For the longest time, the consumption of red meat has been a heated topic for debate especially in terms of its effects on cardiovascular health. While last year a study claimed that it wasn't necessary for people to change their diets when it came to consuming red meat and processed meat, a new, more carefully analysed study has found that eating red meat and processed meat could be associated with a higher risk of developing heart disease.
The study was able to find that consuming red meat and processed meat while avoiding consuming fish altogether per week was associated with a 3-7% higher chance of cardiovascular disease. And just eating two servings of red meat or processed meat (not poultry and fish) per week was associated with a 3% higher risk of dying from any other cause.
"It's a small difference, but it's worth trying to reduce red meat and processed meat like pepperoni, bologna and deli meats," said senior study author Norrina Allen, associate professor of preventive medicine. Red meat consumption also is consistently linked to other health problems like cancer."
"Modifying intake of these animal protein foods may be an important strategy to help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and premature death at a population level," said lead study author Victor Zhong, assistant professor of nutritional sciences. "Everyone interpreted that it was OK to eat red meat, but I don't think that is what the science supports," Allen said. "Our study shows the link to cardiovascular disease and mortality was robust," Zhong said.
"Fish, seafood and plant-based sources of protein such as nuts and legumes, including beans and peas, are excellent alternatives to meat and are under-consumed in the U.S.," said study co-author Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine. And while it the association between poultry intake and cardiovascular disease is not all that prominent, the researchers do say that consuming foods like fried chicken on a regular basis isn't ideal.
Well, if you're someone who consumes red meat on a rather regular basis then maybe it's time you reconsider your dietary choices and start making some changes. And remember, no matter what you choose to eat, the key is to eat in moderation. Stay tuned for more updates.