Don’t tell me what I should eat

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - NEWS -


seems as though every day there is some new piece of re­search in the news about which foods are sup­pos­edly good for us and those we should avoid.

In fact, if we be­lieved every bit of re­search, we prob­a­bly wouldn’t eat any­thing at all.

Now a study by the Univer­sity of Ox­ford has con­cluded that a tax on red and pro­cessed meat could pre­vent nearly 6,000 deaths a year from can­cers, heart at­tacks and strokes, as well as off­set­ting the cost of th­ese con­di­tions to the NHS.

They sug­gest prices should be raised by up to 80% for some pro­cessed prod­ucts and 14% for red meats.

This feels like scare­mon­ger­ing. I un­der­stand the con­cern around pro­cessed meats be­ing un­healthy, but this re­search sug­gests that red meat is a prob­lem, and it’s not.

We’ve al­ways eaten meat. It’s full of iron and pro­tein and I think tax­ing it, just as with the sugar tax, is go­ing to hurt the peo­ple who can least af­ford it.

If you treat your­self to a steak you would be taxed for eat­ing some­thing you en­joy be­cause some­one says: “Our re­search shows this could be bad for you and we want to re­coup the money spent on your health.” Well, I don’t buy that.

I don’t eat loads of red meat. In fact, I like ev­ery­thing in moder­a­tion – and that goes for por­tion size as well – and in mix­ing what I eat be­tween fish, chicken, red meat and hav­ing dif­fer­ent colours of veg­eta­bles.

There may be some things I like bet­ter than oth­ers, but I try to get va­ri­ety wher­ever pos­si­ble.

It takes your body longer to process meat com­pared to fish, for in­stance, so as I get older I wouldn’t eat a huge steak later on in an evening be­cause it would take a while to get through my sys­tem and would af­fect my sleep.

But we seem to be de­mon­is­ing red meat at the mo­ment.

Next month we’ll be on to some­thing else to hang the “bad” hat on.

If some­thing has been sci­en­tif­i­cally proven to be harm­ful then that’s one thing.

But in Scot­land we’re fa­mous for our beef – it’s a big part of our diet, whether it’s steak or mince and tat­ties.

So much of the re­search is con­flict­ing, and can also be ma­nip­u­lated to fit a cer­tain agenda.

I just take it with a pinch of salt – but not too much salt.

Should Des­per­ate Dan give up his cow pie for quinoa?

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