Poultry as bad as red meats for cholesterol

Henrietta Strickland
June 7, 2019

Researchers were surprised to find that white meat and red meat were equally bad in terms of blood cholesterol levels, reports US News & World Report. Volunteers were allocated to red meat, white meat or non-meat protein diets consumed for four weeks each in random order.

After tracking how red meat, white meat and plant protein all impacted cholesterol levels, Krauss and his team determined that both red and white meat prompted higher blood cholesterol levels than diets containing an equivalent amount of plant protein.

Often associated with contributing to "bad" cholesterol levels, red meat consumption is generally recommended in moderation, while white meat, which is generally leaner, is usually considered a healthier alternative. However, the study suggests that this may not be the case. "So the result can be viewed as indicating either a cholesterol raising effect of both meats, or a cholesterol lowering effect of plant foods, or both", lead author Ronald Krauss told Newsweek. The study also found that plant proteins were the healthiest for blood cholesterol.

During the last few decades, red meat's association with increased heart disease made it an unpopular choice for many. The analysis is reportedly the first to comprehensively compare the impact that red and white meat have on cholesterol.

The researchers say eating proteins from dairy, legumes and vegetables provide the best cholesterol benefit.

Funding: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Their expertise covers virtually all pediatric conditions, including cancer, heart disease, neurological disorders, pulmonology, diabetes and endocrinology, as well as the care of critically ill newborns, in the Bay Area, California and beyond.

Kitchin's research interests include patient education and health behavior.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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