HEALTH

Red meat consumption leads to greater heart attack, cancer deaths, Harvard study says

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Eating red meat is linked to greater risks of heart attacks and cancer deaths, according to a Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) study released Monday.

Red meat consumption leads to greater heart attack, cancer deaths, Harvard study says

The study, which spanned over 22 years, showed that switching red meats out by healthier sources of protein, (fish, nuts, and poultry) would lower the mortality risk.

“Our study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers in other studies,” An Pan, who is the lead author of the report, said. Pan is a research fellow in the Department of Nutrition at Harvard.

The study observed 37,698 men from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study for up to 22 years and 83,644 women in the Nurses’ Health Study for up to 28 years. The participants did not have any incidents of cardiovascular disease or cancer when entering the study. Diets were tracked every four years by the researchers.

A total of 23,926 deaths were logged in the two studies: 5,910 were cardiovascular deaths, 9,464 were from cancer.

The consumption of red meat, particularly processed, was linked with an increased risk of mortality. One daily serving of unprocessed red meat was associated with a 13 percent increased risk of mortality, and one daily serving of processed red meat (ie. one hot dog) was linked to a 20 percent increased risk.

The study reported that replacing just one serving of red meat with a healthy protein will make a difference. A switch from red meat to fish will lead to a seven percent decreased mortality risk, 14 percent for poultry, ten percent for low-fat dairy products, and 14 percent for whole grains.

The researchers found that an estimated 9.3 percent of deaths in men and 7.6 percent in women could have been prevented if the participants had eaten half the amount of red meat daily.

But here's a list of some heart-healthy foods:

1) Oatmeal
2) Salmon
3) Avocado
4) Olive Oil
5) Nuts
6) Berries
7) Legumes
8) Spinach
9) Flaxseed
10) Soy

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