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Red meat not associated with heart disease, cancer or early death

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Source: Niall Hurson, Irish Farmers Journal, 6 July 2021, photo credit: Foodhall Coolery Studio

A new study from the American Society for Nutrition members has found no association between eating red meat and the risk of early death, heart disease, cancer or stroke.

The study involved 1 330 352 individuals, with 137 376 deaths and overall, indicated that unprocessed red meat was not associated with an increased risk of mortality. In contrast though, higher processed meat intake was associated with higher risks of total mortality and major cardiovascular disease.

The study found a 23% higher mortality rate among higher processed meat consumers.

The potential adverse impact of processed meat on health may not be entirely due to its saturated fat or cholesterol content, as the amounts of these nutrients are similar in processed and unprocessed meats.

The amounts of preservative and food additives in processed and unprocessed meats differ markedly, which may partly explain their different effects on health. The researchers said that these findings may indicate that limiting the intake of processed meat should be encouraged.
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