According to a recent study, consuming red meat and poultry or white meat have equal effects on blood cholesterol levels. The study comes as a surprise for many. Until now, white meat has been touted a safer alternative for managing cholesterol. The findings, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, revealed that restricting consumption of meat altogether, whether red or white, is more advisable for lowering blood cholesterol levels.
Eating high amount of red meat or white poultry resulted in higher blood cholesterol levels than consuming a comparable amount of plant proteins, revealed the study.
"When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat. But we were surprised that this was not the case -- their effects on cholesterol levels are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent," said the study lead author Ronald Krauss, Professor at University of California in the US.
It must be noted that the study did not include grass-fed beef or processed products like bacon or sausage; nor did it include fish. The scientists also said that plant proteins were the healthiest for blood cholesterol.
Consumption of red meat came under scanner due to its association with increased heart disease. Government dietary guidelines have encouraged consumption of poultry as a healthier alternative to red meat.
But there had been no comprehensive comparison of the effects of red meat, white meat and non-meat proteins on blood cholesterol until now, Krauss said. Non-meat proteins like vegetables, dairy, and legumes such as beans, show the best cholesterol benefit, he said.