Is eating meat bad for your heart?

Study finds all types of meat, except fish, contributed to poor health

File photo
File photo (FreeImages.com/Kenn Kiser)

Over the years, there’s been a lot of talk about whether eating meat is harmful to your health.

Now, a recent study adds to the notion that too much meat could be bad for our hearts and our overall wellbeing.

The study looked at 29,682 U.S. adults and found that all types of meat, except fish, contributed to poor health.

“A higher intake of processed red meat, unprocessed red meat or poultry, but not fish, was associated with increased risk of cardiovascular disease,” said Kate Patton, R.D., of Cleveland Clinic, who did not take part in the study.

Likewise, all processed meats, along with unprocessed red meats, were linked to an increased risk of death.

Patton said avoiding processed meats whenever possible is always a good idea. This includes items such as bacon, sausage and hotdogs.

And when it comes to chicken, she said it’s best to stick to the grilled varieties, as fried and breaded chicken give us extra carbs and fat that we don’t need.

Patton said it’s also best to keep our red meat intake to a minimum and instead focus on getting more fish in our diets. The study found that fish is always a good option and was not linked to heart disease or death.

“Try and limit yourself to only very lean cuts of meat. I try to encourage people to only eat lean, red, meat once, maybe twice, a week,” Patton said. “Same thing with poultry, eat it in moderation, but really try to work on getting in fish as often as you can, ideally two to three times a week.”

Complete results of the study can be found in JAMA Internal Medicine.