Q: You keep saying that red meat is bad for you, but I don’t understand why it’s worse than chicken or shrimp – they have saturated fat too. – George T., Lake Worth, Fla.
A: There are many research warnings against consuming red and processed meat. In a first study, British researchers recently used a cardiac MRI to examine the heart function of nearly 20,000 people and determine the effects of eating red and processed meat on the cardiovascular system. They rated the way participants’ hearts pumping and how much blood was circulating, the health of their heart muscle, and the elasticity of their blood vessels. Her findings, published in Frontiers in Cardiovascular Medicine, were that red / processed meat eaters had smaller ventricles, poorer heart function, and stiffer arteries – all markers of poorer cardiovascular outcomes. We think in part that it’s due to the trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO) that is produced when red meat (and egg yolks) are digested. It is known to cause tissue and blood vessel damage.
The researchers also found that meat eaters’ heart problems weren’t just caused by high blood pressure, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, diabetes, or obesity. Your theory? Eating red and processed meat alters the gut biome in ways that have a significant negative impact on heart function.
This is in line with a new study in the journal Gut that found that consuming many animal products, processed foods, alcohol, and sugar alters the gut biome in ways that promote chronic inflammation, which is a major trigger for cardiovascular disease – Represent diseases, diabetes and cancer.
The British researchers also found that the more oily fish the participants ate (salmon rock!), The better their heart function and the more flexible their arteries were – which lowered the risk of heart attacks and strokes. We have been telling you this for years: Leave red and processed meat behind and eat a vegetable diet with protein from fish rich in omega-3s such as salmon and sea trout. Avoid processed foods and added sugars.
Q: If I don’t use white flour, how can I ever bake anything again? Are there any substitutes that work? – Dana G., Knoxville, Tenn.
A: You’re lucky. Nowadays there is an abundance of 100% whole grain and pseudo-grain flours (like amaranth) that are good for baking when combined with whole grain flour or used on their own. They are good for your baking (the flavors are great) and your health.
Refined white flour has been stripped of fiber and nutrients. In about 3 ounces of white flour versus wheat flour, there are 73 grams of carbohydrates versus 60 grams; 2.7 g of fiber versus 11 g; 10 grams of protein versus 13 grams; 15 milligrams of calcium versus 34 milligrams; and 107 milligrams of potassium versus 363 milligrams. Because whole wheat flours take longer to digest, they don’t sharpen blood sugar, and their fiber and other nutrients promote healthy gut bacteria.
Here you will find an overview of your flour alternatives for baking. Remember: don’t spoil your creations with fatty sugar bombs. Top with berries – fresh or pureed and warmed.
Almond Flour: This is moist, so you will generally need 1.5 cups per 3/4 cup of white flour in baking recipes. One ounce gives you 35% of your recommended daily intake for vitamin E; 31% for manganese; 19% for magnesium.
Amaranth Flour: You can replace 25% to 50% of the wheat flour in a baking recipe with this superfine flour.
Brown rice flour: This flour isn’t good for bread, but it works in other baked goods.
Buckwheat flour: Another pseudo-muesli that is great for muffins and breads – also for soba noodles. Replace 1: 1 with all-purpose white flour.
Coconut flour: Good for 1: 1 substitution with white flour when baking. Tip: Since it’s high in fiber, add extra moisture to hold baked goods together.
Oatmeal: Another 1: 1 swap, but you’ll need extra sourdough made from extra baking soda or some other remedy. Tip: add 2.5 teaspoons of baking soda per 1 cup of oatmeal.
Quinoa flour: Not for breads that use yeast, but for other baked goods.
Mehmet Oz, MD, is the host of the “Dr. Oz Show, ”and Mike Roizen, MD, is the chief wellness officer emeritus at the Cleveland Clinic. Email your health and wellness questions to Dr. Oz and Dr. Roizen at email@example.com.