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The Great Meat Debate

September 25, 2010

According to an article on Netscape eating meat, and that includes chicken, makes you gain weight.  The article goes on to say the biggest meat eaters, min, ate around 300 calories a day and women around 200 calories of meat a day.  After five years they both gained an average of 1 lb a year.

My question, is this a realistic study? You might ask why I question the validity of the study, because this was a large European study of men and women from 10 countries.  I’m not positive but in going to fancy European themed restaurants and seeing recipes most of their meat is covered with sauces, high calorie, high cholesterol, high fat sauces. Think French; Béarnaise, Hollandaise, Rémoulade.  German cuisine has a lot of stews which are in rich broths and casseroles which have noodles or potatoes as well as a binding agent such as cheese. In Italy you think of the red sauces while not heavy laden in calories they do have the white sauces such as Alfredo which I’ve heard some refer to as “heart attack”.

Now I realize not all ethnic foods are heavy in calories but I’m just saying when they do this study they need to look at the American diet which consists of red meat by itself with nothing but a potato on the side.  That meat dish is pure protein (well, you do have to take the potato away for that but you got the idea).  It’s when they try making them fancier that we get the weight inducing properties of the meat they were studying.  I’m sure of that.

Now you may wonder why the American Diet is so fattening.  It’s because we’re not happy with one serving of meat.  Do you know a single serving is 4 ounces.  Go to any restaurant and you’ll NEVER see a 4 ounce steak on the menu.  You see 8 ounce (though I don’t know many that order that size) then they go 12 ounce, 16 ounce and 20 ounce.  The 16 ounce is 4 servings.  Then we have a baked potato that’s loaded with butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream.  We go for a fast food burger and we order a 1/4 pound or double 1/4 pound.  Then we have the bun or in the case of the double maybe a 3 part bun and along with that is the large or jumbo order of fries.  Think you’ll go healthier and get the chicken sandwich but even that has high calorie sauces and sometimes breading.  The only thing on the menu that’s close to a single serving meal is the kids menu but how many adults will order from that. 

I’m not saying everyone eats this way but our diet isn’t that healthy and I’m putting myself in that category.  While I may not go for the jumbo size burger and fries I do feel cream cheese makes any dish better.  One of my favorite sandwiches is Peanut Butter & Sugar (thanks for turning me on to that one dad) and a serving of pizza is one slice but how many of us can stop at one, I know I can’t.  American’s might not have the sauces that other countries do but we tend to super-size everything so I guess our diet isn’t that great either.  maybe it’s not the fact that meat makes you gain weight, it’s the amount we eat of it. 

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