Food SectorMeat & Poultry

Eating red meat and processed meat hikes heart disease and death risk

Processed meats

Eating two servings of red meat, processed meat or poultry — but not fish — per week was linked to a 3 to 7% higher risk of cardiovascular disease, the study found. Eating two servings of red meat or processed meat — but not poultry or fish — per week was associated with a 3% higher risk of all causes of death.

“It’s a small difference, but it’s worth trying to reduce red meat and processed meat like pepperoni, bologna and deli meats,” said senior study author Norrina Allen, associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Red meat consumption also is consistently linked to other health problems like cancer.”

“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,” said lead study author Victor Zhong, assistant professor of nutritional sciences at Cornell, who did the research when he was a postdoctoral fellow in Allen’s lab.

The paper will be published Feb. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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