White, Red Meats Equally as Bad for Cholesterol Levels

Red meat? White meat? Study says it really doesn't matter

Despite what we've been told for decades, white meat, including chicken, may not be so healthy after all. For the high-saturated fat group, there were 27 men and 35 women, while 17 men and 34 women were part of the low-saturated fat group.

A diet in high saturated fat was found to increase "bad cholesterol" regardless of the protein source. Every one of the members avoided taking nutrient enhancements and drinking liquor during the research.

"When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but we were surprised that this was not the case - their effects on cholesterol are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent", said the study's senior author Ronald Krauss, professor of medicine at University of California - San Francisco. Between each eating routine period, the people were given a washout period, during which they ate their normal food.

The news arrives amid a growing push for plant-based alternatives to traditional meat products, thought they largely revolve around red meat substitutes.

As with multiple studies before it, this latest investigation found that plant-based proteins were the best option for keeping cholesterol levels in check and thus help protect heart health. Saturated fats, most of which come from animal sources, include butter, beef fat and poultry skin.

It is well-known that saturated fats increase the concentration of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, in your bloodstream and if this harmful waxy substance builds up in your arteries, the result could be a heart attack or stroke. The study revealed that the participants who consumed a rich saturated diet had a higher LDL cholesterol apart from those who consumed low saturated diet fat.

The researchers also looked at the size of cholesterol particles. However, recent research posted on the International Atherosclerosis Society's website suggests that both small and large LDL particles may increase the risk of plaque buildup, known as atherosclerosis.

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The investigation uncovered there were no huge contrasts in the measures of LDL particles of various sizes in individuals while on the white meat and red meat counts calories. This needs to be explored in more detail, they added. Though there may be several other effects of eating red meat which can trigger cardiovascular diseases. However, until now, there hasn't been a comprehensive comparison of the health effects of eating red meat, white meat and nonmeat proteins, Krauss noted.

The study is well executed and rigorous, Hunnes said.

So if you want to bring your cholesterol down, experts advise sticking to a plant-based diet.

The finding dovetails with recent worldwide recommendations that people eat more plants and fewer burgers, which are linked to climate change, freshwater pollution and the devastation of wildlife.

Corn-fed beef was the main red meat source, followed by pork, while chicken was the main white meat source, followed by turkey. Nor did it incorporate fish, Krauss said.

The examination was distributed online Tuesday (June 4) in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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