Researchers analyzed data from 36 trials involving more than 1,800 people to learn how different diets affected heart disease risk factors such as blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides and lipoproteins.
They found no significant differences in total cholesterol, lipoproteins or blood pressure between diets with red meat and all other eating regimens. But diets higher in red meat were associated with higher levels of triglycerides.
“It has to be ‘Compared to what?’ If you replace burgers with cookies or fries, you don’t get healthier. But if you replace red meat with healthy plant protein sources, like nuts and beans, you get a health benefit,” Stampfer explained in a school news release.
Lead researcher Marta Guasch-Ferre is a research scientist in the department of nutrition at Harvard. She said while previous studies evaluating the effects of red meat on heart disease risk have been inconsistent, the new study offers clear guidance.
The study was recently published in the journal Circulation.
— Robert Preidt
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SOURCE: Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, news release, April 9, 2019