Those anxious about their cholesterol who opt for chicken instead of beef may want to check out a new study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Prior to this study, it was commonly believed that the high levels of saturated fat found in red meat, as opposed to poultry products, raises low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or "bad" cholesterol, leading to build-up in human arteries that can cause heart disease. By contrast, a diet of plant proteins was the clear victor in this regard.
Bottom line, experts say a plant-based diet is best for those anxious about their cholesterol.
Eating both white and red meat also led to much higher cholesterol levels compared to a proportional serving of plant-based protein, the study found. As long as you're eating leaner cuts, white and red meat can both be parts of a healthy diet; in fact, red meat can even be an important source of vitamins like B12. For one, the team didn't look at the effects of eating the other major white meat, fish, which often contains higher levels of healthier fats, like omega-3s, that are thought to lower overall cholesterol.
U.S. dietary guidelines now suggest adults on a standard 2,000-calorie-per-day diet limit their total consumption of meat, poultry and eggs to an average of 3.7 ounces daily.
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"Our results indicate that current advice to restrict red meat and not white meat should not be based only on their effects on blood cholesterol", Krauss said.
Co-Authors: Lead author Nathalie Bergeron, UCSF Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute, Oakland, California and Touro University; Sally Chiu, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute and Touro University; Paul T. Williams and Sarah King, Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute. Nonmeat proteins such as vegetables, dairy, and legumes, such as beans, show the best cholesterol benefit. About it reported in a press release on MedicalXpress.
Consumption of red meat has become unpopular during the last few decades over concerns about its association with increased heart disease.