of 33kg/m² or more and significantly elevated HbA1c levels (indicative of full-blown type II diabetes) react totally different to foods than the ever-shrinking majority of people with normal insulin sensitivity | Comment on Facebook!

What? No, that's not a reason to lose your focus on unprocessed meats and whole foods, it just adds to the existing evidence that simple-minded over-generalizations from studies in obese subjects to the whole population will do more harm than good... what? No I didn't say anything about ketogenic diets and low carbing, did I?
  • Belinova, Lenka, et al. "Differential Acute Postprandial Effects of Processed Meat and Isocaloric Vegan Meals on the Gastrointestinal Hormone Response in Subjects Suffering from Type 2 Diabetes and Healthy Controls: A Randomized Crossover Study." PloS one 9.9 (2014): e107561.