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Red and white meat Eating too much high-fat red meat is bad for your health, while lean meat and chicken are better choices-you might be familiar with this statement.

Red and white meat
Eating too much high-fat red meat is bad for your health, while lean meat and chicken are better choices-you might be familiar with this statement.




However, the results of a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in early June may subvert this view.

The new study found that eating lean white meat and lean red meat had the same effect on blood cholesterol levels. For those who love red meat, this is undoubtedly "good news."

Red Meat VS White Meat

In this study called "Animal and Plant Proteins and Cardiovascular Health" (APPROACH), researchers from the University of California, San Francisco and the Oakland Children's Hospital Research Institute conducted a detailed classification study.

The researchers compared three diets, which included red meat (beef and pork), poultry (chicken and turkey), and non-meat protein (beans, nuts, grains and soy products).

The researchers wanted to measure the effects of these diets on specific types of blood lipids. They tested blood lipids including the ratio of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL, commonly known as "bad cholesterol"), apolipoprotein B (apoB), total cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL, commonly known as "good cholesterol") index.

Not only that, but the researchers also wanted to know whether blood lipid levels changed more when the background diet pattern was high in saturated fat (mainly from full-fat dairy products and butter) or low in saturated fat.

To achieve this, 177 subjects with blood cholesterol levels in the normal range and between 21 and 65 years of age were randomly divided into two groups and received a high-saturated fat diet (14% of total energy intake) ) Or low-saturated fat diet (accounting for 7% of total energy intake).

In these two groups, subjects were further randomly assigned to three different diet groups: red meat, white meat, and vegetable protein source groups, each group lasting four weeks. The main protein in meat comes from lean red and white meat. In plant-based diets, protein comes from beans, nuts, grains and soy products.

Subjects meet with researchers every week so that researchers can collect their food information and be consulted about their prescribed diets. The researchers asked the subjects to maintain their physical activity levels and keep their body weight as stable as possible to avoid these factors affecting the results.

To eliminate the effects of ingesting one protein on the next, the researchers allowed subjects to rest between two and seven weeks between each diet, and allowed them to return to their normal diet. During the test, the subjects were neither allowed to drink alcohol, take vitamins, nor consume any processed meat.

Unexpected results

Because some subjects withdrew halfway, the researchers finally got the test results from 113 subjects.

At the beginning and end of each phase of the test diet, the researchers will first take a fasting blood sample of the subject and measure the subject's low-density lipoprotein cholesterol level.

Data analysis shows that, regardless of the source of protein, the intake of large amounts of saturated fat will increase the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and large particles of low-density lipoprotein.

It is worth noting that the concentration of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein B in the blood after the vegetable protein diet is lower than that of the red meat diet and the white meat diet. This result is not related to whether the subjects' background diet is high or low saturated fat.

Moreover, regardless of the consumption of red meat or white meat, the subjects did not have statistically significant differences in blood lipid levels.

Compared with a low-saturated fat diet, a high-saturated fat diet can significantly increase the levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, apolipoprotein B, and large-particle low-density lipoprotein in the blood.

According to the American Heart Association, saturated fats naturally occur in fatty beef, poultry, butter, cream, cheese and other foods. Too much "bad cholesterol" in saturated fat will accumulate in human blood vessels, increasing the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.

When this study was planned, we thought that red meat would have a greater impact on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but this was not the case. When saturated fat levels were comparable, they had the same effect on cholesterol, the paper The first author, Ronald Krauss, a medical professor at the University of California, San Francisco, said in surprise.

Guest view

Although the experiment lasted only four weeks at a time during each diet period, this study was important. Because there are few intervention studies that directly compare the consumption of different types of meat and protein sources and their impact on heart disease risk factors.

"There has been no previous study that comprehensively compared the effects of red meat, white meat, and plant protein on blood cholesterol," Krauss admitted. To date, most studies have been cohort studies, which classify people according to their diets, and then follow up and follow up for years to see how their health has changed.

In this new study, some details deserve attention. First, the researchers used the leanest red and white meat, and removed all visible fat and epidermis. If the subjects eat fatty meat, they may get different results.

Second, significant differences in rest periods (ranging from two to seven weeks) between different diets may also affect the results. Compared with subjects with shorter rest periods, subjects with longer rest periods will have more time to change their blood cholesterol levels.

Finally, the study results did not include all 177 participants who started the study. Participants who drop out often have different health characteristics, and excluding them may also affect the results.

However, this short-term study does not provide evidence that we should choose which meat is healthier. As Professor Krauss pointed out, do n’t demonize food based on a study.

Whether you eat red meat or white meat, you should not only focus on the impact on cholesterol, because in fact, red meat will also affect other aspects of human health, such as red meat intake is associated with increased risk of colorectal cancer, will increase heart disease Risk etc. Only moderate intake can be beneficial to health.

It is worth mentioning that the results of this study coincide with the Heart Foundation's recommendation that plant protein is most beneficial for controlling cholesterol levels and keeping blood lipids healthy.

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