Red Meat May Cause Kidney Disease

A new study found that people who ate red meat were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease.

A new study found that people who ate red meat were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease.

Chronic kidney disease is serious business. We need our kidneys to live. Without healthy kidneys, waste builds up in our bodies, and that’s bad news. Left untreated, your kidneys can fail, which can be fatal.

Related: Protein & Cancer: The Facts We Can’t Ignore

A new study found that people who ate red meat were more likely to develop chronic kidney disease. The red meat and kidney disease study, published in Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, looked at Chinese adults aged 45-74, following participants for an average of 15.5 years. They were looking specifically at participants’ protein sources, and they found that dropping a single serving of red meat reduced the risk of kidney disease by as much as 62 percent.

They defined red meat in this study as meat from cows and pigs. The study also found that eating soy and legumes had protective effects on kidney health.

Related: Soy – Devil Fruit or Bean? (hint: bean)

Lead researcher, Dr.Woon-Puay Koh, said in a press release, “Our findings suggest that these individuals can still maintain protein intake but consider switching to plant-based sources; however, if they still choose to eat meat, fish/shellfish and poultry are better alternatives to red meat.”

The good news is that eating more plant-based protein to protect your kidneys also benefits your overall health. As Andrea pointed out at our sister site, Vibrant Wellness Journal, “Each meal featuring animal foods leads to temporary inflammation, but if every meal contains animal foods we face chronic inflammation which can damage our cardiovascular system, but also our lungs and brains.” A plant-based diet is also high in fiber, which most of us don’t get enough of each day.

If you’re ready to cut out red meat for better kidney health, here are some helpful resources to help you eat more plants without feeling deprived in the protein or the taste department!

+ Eating Vegan: Where do you get your protein?

Protein Ninja Answers the #1 Vegan Food Question for Good

+ 20 Best Bean Recipes

+ Vegan Protein Sources + Delicious Recipes

+ How to Eat Vegan Without Feeling Deprived

Image Credits: Burger and Meat images via Shutterstock.

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About the Author

My name is Becky Striepe (rhymes with “sleepy”), and I am a crafts and food writer from Atlanta, Georgia with a passion for making our planet a healthier, happier, and more compassionate place to live. My mission is to make vegan food and crafts accessible to everyone!. If you like my work, you can also find me on Twitter, Facebook, and .