Red meat? White meat? Study says it really doesn't matter

Modesto Morganelli
Giugno 7, 2019

Prior to this study, it was commonly believed that the high levels of saturated fat found in red meat, as opposed to poultry products, raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol, leading to build-up in human arteries that can cause heart disease. By contrast, a diet of plant proteins was the clear victor in this regard. Volunteers were allocated to red meat, white meat or non-meat protein diets consumed for four weeks each in random order.

The bottom line is red and white meats are equal in dietary terms - lean poultry is the same as lean beef when it comes to cholesterol.

In the last few decades the consumption of red meat in Western countries has declined due to concerns regarding its Association with risk of cardiovascular disease.

After tracking how red meat, white meat and plant protein all impacted cholesterol levels, Krauss and his team determined that both red and white meat prompted higher blood cholesterol levels than diets containing an equivalent amount of plant protein.

Conventional wisdom says to eat white meat and shun the red.

But neither is as good as cutting out meat altogether and eating plant-based proteins instead, the study found.

"Our results indicate that current advice to restrict red meat and not white meat should not be based only on their effects on blood cholesterol", Krauss said. According to the authors of the study, vegetables, dairy products and legumes are more effective in controlling the level of cholesterol.

Sayer has conducted randomized clinical trials to investigate the impact of red meat consumption on cardiometabolic health and weight loss in adults with obesity. The hospitals are affiliated with University of California, San Francisco, whose schools of Medicine, Pharmacy, Dentistry and Nursing are among the nation's leaders in graduate-level health science education, as well as research grants from the National Institutes of Health.

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