New study: Red meat increases heart disease risk

A new study has once again found that diets heavy in red meat consumption carry an heart disease risk.

Research published in JAMA Internal Medicine showed that people who had the highest intakes of red meat, processed meat and poultry had a small but increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Analysis was done on data from a diverse group of thousands of people who had been followed for three decades.

The new study reinforces the recommendation that fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, fish, nuts and seeds should be prioritized. While intake of red and processed meats, refined grains, fried foods and sugar-sweetened beverages should all be reduced.

Experts concluded that eating two servings of red meat was linked to a 4-7% higher risk of developing heart disease. A higher meat intake also led to a higher risk.

“When you eat a diet that is rich in processed and refined foods, it collectively contributes to increased risk of disease and denies you the benefits of the fiber, vitamins, minerals and plant-based proteins that contribute to health,” Dr. Linda Van Horn, one of the authors of the new study, was reported by the New York Times as saying.

While some people might scoff at a ‘small but increased risk’, warnings around heart disease shouldn’t be ignored.

“I would say that even though it seems to be a small amount of risk, any excess risk for something as major as heart disease and mortality is worth considering,” added Norrina Allen, a senior author of the study.

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