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If there is one thing that has taught us the past year, it is that people like to argue about meat. There have been documentaries and social media crusades claiming that it is good, that it is bad, and everything in between – all relying on studies that come to different conclusions. In our podcast, M & F Reps, we even had experts report on it. However, a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association claims to have significant evidence that red meat and processed meat are associated with a higher risk of heart disease and death.
In the same way, it is difficult to sift through all the studies on eggs or coffee. Finding out if meat is bad for you is not an easy task. New studies are constantly coming out, and some have received serious attention.
This latest study, by Northwestern Medicine and Cornell University, pooled information from 29,682 American adults in six different studies and found that people who ate two servings of processed meat, unprocessed red meat, or poultry a week were at higher risk of developing heart disease. The first two were also associated with all-cause mortality, whereas this was not the case with poultry. Fish was not associated with either result.
Overall, the difference is not overwhelming: eating two servings of red meat and processed meat each week was 3 to 7 percent more likely to develop heart disease and premature death, while eating poultry was 4 percent more likely of cardiovascular diseases. According to this special study, the fish is clear.
"It's a small difference, but it's worth trying to cut down on red meat and processed meats like hot peppers, bologna, and delicacies," said Norrina Allen, associate professor of preventive medicine at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in a press release , "Eating red meat is also consistently linked to other health problems, such as cancer."
That doesn't mean you should avoid red meat at all costs, but you may want to try adding more fish and pant-based protein to your diet.
"Fish, seafood, and vegetable protein sources such as nuts and legumes, including beans and peas, are excellent alternatives to meat and are under-consumed in the United States," said Linda Van Horn, professor of preventive medicine at Feinberg and a member of the U.S. Food Policy Advisory Committee , suggested.[RELATED1] [RELATED2] [RELATED3]