A large study has confirmed what scientists have feared for years. Red meat comes with a cost, and that cost is lifespan. The biggest survey to look at the effects of proteins from different types of red meats has found that consuming red meat was connected to a high mortality rate. It also revealed that high consumption of protein from plants was linked to a lower risk of death.
The survey took into consideration two long other long-term studies. It appeared in the JAMA Internal Medicine journal.
Results suggest that proteins are important for a healthy diet and a healthy life, but where you source them from is equally important.
The research influences public health guidelines and establishes the best food sources for proteins, which in turn ensure a balanced, healthy lifestyle.
Previous studies have suggested that replacing proteins with carbohydrates has added value for health, like reduced blood pressure or weight management. But few studies looked at the specific protein sources. So far, we only had small studies done on diets overall.
The current survey combined comprehensive information on health from 170,000 participants from several studies. It looked at 30 years of previous research from the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study. Experts then adjusted lifestyle and risk factors and came to the conclusion that a high intake of animal proteins, like meat, dairy and eggs was somewhat linked to an increased risk of death. However, a high intake of plant proteins, like seeds, cereal, fruits, nuts and vegetables led to a lower rate of death.
Further analysis showed that the increased death risk only applied to subjects who also had one other risk factor, like obesity, alcohol consumption or smoking, besides eating animal proteins.
The study went on to look at what the most dangerous sources of protein were. These included processed red meats, like beef and pork, with protein from fish being the lightest on participants health.
Overall, findings showed that people should choose plant protein over animal protein, and eat fish and poultry instead of red meats.
What’s your take on this study? Do you think it’s a good idea to eat more plant proteins and choose fish over pork? Leave a comment below!
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