Replacing red meat with plant-based foods may reduce the risk of heart disease, according to a new study.
Replacing red meat with high-quality plant foods such as beans, nuts or soy may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease, according to Science Daily. Substituting cereals and dairy products for red meat and eggs for processed red meat may also play a role in reducing this risk.
Significant evidence suggests that high consumption of red meat, especially processed red meat such as bacon, hot dogs, sausages and salami, is associated with an increased risk of death and chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease.
In this study, a team of American researchers examined the relationship between processed and unprocessed red meat and the risk of coronary heart disease, and estimated the effects of substituting other protein sources for red meat with the risk of the disease. Their findings are based on data from 43,272 American men with an average age of 53 who did not have cardiovascular disease or cancer at the time of enrollment.
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Participants completed a detailed diet questionnaire in 1986 and every four years thereafter until 2016, providing information about their medical history and lifestyle. Participants’ medical records were used to track coronary heart disease over this 30-year period. During this period, 4,456 cases of coronary heart disease were registered, of which 1,860 people lost their lives.
Replacing red meat with fish has nothing to do with the risk of coronary heart disease, but researchers say it could be due to the cooking method, which is frying.
This is an observational study, so researchers cannot rule out the possibility that other unmeasured factors may influence their results. In addition, study participants were predominantly white, so the findings may not be widely used.
Similarly, researchers say that consuming more processed and unprocessed red meat, independent of other risk factors for dietary and non-dietary cardiovascular disease, is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease.
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They also say that substituting whole grains or dairy products for red meat and substituting eggs for processed red meat is associated with a lower risk of coronary heart disease.
They explain that these findings are consistent with the effects of these foods on low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels and support the health benefits of limiting red meat consumption and replacing it with plant protein sources.
Translator: Elahe Zarei