Visit Our Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Section ⇒

X
Jump to:  A   |   B   |   C   |   D   |   E   |   F   |   G   |   H   |   I   |   J   |   K   |   L   |   M   |   N   |   O   |   P   |   Q   |   R   |   S   |   T   |   U   |   V   |   W   |   X   |   Y

Meat Still Isn't Healthy, Study Confirms

Meat Still Isn't Healthy, Study Confirms

MONDAY, Feb. 3, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- After a weekend of football-shaped pigs-in-a-blanket, you probably don't want to hear that the latest study on red and processed meat found that these foods boost your risk of heart and blood vessel disease.

The study also found that meat ups your risk of premature death.

"Consume red and processed meats in moderation because even two servings or more a week are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and mortality," said study senior author Norrina Allen, director of the Institute for Public Health and Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

These latest findings might seem to contradict an earlier study -- published in the fall in the Annals of Internal Medicine -- that had meat fans cheering. That study reported researchers couldn't say with certainty that eating red meat or processed meat caused cancer, type 2 diabetes or heart disease.

That study was heralded by many as a green light to eat those foods with abandon. But plenty of studies that came before found links between red and processed meat and health harms. And major health organizations, such as the American Heart Association and American Cancer Society, were quick to recommend against stuffing sausages and other meats back into your diet.

In 2015, a World Health Organization evidence review concluded that processed meats are a proven cancer-causing substance and that red meat probably is, too.

The new research included six prospective studies of nearly 30,000 adults. A prospective trial is one that follows people over time and periodically collects data on their health. In this case, participants were followed for up to 30 years.

The researchers found that those who ate just two servings of processed meats a week had a 7% higher risk of heart disease and stroke. Processed meats include deli meats, hot dogs, bratwurst, sausage and bacon.

Folks who ate two or more servings of unprocessed red meat -- such as beef or pork -- had a 3% higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Poultry also showed a link, but Allen said the finding was inconsistent and would need to be replicated in another study. There was no association with fish and a higher risk of heart disease and stroke.

Eating two or more servings a week of red meat or processed meat was associated with a 3% increased risk of dying during the study. Fish and poultry were not tied to a higher risk of dying.

The more red and processed meats people ate, the greater their risk of heart disease, stroke and premature death, Allen said.

But just how do these foods increase these risks?

Allen pointed to high amounts of saturated fat and sodium as likely culprits. Plus, she said, if you're eating a lot of meat, you're probably not getting enough fruits and vegetables.

Allen said she would "recommend eating red and processed meat in moderation. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains -- they have beneficial effects."

Dr. Jeffrey Mechanick is director of the Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health at Mount Sinai Heart in New York City. He wasn't part of the study, but reviewed the findings.

"This is a respected and reputable group, and this study is coming on the heels of the previous controversial paper," Mechanick said. "These results support what we've commonly believed."

But he said it's important not to fixate on just one aspect of the diet.

"There's no single food that dictates whether a lifestyle is healthy," Mechanick explained. "If you have an overall healthy eating pattern, having bacon with your eggs isn't going to mitigate your health."

Like Allen, he said the focus should be on eating more vegetables and fruits. Mechanick suggested five to 10 servings a day. He added that diet isn't the only important factor in your health: It's also important to get plenty of physical activity and work on reducing your stress levels.

The study was published Feb. 3 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

More information

For more about red meat and health, see the Harvard Medical School.

SOURCES: Norrina Allen, Ph.D., director, Institute for Public Health and Medicine, and associated professor of preventive medicine and pediatrics, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago; Jeffrey Mechanick, M.D., medical director, Marie-Josee and Henry Kravis Center for Cardiovascular Health at Mount Sinai Heart, and director of metabolic support, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Bone Disease at Mount Sinai, New York City; JAMA Internal Medicine, Feb. 3, 2020

Reviewed Date: --

Find a pediatrician
Cardiology
Dr. Rose Cummings
Dr. Alexander Ellis
Dr. Robert Escalera II
Dr. Jonathan Fleenor
Dr. Lopa Hartke
Dr. John Reed
Dr. Elliot Tucker
Dr. Michael Vance
Children's Cardiac Surgery
Dr. James Gangemi
Dr. Philip Smith
Endocrinology/Diabetology
Dr. Eric Gyuricsko
Dr. Nicole Nejedly
Dr. Melinda Penn
Dr. Kent Reifschneider
Dr. Melissa Russell
Dr. Marta Satin-Smith
Neurology
Dr. Sarah Chagnon
Dr. Thomas Enlow
Dr. Ralph Northam
Dr. Crystal Proud
Dr. Svinder Toor
Dr. Ryan Williams
Hematology and Oncology
Dr. Wilson File
Dr. Eric Lowe
Dr. Melissa Mark
Dr. William Owen
Dr. Linda Pegram
Dr. Katherine Watson
Dr. Eric Werner
Health Tips
Lifestyle Changes Can Help Kids Prevent Type 2 Diabetes
Prevention of Heart Disease Starts in Childhood
Recipes
Avocado Tacos / Tacos de aguacate
Beef or Turkey Stew / Carne de res o de pavo guisada
Caribbean Red Snapper / Pargo rojo caribeño
Pozole
Rice with Chicken, Spanish Style / Arroz con pollo
Spanish Omelet / Tortilla española
Tropical Fruits Fantasia/ Fantasía de frutas tropicales
Two Cheese Pizza / Pizza de dos quesos
Quizzes
Diabetes: Test Your Knowledge
Food Quiz
Food Safety Quiz
Heart Health Quiz
Heart Quiz for Women Only
Prevention
Prevention Guidelines for Men 18 to 39
Prevention Guidelines for Women 18 to 39
Prevention Guidelines for Women 40 to 49
Prevention Guidelines for Women 50 to 64
Prevention Guidelines for Women 65+
NewsLetters
10 Questions to Ask After a Heart Disease Diagnosis
5 Differences to Know About Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes
6 Tips for Life as a Cancer Survivor
Been Diagnosed with Cancer? Here’s What to Do
Menu Planning? Try These 5 Heart-Smart Substitutions
Prediabetes on the Rise in Teenagers
Should You Take a Daily Aspirin to Protect Your Heart?
Statin Medicines: Get the Facts, Stat!
Weight-Loss Surgery Is a Helpful Tool, Not the Whole Toolbox
Women, Listen Up: New Warnings About Heart Attack Symptoms
Women: Midlife Isn’t Too Late to Slash Stroke Risk
Diseases & Conditions
About Cancer
Alternative Therapy for Cancer
Anomalous Coronary Artery in Children
Cancer Treatment for Children
Causes of Cancer
Coping with a Diagnosis of Cancer in Children
Diabetes During Pregnancy
Diagnosing Cancer
Diet and Diabetes
Healthy Diets Overview
Home Page - Cardiovascular Disorders
Nutritional Requirements for a Child With Cancer
Overview of Diabetes Mellitus
Pregnancy and Medical Conditions
Pregnancy and Pre-existing Heart Disease
Preschooler Nutrition
School-Aged Child Nutrition
Teens and Diabetes Mellitus
Toddler Nutrition
Type 2 Diabetes in Children

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.