T Nation

Too Much Meat?

so some people tell me i eat too much meat and that the amount i eat can not possibly be healthy and is very excessive

i would say on an average i eat a couple large servings of meat (pork,chicken, or steak usually a day) of meat a day, for example i could have an 8-10 oz steak, and a large chicken breast, and maybe a bit more chicken if im still hungry. that would be a fairly large meat day for me.

i really don’t know if these peoples opinions are off or on, but i figure its a good discussion. and perhaps something i should concern myself over( i should get in the habbit of buying more fish)

what is everyones E-pinions on a body-builder volume of meat intake?healthy? unhealthy?heart attack?

Tell them to shut the hell up. Then steal their meat.

First, fish is meat.

Second, people are full of shit.

[quote]Natural Nate wrote:
Tell them to shut the hell up. Then steal their meat.[/quote]

Seconded.
I have a hard time getting enough protein from meat. And I try to consume almost double the amount as you.

The health concerns are ammonia
is a byproduct of protein digestion and everyones genetics respond slightly different. Otherwise stick to lean cuts of meat and clogged arteries wont be a problem.

Fish is over-rated, just get a ton of mercury free omega 3 pills and pop 10-15 grams a day and there is no need for fish. Most fish is farmed where the fish are eating each others shit (unless from reputable South and North American farms) and ladened with mercury and other chemicals from lakes and the ocean being the dumping ground for shit over the past hundred years.

Chicken and beef should be your staples, try to mix in some wild game and exotic meats into your diet as well though. Some fish every once in a while is fine, but quit stressing over it.

dude as long as your sources are lean tell them to fuck off. If you bodybuild you dont fit the average fat american role. Tell em to fuck off and have another large chicken breast.

I know high school girls that eat that much protein. Far from being unhealthy, they have seen remarkable improvements in their skin and hair (not to mention recovery and performance enhancement).

Healthy, unhealthy, it really matters more what else you eat other than meat. If it is sugar, refined carbs, and bad fats, then let me know, I have death pool selections to make and would be glad to include you. However, if you consume mostly fruits, veggies, healthy fats, and whole grains other than wheat, then make sure I don’t bet on you.

Ask them how their blood profile is from their last physical, show them yours. How is it? Of course they will argue that just because you are healthy in the short term doesn’t mean health in the long term. And this is true, but being unhealthy in the near term is certain disaster in the long run and this most likely describes the people giving you grief.

My ass says you should tell them off, something to the effect of not putting their own eating disorders onto you. Don’t give them validation because that is what they seek and they sure don’t deserve it if they made you feel bad about eating moderate protein.

Sigh.

I read somewhere that the whole “meats and FATS” arguments leading to a plumping problem in the arteries is based on the fact that they researched the Average Joe in America,

Who… Consumes 95% of their fat sources from Saturated, Trans and Hydrogenated Oils.

Its a shame, but they lumped Saturated fat with the baddies. =(

Oh and they also found that eating margarine actually causes heart disease and stuff… As People made a Vain attempt to avoid the “butter… (saturated fats)”.

And i Third the “tell them to fack off” statement, but say “More meat for me… You Pesticide drinking Vegan”.

[quote]invictus1 wrote:

Fish is over-rated, just get a ton of mercury free omega 3 pills and pop 10-15 grams a day and there is no need for fish. Most fish is farmed where the fish are eating each others shit (unless from reputable South and North American farms) and ladened with mercury and other chemicals from lakes and the ocean being the dumping ground for shit over the past hundred years.

Chicken and beef should be your staples, try to mix in some wild game and exotic meats into your diet as well though. Some fish every once in a while is fine, but quit stressing over it. [/quote]

Wild salmon and tuna are the shit. Fish oil is a supplement. It’s meant to supplement a diet that has fish in it. And chicken sucks, go with turkey. Beef is good. So are eggs!

flip the script on them.

answer their questions with questions.

fat office worker: you know that much meat is bad for you

me: Oh really? what are you basing that opinion on?

fat office worker: oh well its been proven by scientific studies. the government guidelines say too much saturated fat is bad.

me: Oh i see…these were the same people that recommended we eat margarine?

fat office worker: oh well science is always evolving

me: i see, so the government tells you to eat 40% of your intake in carbs. Why are you doing atkins?

fat office worker: I find that im healthier and lose weight doing it that way.

me: why do you think I eat so much meat?

fat office worker: ummmmm, i dont know

me: I find that im healthier and lose weight doing it that way.

The other one that was cited above is simply to get your blood work done, show them it, explain that you eat X amount of meat and eggs a week and you are fine.

Ask them to go get their bloodwork done on their bagel, creamcheese and weightwatchers brownie diet.

Ill guarentee they wont get the bloodwork done, because they know deep down it will uncover truths they arent yet ready to confront.

“but…the brownie is specially made…its low in cholesterol…and its less points than an apple…its good for you!”

I might make a website with advice for dealing with ignorant workmates.

and have a page with easy links to articles, studies, and previously published faulty media, governmental and scientific ‘facts’ to act as an aid to those needing a quick way of ‘beating’ a weightwatchedworker.

Too much meat? BLASPHEMY!! lol.

Show up for lunch with a whole rotisserie chicken and see what they do.

And who has the better body composition, energy, and overall health? You, or “some people”? Who is seeing improvements in all of the above more and more?

[quote]wfifer wrote:
invictus1 wrote:

Fish is over-rated, just get a ton of mercury free omega 3 pills and pop 10-15 grams a day and there is no need for fish. Most fish is farmed where the fish are eating each others shit (unless from reputable South and North American farms) and ladened with mercury and other chemicals from lakes and the ocean being the dumping ground for shit over the past hundred years.

Chicken and beef should be your staples, try to mix in some wild game and exotic meats into your diet as well though. Some fish every once in a while is fine, but quit stressing over it.

Wild salmon and tuna are the shit. Fish oil is a supplement. And chicken sucks, go with turkey.
[/quote]

are you retarded? seriously!

[quote]invictus1 wrote:
Natural Nate wrote:

Fish is over-rated, just get a ton of mercury free omega 3 pills and pop 10-15 grams a day and there is no need for fish. Most fish is farmed where the fish are eating each others shit (unless from reputable South and North American farms) and ladened with mercury and other chemicals from lakes and the ocean being the dumping ground for shit over the past hundred years.
[/quote]

and you too, are you retarded? seriously!

WTH is wrong with you people.

fish is over-rated, chicken is worthless, unbelievable

[quote]wfifer wrote:
Wild salmon and tuna are the shit. [/quote]

Yes, particularly if you have aspirations of being a thermometer. Eat as much meat as you like. Limit intake of fish, ESPECIALLY TUNA, due to mercury. Best to eat smaller fish, like sardines, etc.

I know, I know…it is so easy to just open up a can of Charlie Tuna and wolf it down, but it’s loaded with mercury.

hah yes i figured the responses may be something like this. yes its true that the people who tell me these things are lazy, out of shape and consider bagels to healthy food. but i figured i should at least look into these matters rather then saying, im a bodybuilder, FUCK IT

[quote]entheogens wrote:
wfifer wrote:
Wild salmon and tuna are the shit.

Yes, particularly if you have aspirations of being a thermometer. Eat as much meat as you like. Limit intake of fish, ESPECIALLY TUNA, due to mercury. Best to eat smaller fish, like sardines, etc.

I know, I know…it is so easy to just open up a can of Charlie Tuna and wolf it down, but it’s loaded with mercury.

[/quote]

a lot of people are dropping dead from eating too much tuna, yeah ok.

I believe the recommended allowance for canned tuna is no more than 1 can a day, I doubt many people will have that problem.

I know I’m not a pro, but reading this is definitely useful…check it out.

The Naked Truth: Mercury & Tuna
by Mike Roussell

How much tuna can you eat without suffering from mercury poisoning? Is one kind of tuna better than the other? What about tuna steaks?
Lots of questions, but nobody has any real answers. It’s all hearsay… until now. Testosterone Nation has been crushing nutrition and training myths for years. Now it’s time to examine the tuna/mercury controversy and finally reveal the naked truth!

Turning Away From Tuna

As an undergraduate working toward a B.S. in chemistry, I spent two years slaving in a lab doing organic synthesis. The combination of being in college and working in a lab meant that both money and time were tight. So like many powerbuilders before me, I turned to canned tuna and MRPs to provide the bulk of my protein intake.
With a long shelf life and a cost of about 50 cents a can for chunk lite tuna, how could I go wrong? I use to keep my lab desk drawers stocked full of chunk light tuna. (Who needs file folders? I needed protein!) I’d regularly eat three cans a day.

But then some of my fellow researchers started giving me a hard time, saying that I was poisoning myself because tuna was loaded with mercury. They printed off charts and diagrams saying how I should only eat one or two cans of tuna per week. At first I blew them off. What did they know? After all, they thought the USDA food pyramid was the way to good health!
But then I got scared. Mercury poisoning could lead to brain damage! And I had no real way of proving them wrong at the time. So I swore off tuna. Other than the occasional can when I was in a pinch, I didn’t eat tuna for three years.

Heavy Metal

Before we dive into the debate, a little background on mercury is necessary. Mercury, like zinc, iron, and lead, is a heavy metal. But unlike zinc and iron, lead and mercury have no useful function in the human body and can adversely affect the brain and kidneys.

Where Does It Go?

Once in the body, mercury has a half-life of around three days in the bloodstream and a 90-day half-life in other tissues (e.g. brain, kidneys, etc). When you ingest mercury (via your daily can of tuna), it gets readily absorbed by the small intestine and shipped to the liver where it forms a complex with glutathione. From there, the mercury has two fates �?? bile or blood. It can get incorporated in bile and excreted back into the intestines where it can be either reabsorbed or excreted in your feces.
The other fate for the mecury-glutatione complex is the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, mercury readily travels to the kidneys or the brain. In the kidneys it can get filtered and excreted in the urine or stored. The kidneys contain a protein called metallothionein that binds mercury and stores it in a nontoxic form.
As long as the dosage of mercury doesn’t overwhelm the system, the kidneys will do a good job of synthesizing metallothionein and binding mercury as needed. If it finds its way to the brain, it gets transferred across the blood-brain barrier and stored. The storage option is the one that leads to mercury toxicity, causing damage to the brain or kidneys.

Mercury Messes with your Mind

Can excess tuna ingestion drive you crazy? Well, neurological problems and “symptoms of madness” are classic signs of methylmercury toxicity. The brain is pretty picky about what it lets across the blood-brain barrier, but mercury has found a loophole to get through and drive you nuts (literally).
Methylmercury can bind to cysteine, and to the brain this methylmercury-cysteine looks like methionine (essentially methylated cysteine). So methylmercury sneaks across the blood-brain barrier disguised as an amino acid.
Luckily, the transport of this methylmercury-cysteine complex is inhibited by methionine, phenylalanine, leucine, and other large neutral amino acids (Clarkson, 1990). Having this transport inhibited by certain amino acids could possibly mean that a high protein diet (and the protein found in tuna fish) will help prevent the transport of methylmercury into the brain.

Let’s Talk Tuna

Now that we’ve laid the foundation for understanding mercury and methylmercury, let’s look at its relationship to tuna and tuna consumption. Fortunately for us, canned tuna fish has less mercury than tuna steaks, and chunk light canned tuna has less mercury than chunk white canned tuna. This works out well for the financially conscious because at around 50 cents a can, chunk light is the cheapest form of tuna around.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of contradictory information floating around about tuna consumption. In their report, “Toxicological Profile for Mercury,” the CDC states the following:

“No consumption advice is necessary for the top ten seafood species that make up about 80% of the seafood sold in the United States: canned tuna, shrimp, pollock, salmon, cod, catfish, clams, flatfish, crabs, and scallops. The methylmercury in these species is generally less than 0.2 ppm, and few people eat more than the suggested weekly limit of fish (2.2 pounds).”

(Note: 2.2 pounds of fish is almost six cans of tuna.)

Later on in the report, the CDC states that a person can chronically (for about 365 days) ingest .0003mg/kg of mercury per day with “no observed adverse effect.” For a 200-pound man this would be a little over one can of chunk light tuna each day.
But the Environmental Working Group has a Tuna Calculator where you enter your weight and they tell you (according to the FDA) how many cans of tuna you can eat each week. Their calculations state that a 200-pound man can eat three cans of chunk light tuna per week. That’s three to five cans less that the CDC says you can eat.
There’s one more study that’s important for answering the mercury/tuna question. Sherlock et al. (1984) found that after a year of consuming fish containing mercury, the subjects’ bodies reached a steady state (mercury saturation). Chronic exposure of mercury after that point didn’t lead to any great accumulation of mercury.
This study suggests that chronic ingestion of fish containing mercury won’t lead to an overabundance of mercury in the body. The body has a fixed capacity for mercury storage that’s typically maxed-out after one year (anything after that will just get excreted). This is supported by two other studies that have shown that the urinary excretion of mercury can be increased by up to 53% during chronic mercury exposure (Cherian et al. 1978; Hursh et al. 1976).
In the end, I think we should side with the CDC. Their report on mercury was over 650 pages and quite impressive. The FDA has spent a lot of time monitoring the levels of mercury in foods but they’ve failed (in my opinion) to look at the data and research on the effects of chronic consumption of fish containing mercury. After you read the book Food Politics by Marion Nestle, you won’t be too quick to trust the FDA (or the USDA for that matter).

Preventing Mercury Toxicity �?? Playing It Safe

Even with the science in our favor, I think it’s important to look at some ways that we can help our bodies deal with chronic consumption of mercury. Despite what countless ads would like you to believe, EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) isn’t a very good chelator of mercury (mercury is about the only heavy metal EDTA won’t chelate) and thus won’t do much for the excess mercury in your system.

EDTA supplements: don’t buy them if excess mercury is your concern!

Selenium has been shown in various animal models to prevent the toxic effects of methylmercury (Ganther et al., 1972; Iwata et al., 1973) and even increase the inorganic-to-methyl mercury ratio in tissues (Komsta-Szumska & Miller, 1984; Brzeznicka & Chmielnicka, 1985). But unfortunately, selenium has also been shown to increase the methylmercury concentration in the brain, which is just about the worst thing it could do (Magos & Webb, 1977; Brzeznicka & Chmielnicka 1985).
Since methylmercury binds and potentially depletes glutathione stores in the liver, it would be a good idea for heavy tuna eaters to supplement with N-acetylcystine (a glutathione precursor) to insure that the liver maintains optimal antioxidant ability. Dr. Ryan Smith recommends 1500mg a day. This is a good recommendation and should be followed by heavy tuna eaters.

1500mg a day of NAC might be a good idea for those who eat a ton of tuna.

As stated at the beginning of the article, the kidneys can do a good job of removing toxic mercury from the body and storing it in a safer form. The key isn’t to overwhelm your system. Don’t decide one day that you’re going to add tuna to your diet and start eating a couple of cans a day. Increase you tuna intake over the course of several weeks so that your kidneys can adjust and produce metallonthionein accordingly.

Take Home Messages

In summary:

�?� The science shows that there’s no reason bodybuilders should cut tuna out of their diets due to the current mercury scare.
�?� One can of chunk lite a day is a reasonable and safe intake for a 200-pound man without risking any health problems.
�?� If you want to eat more tuna now, make sure to increase your consumption over the course of several weeks so your kidneys can adjust.
�?� Adding 1.5 grams of NAC to your diet is a good idea if you eat a lot of tuna. This will help keep your glutathione stores full and your liver healthy.

In short, don’t worry too much about tuna consumption. If you are worried, play it safe and adopt the recommendations above.

this should help a bit.

The Naked Truth: Mercury & Tuna
by Mike Roussell

How much tuna can you eat without suffering from mercury poisoning? Is one kind of tuna better than the other? What about tuna steaks?
Lots of questions, but nobody has any real answers. It’s all hearsay… until now. Testosterone Nation has been crushing nutrition and training myths for years. Now it’s time to examine the tuna/mercury controversy and finally reveal the naked truth!

Turning Away From Tuna

As an undergraduate working toward a B.S. in chemistry, I spent two years slaving in a lab doing organic synthesis. The combination of being in college and working in a lab meant that both money and time were tight. So like many powerbuilders before me, I turned to canned tuna and MRPs to provide the bulk of my protein intake.
With a long shelf life and a cost of about 50 cents a can for chunk lite tuna, how could I go wrong? I use to keep my lab desk drawers stocked full of chunk light tuna. (Who needs file folders? I needed protein!) I’d regularly eat three cans a day.

But then some of my fellow researchers started giving me a hard time, saying that I was poisoning myself because tuna was loaded with mercury. They printed off charts and diagrams saying how I should only eat one or two cans of tuna per week. At first I blew them off. What did they know? After all, they thought the USDA food pyramid was the way to good health!
But then I got scared. Mercury poisoning could lead to brain damage! And I had no real way of proving them wrong at the time. So I swore off tuna. Other than the occasional can when I was in a pinch, I didn’t eat tuna for three years.

Heavy Metal

Before we dive into the debate, a little background on mercury is necessary. Mercury, like zinc, iron, and lead, is a heavy metal. But unlike zinc and iron, lead and mercury have no useful function in the human body and can adversely affect the brain and kidneys.

Where Does It Go?

Once in the body, mercury has a half-life of around three days in the bloodstream and a 90-day half-life in other tissues (e.g. brain, kidneys, etc). When you ingest mercury (via your daily can of tuna), it gets readily absorbed by the small intestine and shipped to the liver where it forms a complex with glutathione. From there, the mercury has two fates �?? bile or blood. It can get incorporated in bile and excreted back into the intestines where it can be either reabsorbed or excreted in your feces.
The other fate for the mecury-glutatione complex is the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream, mercury readily travels to the kidneys or the brain. In the kidneys it can get filtered and excreted in the urine or stored. The kidneys contain a protein called metallothionein that binds mercury and stores it in a nontoxic form.
As long as the dosage of mercury doesn’t overwhelm the system, the kidneys will do a good job of synthesizing metallothionein and binding mercury as needed. If it finds its way to the brain, it gets transferred across the blood-brain barrier and stored. The storage option is the one that leads to mercury toxicity, causing damage to the brain or kidneys.

Mercury Messes with your Mind

Can excess tuna ingestion drive you crazy? Well, neurological problems and “symptoms of madness” are classic signs of methylmercury toxicity. The brain is pretty picky about what it lets across the blood-brain barrier, but mercury has found a loophole to get through and drive you nuts (literally).
Methylmercury can bind to cysteine, and to the brain this methylmercury-cysteine looks like methionine (essentially methylated cysteine). So methylmercury sneaks across the blood-brain barrier disguised as an amino acid.
Luckily, the transport of this methylmercury-cysteine complex is inhibited by methionine, phenylalanine, leucine, and other large neutral amino acids (Clarkson, 1990). Having this transport inhibited by certain amino acids could possibly mean that a high protein diet (and the protein found in tuna fish) will help prevent the transport of methylmercury into the brain.

Let’s Talk Tuna

Now that we’ve laid the foundation for understanding mercury and methylmercury, let’s look at its relationship to tuna and tuna consumption. Fortunately for us, canned tuna fish has less mercury than tuna steaks, and chunk light canned tuna has less mercury than chunk white canned tuna. This works out well for the financially conscious because at around 50 cents a can, chunk light is the cheapest form of tuna around.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of contradictory information floating around about tuna consumption. In their report, “Toxicological Profile for Mercury,” the CDC states the following:

“No consumption advice is necessary for the top ten seafood species that make up about 80% of the seafood sold in the United States: canned tuna, shrimp, pollock, salmon, cod, catfish, clams, flatfish, crabs, and scallops. The methylmercury in these species is generally less than 0.2 ppm, and few people eat more than the suggested weekly limit of fish (2.2 pounds).”

(Note: 2.2 pounds of fish is almost six cans of tuna.)

Later on in the report, the CDC states that a person can chronically (for about 365 days) ingest .0003mg/kg of mercury per day with “no observed adverse effect.” For a 200-pound man this would be a little over one can of chunk light tuna each day.
But the Environmental Working Group has a Tuna Calculator where you enter your weight and they tell you (according to the FDA) how many cans of tuna you can eat each week. Their calculations state that a 200-pound man can eat three cans of chunk light tuna per week. That’s three to five cans less that the CDC says you can eat.
There’s one more study that’s important for answering the mercury/tuna question. Sherlock et al. (1984) found that after a year of consuming fish containing mercury, the subjects’ bodies reached a steady state (mercury saturation). Chronic exposure of mercury after that point didn’t lead to any great accumulation of mercury.
This study suggests that chronic ingestion of fish containing mercury won’t lead to an overabundance of mercury in the body. The body has a fixed capacity for mercury storage that’s typically maxed-out after one year (anything after that will just get excreted). This is supported by two other studies that have shown that the urinary excretion of mercury can be increased by up to 53% during chronic mercury exposure (Cherian et al. 1978; Hursh et al. 1976).
In the end, I think we should side with the CDC. Their report on mercury was over 650 pages and quite impressive. The FDA has spent a lot of time monitoring the levels of mercury in foods but they’ve failed (in my opinion) to look at the data and research on the effects of chronic consumption of fish containing mercury. After you read the book Food Politics by Marion Nestle, you won’t be too quick to trust the FDA (or the USDA for that matter).

Preventing Mercury Toxicity �?? Playing It Safe

Even with the science in our favor, I think it’s important to look at some ways that we can help our bodies deal with chronic consumption of mercury. Despite what countless ads would like you to believe, EDTA (ethylene diamine tetraacetic acid) isn’t a very good chelator of mercury (mercury is about the only heavy metal EDTA won’t chelate) and thus won’t do much for the excess mercury in your system.

EDTA supplements: don’t buy them if excess mercury is your concern!

Selenium has been shown in various animal models to prevent the toxic effects of methylmercury (Ganther et al., 1972; Iwata et al., 1973) and even increase the inorganic-to-methyl mercury ratio in tissues (Komsta-Szumska & Miller, 1984; Brzeznicka & Chmielnicka, 1985). But unfortunately, selenium has also been shown to increase the methylmercury concentration in the brain, which is just about the worst thing it could do (Magos & Webb, 1977; Brzeznicka & Chmielnicka 1985).
Since methylmercury binds and potentially depletes glutathione stores in the liver, it would be a good idea for heavy tuna eaters to supplement with N-acetylcystine (a glutathione precursor) to insure that the liver maintains optimal antioxidant ability. Dr. Ryan Smith recommends 1500mg a day. This is a good recommendation and should be followed by heavy tuna eaters.

1500mg a day of NAC might be a good idea for those who eat a ton of tuna.

As stated at the beginning of the article, the kidneys can do a good job of removing toxic mercury from the body and storing it in a safer form. The key isn’t to overwhelm your system. Don’t decide one day that you’re going to add tuna to your diet and start eating a couple of cans a day. Increase you tuna intake over the course of several weeks so that your kidneys can adjust and produce metallonthionein accordingly.

Take Home Messages

In summary:

�?� The science shows that there’s no reason bodybuilders should cut tuna out of their diets due to the current mercury scare.
�?� One can of chunk lite a day is a reasonable and safe intake for a 200-pound man without risking any health problems.
�?� If you want to eat more tuna now, make sure to increase your consumption over the course of several weeks so your kidneys can adjust.
�?� Adding 1.5 grams of NAC to your diet is a good idea if you eat a lot of tuna. This will help keep your glutathione stores full and your liver healthy.

In short, don’t worry too much about tuna consumption. If you are worried, play it safe and adopt the recommendations above.