“Sugar, Meats and Processed Foods” Pretending meat is essentially identical to health destroying sugar and grains is a favorite Big Food trick.

In a story titled “A Gut Makeover for the New Year,” The New York Times served up a classically faux “fact.”

I’m sharing it with you here, now, because this certainly won’t be the last time it happens.

Discussing how diet affects the diversity of bugs in our guts (more diversity usually equals better gut and overall health), writer Roni Caryn Rabin opined:

Microbial diversity may be further undermined by the typical high-calorie American diet, rich in sugar, meats and processed foods…

At First Glance, This Seems Pretty Straightforward…

But notice the lumping together of the components of a “typical” gut-wrecking American diet, “rich in sugar, meats and processed foods.”


Americans are, indeed, eating more sugar and more processed foods, and that’s bad news.

But are we really eating more meat?

Where’s the beef? Or pork? Or lamb?

Consumption of only chicken and fish — theoretically “healthy” animal protein alternatives — has climbed since the 1960s…

while beef-eating has plunged 35 percent! 

We’re eating more of this…not more beef.

Considering beef’s drop and chicken’s rise, the overall percentage of calories from animal-based foods hasn’t changed much during the period in which The New York Times suggests — obesity and diabetes epidemics raged due to declining microbial diversity.

So much for blaming flesh foods. 

So what kind of food are we eating with abandon these days? Voila:

Fat intake is a bit misleading in this chart, as most of the increase is from cheap, inflammatory soybean oil, not animal-based fat. But note the unmistakable boost in carb consumption compared with the flat protein intake.

In other words, cooking the books to demonize meat, a favorite ploy of Big Carb, Big Pharma and Big Journalism, has come roaring out of the gate.

But you don’t need to fall for it.

Bottom Line

Sugar, grains and vegetable oils are constantly thrust at us because they are cheap, centralized and have huge profit margins.

Meanwhile, the folks who produce beef, pork and lamb (especially pasture-raised, organic versions) are decentralized and operate on razor-thin margins.

Big Food wants you to be a vegetarian… or, better yet, a vegan, one who eschews all animal foods and eats boatloads of “heart healthy” grains.

So a favorite trick of pro-vegetarian forces is to fling the term “meat” into lists of clearly unhealthful foods, a bit of “guilt by association” prestidigitation.

Don’t believe it. Human beings and hominids have a 2-million-year history of meat (and unprocessed plant) consumption and barely a century with copious grain-based carbs, sugar, soybean oil and other denatured health destroyers.

Trust your gut — and gut health — to quality meat, eggs, vegetables and low-sugar fruits.

To your robust health,

Brad Lemley

Brad Lemley

About Brad Lemley

I am a science journalist who has written for the Washington Post, Discover Magazine and dozens of other national publications. I've written or co-written 10 books, most on health and fitness. I am a passionate advocate for self-directed, nature-based health care, and believe strongly that robust health is within reach of anyone who possesses the right information.