Pair of steaks with peppers (copy)

Were you as upset as I was last week by the news that an international collaboration of researchers produced analyses concluding that there's no real scientific evidence that eating red meat is bad for you?

I'm reminded of the lectures I've endured and the sacrifices I've suffered because my doctors insisted that eating a steak would most certainly cause my arteries to clog, not to mention put me at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Suffice it to say that if I didn't heed the warnings, I most assuredly would meet an untimely death.

Before that, it was eggs that I needed to give up, too— well, maybe a couple of poached ones on a Sunday morning at my favorite breakfast place would be OK — or else my cholesterol count would soar out of sight and surely stop the blood flow to and from my heart.

Then it turned out eggs weren't really so villainous after all.

Then it was butter that became public health enemy number one and millions of people gave up butter, cheese, ice cream and whole milk to keep their cholesterol counts below a magic number.

Well, scratch that. Butter, it turns out, is surely better for our bodies than that dreaded oleomargarine and all its artificial ingredients.

So for now it turns out that all that nagging from your doc just that, nagging. According to the epidemiologist who headed the latest research, if there are health benefits from eating less beef and pork, they are so faint that they can only be discerned when looking at large populations.

At any rate, Dr. Bradley Johnston wrote, the "certainty for these risk reductions was low to very low."

Through the years I've become convinced that if anything tastes good — take that 6-ounce tenderloin filet mignon, for instance, or a couple of eggs fried over easy in butter — it's got to be bad for you.

Nina Teicholz, author of the "Big Fat Suprise: Why Butter, Meat and Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet," claims that the dietary guidelines adopted in the late 20th Century actually had terrible unintended consequences.

"Taking meat, butter, dairy and cheese off the plate and replacing them with carbohydrates," she said, coincided with a startling increase in obesity.

So I think I'll stop at the Wonder Bar tonight for one of those big, juicy ribeyes. But, hold the bread and potatoes.

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.  

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