If you’re a steak lover who begrudgingly orders chicken for health reasons, read on.
White meat has long been considered more beneficial than red meat, especially in terms of reducing cardiovascular risk. But a recent study challenges these claims.
The randomized study, published in June in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, analyzed 113 healthy participants who were separated into two groups. In one group, 62 people ate a diet high in saturated fat, and in the other, 51 people ate a diet low in saturated fat. Both groups consumed protein from three sources—red meat, white meat and nonmeat (including vegetables, legumes, nuts, grains and soy products)—for four weeks each.
The major findings of the study are twofold. First, the study showed what experts in the field already expected: regardless of the protein source—whether it’s red meat, white meat or nonmeat—people who consumed high amounts of saturated fat had elevated levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the so-called bad cholesterol) and apolipoprotein B (apoB), both markers of cardiovascular risk.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re eating plantbased,” said Karen Aspry, M.D., co-chair of the American College of Cardiology Nutrition and Lifestyle Workgroup and associate professor of medicine at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University. “You have a lot of people who are in the vegan/vegetarian diet world, and that’s great that they’re not eating meat, but they may be consuming some of these very high saturated fat tropical oils, like coconut oil.”
Second, the findings showed that, contrary to popular belief, there was no benefit to consuming white meat instead of red meat to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. LDL and apoB levels rose in both red and white meat groups and outcomes did not differ significantly between red and white meat when saturated fat levels were equivalent.
“If you are maybe thinking, ‘Well, if I eat high amounts of fat, but I eat white meat instead of red meat, I’ll be okay,’ the answer is no,” Aspry said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re eating red or white meat, you’re going to see these numbers go up.”
The study suggests that the cardiovascular effects of meat may be influenced by more than saturated fat content.
Every five years, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services publish Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which outlines nutrition information and offers advice and recommendations to improve health and reduce chronic disease.
Results of the recent study could potentially impact these guidelines, said Sue Day, Ph.D., professor of epidemiology at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston’s School of Public Health. But before that happens, more research must be done comparing the cardiovascular risks of white and red meat.
To tease out the specific roles of each protein source within a large-scale population study is enormously difficult and has never been done, Day said.
“To understand the association between protein and cardiovascular disease risk, all of the protein types need to be clearly defined and studied while considering the total diet and all the other nutrients in food that can affect cardiovascular disease risk,” she said.
“I'm a huge believer in always biopsying the first site of metastatic disease, especially to recheck the ER/PR and HER2 status,” says our @JenniferLitton of how data shows #breastcancer can change with metastasis. #bcsm #endcancer https://t.co/DzL4k31aQn
We have gone purple this week for Domestic Violence Awareness month. Learn how you can help: https://t.co/CxrGw0N0S9 #domesticviolenceawareness #domesticviolenceawarenessmonth https://t.co/2S19KMnHOh
Meet the people behind the papers – George Britton and Aryeh Warmflash: https://t.co/9DTjXt8Iow via @Co_Biologists https://t.co/4boMPVOMg0
Weston spent his summers training for the upcoming football & basketball seasons. When his mom noticed he was losing steam, they decided it was time for a trip to the doctor's office. They never expected it to be cancer. Read Weston's story: https://t.co/4CEbwUWpi5 #ThisIsCancer https://t.co/w6Nun5rKkI
RT @WebsEdge_Health: ASHG TV sat down with Brendan Lee, Professor & Chairman, Dept. of Molecular & Human #Genetics @bcmhouston to learn mor…
“One of the important questions we want to answer is ‘Why don’t these work better?’”@AnnKloppMD explains how our HPV-Related Cancers Moon Shot is working to overcome barriers using #immunotherapy: https://t.co/kL6uLPuGFj @CancerFrontline #CancerMoonshot #endcancer
Join us for the "Grill Your Ace Off" event this Saturday, October 19 with Cypress @AceHardware! Proceeds benefit @CMNHospitals: https://t.co/UeNuaDzp9h
A new technique developed by Rice bioscientists has allowed them to make the most comprehensive analysis yet of signaling pathways that drive patterning of human ectoderm.Read more: https://t.co/fmCDuInplI https://t.co/6iBO8MfaCI
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @GetInvolvedUH: Join us for InfraRED: Spooktacular TONIGHT from 7:00-10:00PM in the Student Centers Houston Room. This year’s activities…
University of Houston@UHouston
RT @UHoustonLib: .@UH_Arch_Art_Lib is pleased to host an opening reception for student artist Morgan Stahl on November 8https://t.co/Eq2V…
Veterans getting better care through partnerships, says VA secretary https://t.co/j29GiiYZSQ via #VAntagePoint
Mark your calendars for @BCMCancerCenter’s Lights Out, Cancer event happening Feb. 8. To learn more about this event or how you could participate even if you can't attend, please visit: https://t.co/DcJyiczUvu #BCMLightsOutCancer #BCMLOC https://t.co/uwVfAQxgcO
Finding your way around one of the largest cancer centers in the world can be daunting. Here’s how our patient escorts can help: https://t.co/e1w2DxY0VX #endcancer
"The circulatory system’s response to panic...a pounding feeling in the head or chest and/or prompt feelings of lightheadedness or dizziness, according to the Texas Heart Institute. https://t.co/yfBHBgwHuC @Texas_Heart
RT @RiceArch: This week's episode of the Rice Architecture podcast Tête-à-Tête features a conversation with student Ethan Chan about the Ri…