SIR – I see there is yet more research suggesting that we cut down our meat consumption for our health ‘Put down that bacon buttie or end up in an early grave’ (Worcester News, March 28).
At the same time dietician Ursula Arens implies that moderate meat-eaters are healthy per se, but vegetarians only if they have access to other nutritious foods.
I am dubious about the claim that the Meat Advisory Panel (MAP) provides independent information about red meat when it says that most people need change nothing and that we mustn’t alarm them, while simultaneously alarming them about possible cognitive function problems if they do cut down.
MAP member Dr Carrie Ruxton also says that women and girls could do with eating a bit more red meat as if there are no plant sources of iron, which incidentally do not contain saturated fats and cholesterol.
With so much research now carried out showing the health benefits of a vegetarian diet, and Cancer Research UK suggesting no more than 500g of meat a week to decrease risk of bowel cancer, might we safely assume that none would be even better? I have been vegetarian for about 35 years, vegan for 25 of those, and I am very healthy and have never suffered iron or any other deficiency, or weight problems, during that time. On the other hand, I know of meat-eaters with iron deficiency and with B12 deficiency.
Incidentally, was there something missing from the last paragraph of Wednesday’s article? Mike Roussell compared two groups of people, both of whom experienced improvements in heart health
indicators, but with no reason given for any such improvements.