Red And Processed Meat May Be Linked To Higher Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease, Says Study

The analysis finds that eating two servings of red meat, processed meat or poultry per week was linked to a 3% to 7% higher risk of heart disease.

Aditi Ahuja  |  Updated: February 05, 2020 15:42 IST

  • Red meat is quite delicious to taste, but eating it could prove risky
  • A study says that red meat eaters are at a higher risk of heart disease
  • The study also delves into consumption of fish and poultry

Dishes that contain red meats such as lamb and pork or processed meat are delicious to taste and cannot be had enough of. There are so many delightful recipes, both Indian and continental, that incorporate the juicy meat as a delectable ingredient. The health benefits of eating red meat are manifold, but a recent study shows that eating too much of it may prove to be more harmful than beneficial. The analysis, published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine, finds that eating two servings of red meat, processed meat or poultry per week was linked to a 3% to 7% higher risk of cardiovascular disease.

The study was conducted by the U.S. based researchers, who followed 30,000 people for up to a period of three decades. They found a significant risk of death linked to eating processed meat or unprocessed red meat each week. This follows up with the World Health Organisation's (WHO) classification of red meat as cancer-causing and processed meat as carcinogenic.

(Also Read: Swap Red Meat For White Meat To Reduce Dietary Carbon Footprint: Study)

tij2b6nRed meat is known to increase risk of heart disease among regular consumers. 

"It's a small difference, but it's worth trying to reduce red meat and processed meat like pepperoni, bologna and deli meats. Red meat consumption also is consistently linked to other health problems like cancer," said professor and study's senior author Norrina Allen, Northwestern University in the US.

That's not all; even people who consume two servings of poultry per week are at a 4% higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The researchers are yet to make a clear recommendation about this, as the evidence is not enough as of now. Further, the difference is in how the chicken is cooked and not the chicken meat itself.

(Also Read: Is Chicken Good Or Bad For You? And How Much You Should Consume)

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5f6fg0l8Poultry meat eaters are at risk too, but the evidence is not confirmed yet. 

Another lead author of the same study, Victor Zhong, said that the link to cardiovascular disease and mortality was robust. "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," elaborated Zhong.

However, not all is lost for people who like to consume meat. The study finds a positive outcome too - the fact that there is no link between cardiovascular disease and eating fish. So keep this in mind next time you wish to eat processed meat or poultry!


About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.

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