red meat

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A Systematic Review Found Eating Red Meat May Not Negatively Affect Heart Health

The review looked into short-term effects of red meat on blood pressure and cholesterol
red meat

Billion Photos / Shutterstock

The studies reviewed included all types of red meat but mostly unprocessed beef and pork.

A systematic review conducted by Purdue University suggested that eating red meat in excess may have little to no short-term effects on heart health and heart attack risk factors, which contradicted previous studies suggesting that meat may have a negative influence on certain aspects of health.

Researchers studied 24 randomized controlled trials and analyzed cardiovascular risk factors including blood total cholesterol (TC), LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, triglycerides, ratio of TC to HDL cholesterol, and blood pressure, FoodNavigator-USA reported.

Of the studies in the review, participants under the age of 19 consumed more than half a serving (three ounces) per day of red meat.

Results showed no impact on blood lipids or blood pressure in participants who consumed more than half a serving of red meat per day, concluding that the consumption of red meat has no short-term effects on heart health and heart attack risk factors.

Although there have been recommendations from health experts against eating red meat, Dr. Wayne Campbell, professor of nutrition science at Purdue University, told FoodNavigator-USA that the review does not support that claim.

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“Red meat is a nutrient-rich food, not only as a source for protein but also bioavailable iron,” Campbell said.