Wednesday, July 25, 2018

How to Pick the Best Olive Oil


Olive trees themselves have been around for many thousands of years. With a long history dating back to ancient civilizations, olive oil is said to be one of the most important and healthiest  Bible foods. It’s a staple of the Mediterranean Diet and has been included in the diets of some of the world’s healthiest, longest-living people for centuries — like those living in the blue zones. Why? Because olive oil benefits are extensive and amazing.
Real, high-quality extra virgin olive oil has well-researched anti-inflammatory compounds, antioxidants and numerous heart-healthy macronutrients, which explains why there are so many olive oil benefits. Extra virgin olive oil benefits include lowering rates of inflammation, heart disease, depression, dementia and obesity. But with all of that in mind, unfortunately, not all olive oil is created equally — not even all of the “extra virgin” kinds have the requisite olive oil benefits!
Olive oil is made from the fruit of the olive tree, which is naturally high in healthy fatty acids. There are several types of olive oil on the market today, including extra virgin olive oil, virgin olive oil and regular olive oil — but research shows that extra virgin olive oil benefits are more abundant than the other varieties.

Something that many people don’t realize is that it’s common for “extra virgin olive oil” purchased in most major grocery stores to be laced with GMO canola oil and herb flavors. Many store shelves are lined with fake olive oil options. A CBS report found that up to 70 percent of the extra virgin olive oil sold worldwide is watered down with other oils and enhancers, thanks to the Mafia corruption involved in the production process. (1) (Yes, you read that correctly.)
Manufacturers do this in order to make the fake oils taste more like real olive oil, but in fact, they’re far inferior products with way fewer health benefits than the real thing. In fact, consuming this type of modified olive oil can actually pose some real risks to your health, so you’ve got to know which kind is the best to buy in order to get the most olive oil benefits you can.

Price points

A quart or a liter of EVOO should cost you between $8 and $40. I personally have found that the truly good oils hover in the $25 per bottle range and higher.

2. Smell and taste (not color)

This is what triggered Tom Mueller to investigate – the taste and smell of the supposed high-quality olive oils. Many people think that a good olive oil needs to be buttery and sweet – this is not correct. In fact, olive oil tastes this way when it has been diluted with tasteless vegetable oils.
A true extra virgin olive oil is pungent (from the presence of grasses, tomatoes, and artichokes) and bitter (from the polyphenol content). That can be off-putting – many people think it’s due to rancidity – it’s not.
A good EVOO is supposed to make your throat scratch a little.
Tom Mueller says: “Seek out freshness, choosing oils that smell and taste vibrant and lively, and avoid tastes or odors such as moldy, rancid, cooked, greasy, meaty, metallic and cardboard.  Also, pay attention to mouthfeel: prefer crisp and clean to flabby, coarse or greasy.”
Want to conduct olive oil tasting in your own kitchen? Sebastian shows us how. This was my first time – it’s so simple, yet revealing!
 Color is a non-factor – many crooked and fake olive oil makers add green colorant to the oil to make it look fresh. Furthermore, olive oil goes through a natural maturation process from bright green when freshly pressed to golden and then brownish with a green tint when it reaches maturity.

3. Freshness = High polyphenols

Tom Muller writes: “So real extra virgin olive oil is fresh-squeezed fruit juice – seasonal, perishable, and never better than the first few weeks it was made.”
Unlike wine, olive oil does not get better with age – it gets worse – both in taste and medicinal properties. The best practice is to consume it within the first year of pressing.
This is why you may find the Fresh-Pressed Olive Oil Club as interesting as I did – they deliver freshly pressed oils every quarter, rotating suppliers. For example, an Italian EVOO would be at its prime quality when sold in January-March timeframe. But, in other calendar quarters, the freshest oils would come from Chile or Australia.
In this video, Sebastiano Salafia of Frantoi Cutrera explains how freshness of the olive fruit and the processing time and method impacts the level of polyphenols (potent antioxidants) in olive oil. 

4. Labeling 

“Extra Virgin Olive Oil”  – For starters, the bottle must state “Extra Virgin Olive Oil.” That in itself is not enough as many crooks and fakers use it on their labels too.
Harvest date and “best by” date – you now know that freshness matters a lot. Scrupulous EVOO makers would display both dates. Harvest date is very telling because it’s best practice to consume the oil within 12 months from the harvest date. 

Certification – if buying oils from Europe, look for PDO and PGI certification. In Italy, PDO is labeled as DOP (see the bottle) – this means that specific protocols are overseen by a quality control committee. In California, the COOC (California Olive Oil Council) exercises rigid standards as well. 

Organic (not that meaningful here) – to my big surprise it’s not a guarantee of quality. It just means the fruit was grown organically but it does not tell us other quality-impacting details such as: When the olives were picked (Sebastiano explained in the video that less ripe olives generate a lower yield but are higher in polyphenols), the time from tree-to-pressing, heat used during mastication, what else has been added to the oil – are just some of the factors that “organic” label does not guarantee.
Meaningless descriptors – Words that don’t mean anything and are used as marketing gimmicks are “Olive Oil”,“Light” Oil, “Made in Italy”, “Freshly Pressed”, “Bottled in Italy.” Also, pay attention to your own unconscious bias – just because a label shows enchanting rolling hills of a Tuscan estate, it does not mean the product is legit.

5.  Bottle color

Pick a dark bottle. Olive oil gets oxidized quickly with the oxygen that is left in a half-empty bottle. Light penetration speeds up that process.

6.  Filtered or unfiltered?

I used to think that unfiltered olive oil (due to its rustic, authentic look) was automatically superior to its filtered counterpart. This isn’t entirely true. UC Davis Olive Center says that the studies are inconclusive and that you need to evaluate additional factors including fruit maturity, type of filters used and shelf life stability.  
According to Sebastiano Salafia from Frantoi Cutrera whom I interviewed, they use large filters as they found that unfiltered olive oil can deteriorate quickly if it contains too many unfiltered particles. This is clearly a large-scale manufacturer’s preventative decision. If you can get an unfiltered EVOO and use it within 6 to 12 months, you should be good.

7.  Your intuition

Use your intuition to distinguish hype from the real deal.

 Pear Cranberry Salad Recipe
with Olive Oil Dressing

 TIME: 5 minutes SERVINGS: 1–2
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
1 large pinch of sea salt
Black pepper to taste
5 cups mixed lettuces
2 pears, thinly sliced vertically
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup raw goat cheese

Put vinegar, olive oil, mustard, honey, salt and pepper in a jar with a lid, and shake well.
Gently toss lettuce with sliced pears in a large salad bowl (optional: grill pear slices briefly). Add enough dressing to just coat. Top with dried
cranberries and goat cheese.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Fat-Burning Snack Ideas

Fat-Burning Snack Ideas 
If your mission is to lose weight, then burning fat should be at the top of your list. One way to do this is by picking some good fat-burning snacks. The following snacks are really easy to grab and take with you, but also burn lots of fat and get you on the path of weight loss. 
Figs are a type of fruit that not many people are familiar with. They have a lot of fiber, are sweet like some of your other favorite fruits, and can fill you up quickly. Figs help you to curb your cravings and reduce your appetite by filling you up, but they also help to burn fat at a faster rate. They are ideal when you are trying to find an easy snack you can just grab on your way out the door, but something light that is going to help you burn fat during the day. You can get either fresh or dried figs. 
Kale Chips 
Another type of snack that is healthy and will also help to burn more fat is kale chips. These can be purchased in a health food store, or you can easily make them yourself. By making them on your own, you reduce the sodium and other additives, plus you save quite a bit of money. All you need to do is cut kale into smaller pieces, put it on a cookie sheet and drizzle olive oil with some sea salt and pepper. Bake them for about 15 minutes or until crisp and store in a plastic bag or container. These are filling and super low in fat, plus kale is great for burning more fat. 
In terms of nuts, pistachios are one of the most delicious, and also happen to be one of the best options when you want to burn more fat. Sure, they might be a little higher in calories than what you are used to, but this is healthy fat. Eating them as a snack keeps the carbs low and your protein and energy high. Put them in portion bags that you can quickly grab and throw in your purse or lunch bag on your way out the door. This will prevent you from over-indulging in them, but make sure you always have a healthy snack with you. 
Avocado is another fat-burning food that is easy to enjoy as a snack. Open up an avocado and just sprinkle some salt on it, or you can enjoy it mashed with some salsa, similar to avocado. Dip some veggies in it and you’re good to go. 

Avocado Whip

Sick of guacamole? Try this even creamier alternative, which gets its distinctive flavor from tahini and takes just five minutes to prepare.

Serve it as a dip for veggies, or use it as a spread on sandwiches. Either way, you'll get plenty of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats to help speed metabolism and keep you feeling full.Avocado speeds up your metabolic rate because its combo of essential fatty acids, good-for-you fats, and antioxidants help to reduce inflammation.


  • 2 avocados, pitted and peeled
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice (2-3 limes)
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh pepper

How to Make It

Step 1
Combine all in a food processor; process until smooth (about 30 seconds). Transfer to serving dish. (To make up to 6 hours ahead, set aside 1 TBSP lime juice; drizzle over surface and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.) Garnish with fresh pepper.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Be an Inspiration to others

 So, what is inspiration and how can you tap into it when you need to become inspired?
The Oxford Dictionary defines inspiration as:
- imparting a divine influence on the mind and soul it means that you inspire others to either emulate you or to do better because of you.

so something that inspires you arouses feelings and thoughts within you, or influences you in some way.
 The people who have inspired me are often those people who have led difficult lives but overcome challenges, smiling as they do so, and making a difference, however small, to those they meet. My grandma was an inspiration to me. She had very serious health issues for most of her life yet she never complained, never moaned and was always cheerful. She touched the lives of everyone she met, and she was always ready to help anyone who needed it – regardless of her own needs.

 It's never too late to change your life for the better. You don't have to take huge steps to change your life. Making even the smallest changes to your daily routine can make a big difference to your life.

Understand that you can be an inspiration to others, no matter what you feel you have or have not achieved. Even if you feel that you have not yet reached the endpoint, and even if you feel like you have reached a low point, you have the ability to inspire. No matter who you are, giving back and inspiring others comes equipped with many benefits. You never know who you’re going to impact when you give — and you never know who might be in position to reciprocate if you ever find yourself in a time of need. Giving back leaves a legacy that will live on far longer than you will. You will be amazed at the way inspiring others makes you feel. In fact, it is the only feeling that rivals the one you get when you realize you have achieved your dream.

You cannot change anyone, but you can be the reason someone changes.
 Be the positive impact on the lives of others.”

 Losing weight is all about forgetting who you are and remembering who you want to be.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Vinegar Detox: Does It Work?

Until now, you may have thought that apple cider vinegar (ACV) is only good for dressing salads. People across the globe use ACV in a number of other, more medicinal ways. In fact, many even use it as the central ingredient in what is called an apple cider vinegar detox. The idea is that raw, unfiltered ACV still has “the mother” in it. The mother contains good bacteria for the gut, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. It’s normal for ACV with the mother to be murky or cloudy.
The use of apple cider vinegar for detoxification, diet, or other benefits goes back thousands of years. Some claim the father of medicine, Hippocrates, promoted ACV’s health qualities as far back as 400 B.C. More recently, makers of Bragg apple cider vinegar have been touting its health advantages since 1912 (1).

The body is able to detoxify itself. There isn’t much scientific research to support the argument that detox diets remove toxins from the body (2). Many people use a detox diet to begin changing their diet, remove processed foods from their menu, and then introduce healthier whole foods. The supposed benefits you may gain from an ACV detox are both internal and external.
They include:
  • giving the body a good dose of enzymes
  • increasing potassium intake
  • supporting a healthy immune system
  • helping with weight control
  • promoting pH-balance in the body
  • aiding with healthy digestion
  • adding good bacteria for the gut and immune function
  • helping to remove “sludge toxins” from the body
  • soothing skin and helping to keep it healthy
  • healing acne when used externally
You may hear that ACV helps to reduce appetite and even burn fat (3). There is also evidence to suggest that adding ACV to the daily routine may help with type 2 diabetes and high cholesterol

The basic “health drink” recipe is as follows (4):
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 8 ounces of purified or distilled water
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons sweetener (organic honey, maple syrup, or 4 drops of Stevia)
There are many variations on this basic drink. Some include adding lemon juice. Others add a dash of cayenne pepper. With an apple cider vinegar detox, you consume this type of drink regularly for a set period of time — several days to a month or more. Many people choose to consume it three times each day: upon waking, mid-morning, and again mid-afternoon (5).

There isn’t any formal research specifically about apple cider vinegar as part of a detox diet. Much of the information you will find online is purely anecdotal and should be read with caution.
This isn’t to say that the health properties of ACV haven’t been examined. For example, there is a growing body of research related to ACV and its impact on type 2 diabetes. In one small study, consuming this ingredient lowered both blood glucose and insulin in 12 diabetic subjects. Not only that, but the subjects’ fullness after eating bread increased (6).
When it comes to weight loss, there are a few studies that support ACV’s powers. One out of Japan revealed that obese rats who drank ACV daily lost more body weight and fat mass than the rats in the control group (7). The waist circumference and triglyceride levels for rats in the groups that consumed ACV lowered significantly as well.
In yet another study, apple cider vinegar lowered the LDL, triglyceride, and cholesterol levels in 19 people with hyperlipidemia or high blood fats (8). The results suggest that regularly consuming ACV may even be a good way to prevent atherosclerosis in people at high risk of developing this complication and other heart issues.
However, these studies were either conducted on animals or very small sample groups of people. Larger-scale studies on humans are still needed.
Because evidence surrounding apple cider vinegar is largely anecdotal, we curated comments from Amazon reviews left by people who tried the detox:

Before you start guzzling lots of ACV, make sure it’s diluted with water. Apple cider vinegar in its pure form is acidic and may erode tooth enamel or even burn your mouth and throat (9). If you do choose to do the detox, be sure to rinse your mouth with water after drinking the vinegar. You may even want to drink it through a straw. Even just one glass a day may be enough to negatively affect your teeth.
ACV may also interact with different medications or supplements you are taking. In particular, it may contribute to low potassium levels if you’re taking diuretics or insulin. If you are on such medications, be sure to let your doctor know if you plan to consume apple cider vinegar regularly or if you plan to try an ACV detox.
People who have tried an apple cider detox do share that you may have some nausea or stomach discomfort after drinking it. This discomfort is usually worse in the morning hours when your stomach is empty.

While there isn’t a huge body of research to suggest ACV is a miracle health cure, the testimonials and reviews you’ll find online can be compelling. Trying an apple cider vinegar detox is likely safe for most people. In the end, the best way to “detox” your body may be to stop taking in sugars and processed foods and eat a healthy diet rich in whole foods — fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. If you’re still interested in ACV, it’s a good idea to check with your doctor before adding this ingredient to your diet, especially if you’re on medications or supplements.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Weekly inspirational stories and motivations.

Welcome to the new  weekly inspirational stories and motivations. This is a new addition to the Get Healthy Lose weight podcast. Along with regular episode, I have decided to share with you  some of my inspirational and motivational support   I want you to know I am here to  support  you with your health and weight loss goals.  This something I do day for my clients I send them a brief text message every morning letting my clients know that I care and that I am always here for them.  Clients have let know how much this has meant to them and  that this is one of their favorite things within my programs and courses. So I thought you also may enjoy and get some benefits by listening to a weekly supportive voice.

  So what is Motivation is the reason for people's actions, desires, and needs  Motivation is literally the desire to do things. It's the difference between waking up before dawn to pound the pavement and lazing around the house all day. It's the crucial element in setting and attaining goals—and research shows you can influence your own levels of motivation and self-control. So figure out what you want, power through the pain period, and start being who you want to be.

Today I choose

I choose healthy alternatives.

I have the capacity to live in wellness without sacrificing all my favorite things. I choose healthy alternatives, so I am able to take care of myself while still enjoying life.

Healthy alternatives are available for everything that I like to indulge in.

When I feel like binge watching TV, I accompany that activity with some indoor exercise. Keeping myself moving supports a healthy body and mind. I get to enjoy what I am watching while taking care of my health.

When I am at work, I avoid confining myself to a desk. I take some of my activities outdoors where possible, so I get to spend time with nature. Allowing myself time to be outdoors gives me a sense of serenity that takes me through challenging work days.

My food choices are both tasty and healthy because I make my favorite things from scratch. I control what goes into my body.

I love taking good care of my body through healthy food options.

Instead of shutting out the world around me with headphones, I dedicate some of my commute to active listening. Absorbing the world around me keeps me grounded and connected to others.

Today, I recognize that the quality of my existence relies on the choices I make for my life. Choosing wisely results in more favorable outcomes. My ultimate priority is living with as much health, energy, and vibrancy as possible.

Self-Reflection Questions:

1. What adjustments can I make to further enhance my healthy life?
2. What are some habits that I feel compelled to break?
3. How do I assess the suitability of a decision for my life?

Get the Jumpstart your Metabolism Course learn more Here

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Add These Herbs and Spices to Your Meals

Add These Herbs and Spices to Your Meals 
As you start meal planning to help you on your weight loss journey, you should also think about how you season your dishes. Herbs and spices don’t just add flavor, but can actually help you to burn more fat. Here are some that you definitely want to include. 
One of the best herbs that can help you burn more fat is ginseng. It burns fat by naturally speeding up your metabolism and helping to boost your energy levels. When your metabolism gets a nice boost, you are able to burn fat and calories at a more rapid pace. Plus, the extra energy makes you more motivated to exercise, also increasing how much fat you burn. You can get ginseng extract or get supplements that are really easy to take, so you don’t even have to add it to your meals. 
Who doesn’t love a little cinnamon? Luckily, not only is it delicious, cinnamon is good for you! It contains a lot more nutrients than you might imagine and can also help to boost your metabolism. Cinnamon helps with lowering blood sugar from diabetes and can even help with your cholesterol levels. So when you want to add some flavor to your coffee, sprinkle a little cinnamon on top. You can also make a delicious smoothie that tastes like dessert by combining skim or soy milk with apples and cinnamon on top.  
Yes, mustard is good for you! This spice is often used on fattening foods like hot dogs, but it doesn’t have to be. You can add mustard spice or mustard seeds to a lot of different foods and side dishes that aren’t bad for you. You may want to make a sandwich with lean meats, veggies, and whole grain bread, then flavor it with a little mustard. Also try dipping some of your favorite veggies in mustard. You will be amazed by how good this can be. 
Turmeric is becoming popular as a spice because it tastes great and is extremely healthy. As a superfood, turmeric provides loads of nutrients that help you to be healthier overall, but also to burn fat and improve your weight loss efforts. It tastes similar to curry, so if you like a little kick to your veggie or rice dishes, sprinkle some turmeric in there. There are many different easy and healthy ways to use turmeric in your cooking.

Baked Honey Mustard Salmon



Easy Paleo Honey Mustard Baked Salmon in tin foil for easy cleanup. This sweet and spicy Baked Salmon is less than 200 calories, high in protein and done in less than 30 minutes!


  • 2 lb. wild caught salmon filet
  • 2 tablespoons stone ground mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper to season
  • squeeze of lemon to finish


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with tin foil with about 4 inches of overhang off the sides. (you may need two sheets of foil to do this) Fold up the edges to create a pocket.
  3. Place the salmon in the center of the lined baking sheet.
  4. To a small bowl add, mustard, honey, smoked paprika, basil, red pepper flakes and minced garlic. Whisk until smooth.
  5. Pour the mixture over the salmon. Gently rub the mixture into the salmon so it is completely coated. Season the top of the salmon with salt and pepper.
  6. Using the tin foil overhang, fold to the center to create a dome and seal in the salmon so it created a closed tin foil pocket.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until your desired doneness.
  8. Remove foil and place under broiler for 2-3 minutes to caramelize the honey on top.
  9. Garnish with chopped chives. Serve!

Friday, July 6, 2018

Red Meat Bad for You

Today's Meat Isn't What It Used to Be

Is Red Meat Bad for You, or Good? An Objective Look

Red meat is the meat of mammals, which is normally red when raw.
It’s one of the most controversial foods in the history of nutrition.
Although humans have been eating it throughout evolution, many people believe it can cause harm.
Below is a review of the evidence on the health effects of red meat. The article does not tackle ethical and environmental issues.

Today's Meat Isn't What It Used to Be

People have been eating meat throughout evolution and have digestive systems well equipped to handle it.
Traditional populations like the Masai have eaten much more red meat than the average Westerner but remained in excellent health (1).
However, the meat consumed today is different than the meat people ate in the past. Back in the day, animals roamed free and ate grass, insects or other foods natural to them.
Picture a wild cow on a field 10,000 years ago, roaming free and chewing on grass and various other edible plants.
The meat from this animal is different than the meat derived from a cow that was born and raised in a factory, fed grain-based feed and given growth-promoting hormones and antibiotics.
Today, some meat products are highly processed after the animals have been slaughtered. They are smoked, cured, then treated with nitrates, preservatives and various chemicals.
Therefore, it is very important to distinguish between different types of meat:

  • Processed meat: These products are usually from conventionally raised cows, then go through various processing methods. Examples include sausages and bacon.
  • Conventional red meat: Conventional red meats are fairly unprocessed, but the cows are usually factory farmed. Meats that are red when raw are defined as red meats. This includes lamb, beef, pork and some others.
  • White meat: Meats that are white when cooked are defined as white meats. This includes meat from poultry like chicken and turkey.
  • Grass-fed, organic meat: This meat comes from animals that have been naturally fed and raised organically, without drugs and hormones. They also don't have any artificial chemicals added.
When examining the health effects of meat, it's important to realize that not all meat is created equal.
Many studies on red meat, especially those conducted in the US, primarily examine meat from factory-farmed animals that have been fed grain-based feeds.

Summary It’s important to make a distinction between different kinds of meat. For example, grass-fed and organic meat is nutritionally different than factory-farmed, processed meat.

Red meat is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
It is loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various other nutrients that can have profound effects on health.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) portion of raw ground beef (10% fat) contains (2):

  • Vitamin B3 (niacin): 25% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B12 (cobalamin): 37% of the RDA (this vitamin is unattainable from plant foods)
  • Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): 18% of the RDA
  • Iron: 12% of the RDA (this is high-quality heme iron, which is absorbed much better than iron from plants)
  • Zinc: 32% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 24% of the RDA
  • Plenty of other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts
This comes with a calorie count of 176, with 20 grams of quality animal protein and 10 grams of fat.
Red meat is also rich in important nutrients like creatine and carnosine. Non-meat eaters are often low in these nutrients, which may potentially affect muscle and brain function (3, 4, 5).
Grass-fed beef is even more nutritious than grain-fed beef, containing plenty of heart-healthy omega-3s, the fatty acid CLA and higher amounts of vitamins A and E (6, 7, 8).

Summary Red meat is very nutritious, especially if it comes from animals that have been naturally fed and raised. It's a great source of protein, iron, B12, zinc, creatine and various other nutrients.

The effects of red meat on health have been well studied.
However, most of these studies are so-called observational studies, which are designed to detect associations but cannot prove causation.
Several observational studies show that red meat is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and death (9).
Nevertheless, not all red meat has the same health effects.
A massive review of 20 studies including 1,218,380 individuals found that processed meat was associated with an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. However, no association was found for unprocessed red meat (10).
In the EPIC study, a very large observational study including 448,568 people, processed meat increased the risk of death, while no effect was seen for unprocessed red meat (11).
When it comes to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and death, it’s crucial to distinguish between processed and unprocessed meat, as the two can have vastly different effects.
The observational studies seem to agree that processed meat (not unprocessed red meat) is associated with an increased risk of an early death and many diseases.
But even so, it’s important to keep in mind that these studies have limitations. It’s impossible to draw strong conclusions from observational studies.
The only way to establish cause and effect is to perform randomized controlled trials.

Summary Some observational studies show a link between meat intake, diabetes, heart disease and death. Other studies suggest this only applies to processed meat, not unprocessed red meat.

Many observational studies show that red meat consumption is associated with an increased risk of cancer (12, 13, 14).
The main type of cancer that red meat is believed to cause is colorectal cancer, the fourth most commonly diagnosed cancer in the world.
A recurrent problem in these studies is that they seem to pool together processed meat and unprocessed red meat.
Meta-analyses in which researchers analyze data from many studies show that the increased risk of colorectal cancer is very low. One meta-analysis found a weak effect for men, but no effect for women (15, 16).
Other studies suggest that it's not the meat itself, but rather harmful compounds that form when the meat is cooked, that contribute to the increased risk (17, 18).
Therefore, the cooking method may be a major determinant of the ultimate health effects of meat.

Summary Several observational studies show that red meat eaters are at a greater risk of cancer, but larger reviews looking at the evidence as a whole show that the effect is weak and inconsistent.

When you look closely, practically all studies that allegedly prove that red meat causes harm are observational studies.
These types of studies can only demonstrate correlation, or that two variables are associated.
They can tell us that individuals who eat a lot of red meat are more likely to get sick, but they cannot prove that red meat is the cause.
One of the main problems with such studies is that they are plagued by various confounding factors.
For example, people who eat red meat are less health-conscious and more likely to smoke, drink excessively, eat more sugar, exercise less, etc.
People who are health-conscious behave very differently than people who are not, and it’s impossible to correct for all of these factors.
Another problem with observational studies is that they're usually based on food frequency questionnaires, in which people are expected to remember what they ate in the past.
It’s always a bad idea to make health decisions based on observational studies alone. There are many cases in history where randomized controlled trials ended up showing the exact opposite effect.
For example, the Nurses' Health Study once showed that estrogen replacement therapy helped reduce heart disease in women. Later, a randomized controlled trial discovered that it actually increases the risk (19).

Summary Observational studies cannot be used to determine cause and effect. There are many confounders in such studies, and higher-quality studies sometimes end up showing the exact opposite effect.

Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of science.
In these studies, people are randomized into groups. For example, one group eats diet A, while the other group eats diet B.
Then the researchers follow the people and see which diet is more likely to lead to a particular outcome.
Several randomized controlled trials have examined the health effects of red meat directly.
A few studies investigated the effects of red meat on risk factors for heart disease.
One review of controlled studies concluded that eating half a serving or more of red meat daily doesn’t adversely affect heart disease risk factors such as blood lipids and blood pressure (20).
Another review showed that lean, unprocessed beef doesn’t negatively affect people’s blood lipids, compared to poultry or fish (21).
As a rich protein source, red meat can also benefit muscle growth in people doing strength exercises.
A study in older women showed that eating 160 grams of red meat six days of the week for four months enhanced muscle growth resulting from strength training, compared to pasta or rice (22).
Red meat also decreased the levels of the inflammatory marker IL-6 (22).
Keep in mind that all of these studies examined lean red meat. To date, no studies have examined the health effects of high-fat red meat.
However, there are plenty of studies that compare high-fat diets with low-fat diets.
These studies have the primary goal of reducing saturated fat, which means that the people in them have to eat less red and processed meats, which happen to be high in saturated fat.
The Women's Health Initiative was a study in over 46,000 women. One group was instructed to eat a low-fat diet, while the other group continued eating the standard Western diet.
After a period of 7.5 years, there was almost no difference (only 1 lb/0.4 kg) in weight between groups. There was also no difference in the rate of heart disease or cancer (23, 24, 25, 26).
One randomized controlled trial compared the Atkins diet (high in red meat) to the Ornish diet (a low-fat vegetarian diet with no red meat). It is called the A to Z weight loss study (27).
After one year, the Atkins group had lost more weight and had greater improvements in some of the most important risk factors for disease.
Many other studies compared low-carb (high in red meat) and low-fat (low in red meat) diets. In these studies, low-carb diets lead to much better health outcomes (28, 29, 30).
Taken together, these studies suggest unprocessed red meat doesn’t adversely affect health and may even have benefits.
However, more studies need to examine whether it affects hard endpoints like heart disease and cancer. The roles of cooking methods and processing techniques also need to be studied further.
Summary Several randomized controlled trials indicate that the intake of unprocessed red meat does not have negative health effects. It may even have benefits.

Red Meat Optimization 101

When meat is cooked at a high temperature, it can form harmful compounds.
These include heterocyclic amines (HAs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and advanced glycation end-products (AGEs).
These substances can cause cancer in animals.
If meat really raises your risk of cancer, which has yet to be proven, this may be the reason (31, 32, 33).
But this doesn't only apply to meat, other foods can also form harmful compounds when heated excessively.
Here are some tips to ensure your meat doesn't form these harmful substances:

  1. Use gentler cooking methods like stewing and steaming instead of grilling and frying.
  2. Minimize cooking at high heats and never expose your meat to a flame.
  3. Do not eat charred and/or smoked food. If your meat is burnt, cut away the charred pieces.
  4. If you marinate your meat in garlic, red wine, lemon juice or olive oil, it can reduce HAs significantly.
  5. If you must cook at a high heat, flip your meat frequently to prevent it from burning.
Many people love the taste of fried and grilled meat. But if you want to enjoy meat and receive the full benefits without any of the potentially harmful consequences, use gentler cooking methods and avoid burnt meat.

Summary To prevent the formation of harmful substances when cooking meat, choose gentler cooking methods and avoid burning your meat.

When you look past the scare tactics and sensationalist headlines, you realize that there is no strong evidence linking red meat to disease in humans.
There are only observational studies, which often don't distinguish between red meat and processed meat.
They also rely on food frequency questionnaires and simply cannot account for complicated confounding factors like health consciousness.
Observational studies provide hints and are useful for generating theories, but they cannot test them.
As long as you choose unprocessed and preferably grass-fed red meat, make sure to use gentler cooking methods and avoid burnt/charred pieces, there probably is nothing to worry about.
Properly cooked red meat is likely very healthy.
It’s highly nutritious and loaded with healthy proteins, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, along with various nutrients known to positively affect the function of both your body and brain.