There is a lot of hype about reducing the amount of red meat consumption in our diets. Red meat provides essential protein but comes with health risks. If you’re looking for ways to lower your risk for heart disease, consuming high-quality plant protein instead of red meat has proven to work.
A recent review of data from 36 randomized controlled trials that included 1,803 people, concluded that diets with higher amounts of high-quality plant protein such as legumes, soy, and nuts had the greatest impact on lowering levels of both total and LDL cholesterol when compared to diets with red meat.
PLANT BASED PROTEIN A HEALTHY SUBSTITUTE FOR RED MEAT
In this new study, researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Purdue University analyzed the data to compare health effects of diets high in red meat with diets high in other types of foods such as chicken, fish, carbohydrates or plant proteins. The researchers looked at several key risk factors for heart disease, including blood concentrations of cholesterol, triglycerides, lipoproteins, and blood pressure.
This was the first study that looked at the health benefits of swapping red meat for other types of food. Previous studies have looked solely at the effect of red meat on risk factors for heart disease and findings have been inconsistent. This study made specific comparisons between various diets.
Interestingly, the researchers found that diets high in red meat compared with all of the other types of diets in the study showed no significant differences in total cholesterol, lipoproteins, or blood pressure. However, two important findings from the study show that replacing red meat with high-quality plant proteins is beneficial:
- Diets higher in red meat did result in higher triglyceride concentrations than the comparison diets.
- Diets that consisted of high-quality plant based protein lowered the levels of both total and LDL cholesterol.
- Tofu, tempeh, and edamame
- Chia seeds
- Hemp seeds
- Beans with rice
- Protein-rich vegetables (such as kale, broccoli, mushrooms)
- Ezekiel bread
Since 1981, First Health Associates has been providing exceptional health care to residents of Arlington Heights, Mt. Prospect, Schaumburg, Buffalo Grove, Rolling Meadows, Palatine, Elk Grove and Des Plaines. First Health is an integrative medicine practice that offers: Medical Care; Acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine; Counseling and Behavioral Therapy; and Chiropractic Care.
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