A newly-published study links red meat consumption to increased mortality from all causes, including cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Results were published online yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Researchers collected data from 37,698 men and 83,644 women, all initially free of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Participants’ information was updated every 4 years, and analyzed to determine the effect of red meat consumption on total, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality risk.
As NPR reports, Harvard nutrition professor and study author Frank Hu calls the statistical findings “staggering.”
“The increased risk is really substantial,” [says Hu]… He found that people who consumed about one serving of red meat (beef, pork or lamb) per day had a 13 percent increased risk of mortality, compared with those who were eating very little meat. And processed meats raised the risk higher, to about a 20 percent increased risk of death from diseases including cancer and heart disease.
Funny, isn’t it, how we never seem to get results like that from research on plant foods?
Americans are eating less meat than ever. There are many good reasons to limit or omit meat consumption, especially when it comes to red or heavily processed meats; these research findings will undoubtedly help fuel that healthy trend.
For the veg-curious: go on, don’t be scared to try it! A plant-based diet — whether vegan, vegetarian, or simply meat-minimalist — can be a healthy, delicious, and deeply satisfying way to eat.
And it’s hard to hurt yourself by eating too many oranges!
Image credit: Creative Commons photo by toolmonkytaco.