Marbling and Health


The relationship between Fat, Health and Grill

The one we’re living is an era that marks an increasingly adversarial relationship between us and the media. If until a few decades ago, in fact, what was being voiced by the media had to be taken as irrefutably good, our generation has now easy and immediate access to communication channels that can provide near real-time an amount of data nearly to infinite. Which makes us able to disprove any news, by the way it is told, to the possible omission of details needed to define a proper evaluation. Despite this, I’m surprised to note daily as this huge resource to be exploited so little and badly.

Even in a small and marginal world like ours, we are surrounded by information that if not false, are at best misleading. Not a year goes by when you do not see in early spring, with the approach of the high season, the canonical carnage of all that is about barbecue. The famous story that the barbecue is carcinogenic is a must but also the demonization of fat in red meat is not an exception. Is there anybody of you who have never heard or read in newspapers or television broadcasting the statement

red meats are carcinogenic


the consumption of red meats leads to cardiovascular diseases

Far from me the idea of doing a medical treatise. I would not be able, and in any case this is not the place. It is right and proper, however, in my view to complete the table with all the information that has been more or less deliberately omitted in order to allow everyone to choose for himself but in a conscious way.

About the alleged cancerogeneità of red meat we assume that most of the studies have had as their object the only processed meats or canned meats, sausages, hams and sausages in general, with the aim to demonstrate a link between these and colon cancer, of which it is believed Marezzaturato be responsible. While according to a report of the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) emerges as “the information is not sufficient to support an unequivocal association between consumption of red meat and CRC (colon cancer, ndr) …”, eventually classify them as “probably carcinogenic”. In essence they noted in some of the studies some correlation between intake and the onset but the number of samples in their hands are too few to allow them to say anything certain about. This does not mean that this hypothesis is not possible, to be clear, but that to this day no one has been able to prove it with certainty. It is precisely then just a hypothesis. In addition, the main dispute moved to the IARC is that the carcinogenicity classification comes from simple observation of a correlation in the tests, between the food assumption from the subjects and the development of a cancer on some of them with a rate  higher than the average. it says nothing about the extent of this relationship. For example, the processed meat is given a Class 1, the same as smoke, or there is a sure correlation between the intake and the increased occurrence of cancer. But no one would think (and God forbid) to match the intake of sausages with smoking. This is because we do not know by how much. Eating processed meats could maybe just raise of 1% probability of a tumor development, while smoking may double it.

When we talk about these topics I always think of the emotional information waves like the one in the 80s that demonized the consumption of any form of alcohol, just to assert that “recent studies” have shown that a glass of wine a day “is healthy” (I said only one uh! With one and a half you’ll probably die) because it contains free radicals due to the tannin but unfortunately they thought only present in red wine. So white wine was completely banned until they read on Junior Focus that even with a lesser amount, it also was provided, leading to the final “free lair everyone. The way I see it is simply that a no sure data is not a data and it should not be considered as such.

In any case, even wanting to be cautious, it would be enough to follow the indications of the IARC and the World Cancer Research Fund that suggests as the maximum limit to weekly consumption an amount up to about 500 grams of cooked weight of red meat or calculating a loss in weight during cooking to about 30%, about 650 g raw. Come on guys, 650 gr means at least two hot chicks of more than 300 grams per week for each of us! You will want to take away whims …

Similar deductions are to be extended to the relationship with cardiovascular diseases but to explain this statement it is necessary to say a few words of deepening.

Let’s premise that those responsible for this statement are the fats found in meat. You have to know that fats are chains formed by bonding between atoms of carbon and hydrogen. If along the whole chain is respected the ratio of two atoms of hydrogen per one of carbon, it is called saturated fats, but if along the long chain some interruptions occur, we speak of unsaturated fats. While the latter mainly belong to the plant world (oil in particular), the former are typical of the animal world and have the bad characteristic of not being water soluble. Or they tend to agglomerate into contact with liquids such as the occurrence of digestion and to raise barriers to the digestive process, with the release of many compounds parts responsible for these problems. So far so unexceptionable except are not mentioned a couple of information.

marezzaturaSaturated fats depending on the number of bonds that compose them, are distinguished in their turn into short-chain fatty acid and long-chain fatty acids. The short-chain fats are water soluble, are absorbed directly from the small intestine and metabolized very quickly, in a process similar to that which occurs for carbohydrates. Needless to say that those harmful to health are only those long chain ones. Now, the interesting thing is that the composition of a steak is a little bit more complex as they told. In red meat are both types and the composition of the ratio between the two it depends on the way of farming and feeding the animal and in any case it is different depending on you analyze the vein fat, the marbling or the parsley fat. It is therefore impossible to say in advance whether a meat is rich in short-chain fatty or less and the limitations on the consumption have solely a prudential role.

Need to say that moving animals, raised on pasture (therefore with a greater propensity at intra muscle lipid accumulation – read as marbling) have a greater probability of the presence of short-chain fatty, as even to have a good amount of polyunsaturated ones, considered as “good” fats because they are able to reduce cholesterol. More generally, a quality meat comes from an animal that has been fed respecting a correct lipid profile in order to obtain the optimum balance between saturated and unsaturated fats, because in the correct measure it also play essential metabolic functions in the body.

The point is guys, that like all the pleasures of life, there are no things that are harmful in an absolute sense. What hurts us is always the abuse of them but to know this you should know you don’t need the help of anyone. Now I’m leaving you, the grill is hot and it’s time I go to throw over a nice steak.



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