Meat, cheese, and eggs, on the other hand, are packed with cholesterol and saturated fat, which cause plaque buildup in the arteries, eventually leading to heart disease.
We all know and realise the importance of a healthy heart.
The heart is one of the most vital organs of the body and performs the primary function of pumping blood to the rest of the body.
Without proper functioning of the heart, it may not be possible for the human body to stay alive, or stay healthy.
The diet we consume plays an important role in keeping our heart healthy.
A few diet patterns that have been hailed for their benefits when it comes to heart health include the Mediterranean diet, Vegan diet, among others.
However, the inclusion of red meat in the diet has often been associated with poor heart health.
Swapping red meat for plant-based food could reduce the risk of heart disease by up to 20 per cent
According to a report published in the British Medical Journal, switching red meat for high-quality plant-based products is associated with a reduced risk of heart diseases by up to 20 per cent.
The study also found that a daily serving of red meat could increase the risk of coronary heart disease by 12 per cent.
Existing studies that show inconsistent results often fail to compare red meat with similar protein and energy sources. Therefore, researchers compared total, processed and unprocessed red meat.
They further looked at the effects of switching up red meat with other protein sources.
The study was based on a questionnaire of around 50,000 men and found that that one serving per day, of each type of red meat, was linked with the following percentage of risk of heart diseases.
- Unprocessed red meat – 11 per cent higher risk of CHD
- Processed – 15 per cent higher risk
- Total red meat – 12 per cent higher risk.
Swapping total red meat for whole grains and dairy products such as milk, cheese and yoghurt, was also linked with lower CHD risk.
Study author Dr Laila Al-Shaar, of Harvard University, said: ‘This association was particularly strong among younger men, in whom the replacement of red meat with egg was associated with a 20 per cent lower risk of CHD.’
4 tips to make the switch from red meat to plant-based foods
Many people are already aware that excess or regular consumption of red meat can spike the risk of heart diseases. However, they find it very difficult to make the switch because of habit, taste, and availability of certain foods.
These tips can help them make the switch.
- Look for vegan options – Thanks to the booming vegan culture, vegan substitutes of all types of meat are now available in the market. These food products are said to taste and look exactly like meat but are made with plant-based food products.
- Limit your intake – You can limit your intake of red meat, if not completely remove it from your diet. Make sure you do not consume red meat more than once a week, and your heart is likely to stay healthy and fine.
- Opt for lean meats – If you love non-vegetarian food, opt for lean meats such as chicken, or fatty fish instead of red meat. This will make sure you get your nutrition, without putting your heart at high risk of disease.
- Make meat the side dish – Instead of the main dish, make meat a side dish that you have with a main meal of vegetables. This will ensure you do not crave it too much, and will also help you limit the intake.
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