Red and processed meat increase the risk of heart attack

Recent findings confirm that eating red and processed meat is harmful to health. People who have it regularly on their diet are more likely to have a heart attack, and there is an increased risk of dying from other diseases, especially cancer.

New large-scale research has (again) linked red and processed meat to higher heart disease and (premature) death. Eating just two meals of red meat, processed meat and – surprisingly, poultry, increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease by 7 percent. People who swear by red and processed meat are also 3 percent more likely to die from chronic diseases.

Controversial post from last fall: Processed meat is not harmful

Following the publication of a controversial study last November that the dietary pursuit of red and processed meat is unjustified and that people do not have to change their eating habits, a new study yields different results. It is by no means true that frequent consumption of red and processed meat is not harmful to health, say its authors from Cornell University and Northwestern University Medical Hospital.

Two portions a week are enough for health problems

Their findings show that eating two servings of red meat, processed meat or poultry a week increases the incidence of cardiovascular disease by 7 percent. But that’s not all. Lovers of red and processed meat also die 3 percent more often, and their lifespan is even up to 10 years shorter than expected. This does not apply to this fish.

The survey covered more than 29,000 people

The researchers conducted a meta-analysis of six large population-based surveys involving more than 29,000 people. They have been monitoring their eating habits and the incidence of chronic diseases (including cancer and cardiovascular disease) for almost three decades.

The mean age of participants at study entry was 53.7 years. The share of men was 44.4 percent. About a third of those included (30.7 percent) were non-white. Information on how they eat was communicated by the participants themselves. They helped themselves to a list of foods on which to label what they ate for each month. The researchers compared the data collected with the data on the disease obtained from their medical records.

Surprisingly, poultry is also on the list

Surprisingly, poultry is also on the list of “negative” foods, although until recently it was considered that the disease was not affected in general. It turns out that two meals of poultry a week increase the incidence of cardiovascular disease by 4 percent.

The authors of the study point out that the effect is related to the way poultry is prepared (especially by eating the skin), but not to the place as such. The evidence gathered so far is also not enough to make recommendations to limit poultry intake, they say.

It should also be pointed out that this is only one study and that much more should be done to definitively confirm the link between poultry and cardiovascular disease.

Red meat and colon and rectal cancer

“These are small differences, but it is still worth trying to reduce the intake of red and processed meat (for example, in pre-prepared meat meals). Red meat has also been shown to be linked to other health problems, especially colon and rectal cancer, says the study’s lead author, Dr. Norrina Allen, Associate Professor of Preventive Medicine at Northwestern University.

Colon and rectal cancer is also a typical representative of cancers that are solely due to lifestyle and can be prevented.

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