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White Meat vs. Red Meat: Research Debunks Popular Belief Between The Two

White meat has been believed to be healthier than red meat. White meat may be less harmful to your heart but a new study debunked the popular belief that it is healthier than red meat. Both kinds have identical effects on your cholesterol levels.

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition claimed that red and white meat are equally unhealthy when it comes to your cholesterol levels. Researchers from the University of California, San Francisco explored even if white meat is less harmful to your heart, it actually increases your risk of heart disease.

In comparison, red meat contains higher saturated fat content which, when consumed regularly, increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases. More than 100 healthy subjects between ages 21 to 65 ate high-saturated fat content foods such as butter while the other group was made to eat full-fat foods which were low in saturated fat content. The diets for the research were red meat diet, white meat diet and no-meat diet.

Those made to follow the red meat diet ate beef while the white meat eater had to ingest chicken served as the main white meat protein. They were then made to follow these eating programs for four weeks with a washout period. Their blood was analyzed as the experiment commenced up until the last day of their test diet.

The results showed that participants who followed the meat diets had higher cholesterol levels and their saturated fat rates were also identical. Thus, they produced more LDL or bad cholesterol compared to those who followed the no-meat diet.

In another study conducted by Dr. Samia Mora of the Brigham and Women’s Hospital and professor at Harvard Medical School, it was found that both small and large LDL particles caused atherosclerosis which is the hardening of the arteries. This condition leads to heart disease caused by high cholesterol levels. In the present study, they found that those who followed the white and red meat diets had a higher concentration of large LDL particles.

Registered dietician and postdoctoral fellow of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut Maria Romo-Palafox then suggested that people with a history of high cholesterol levels or heart disease must consume less of both types of meat and substitute them with plant-based proteins sourced from beans, lentils, quinoa and soy-based products like tempeh and tofu, reported CNN.

Barbeque Salting salmon before placing it on the grill. Robert Owen-Wahl/Pixabay