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Eating red meat and cheese can help heart health, scientists claim

The key to a healthy heart may differ from previous guidelines

Sabrina Barr
Wednesday 29 August 2018 18:29 BST
Probably a good idea to lay off the red meat after a recent study
Probably a good idea to lay off the red meat after a recent study (Getty)

The question of whether eating red meat is good for your health or not has been heavily debated for quite some time.

However, recent research suggests that regularly consuming unprocessed red meat and cheese can reduce your risk of an early death by improving the wellbeing of your heart.

Researchers from McMaster University in Canada conducted a study of more than 218,000 adults from more than 50 countries around the world, dividing them into five categories according to their diets.

The study concluded that eating a moderate amount of dairy and meat every day as part of a balanced diet can drastically reduce one’s chances of a premature death.

The research team presented their findings at the European Society for Cardiology conference in Munich, explaining that people should also be careful about the amount of refined carbohydrates that they include in their diets.

“People who consumed a diet emphasising fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy products and meat had the lowest risks of cardiovascular disease and early death,” said Dr Andrew Mente, principal investigator at the university’s Population Health Research Institute.

“Thinking on what constitutes a high quality diet for a global population needs to be reconsidered.

“For example, our results show that dairy products and meat are beneficial for heart health and longevity. This differs from current dietary advice.”

According to the NHS, the government currently recommends that people who eat more than 90g of red and processed meat a day should cut down their intake to 70g at most.

Eating an excessive amount of red and processed meat, including beef, pork and veal, can supposedly increase your risk of developing bowel cancer in future.

Consuming a decent amount of unprocessed meat and dairy isn’t enough on its own to ensure a healthy heart, though, as Professor Jeremy Pearson, associate medical director at the British Heart Foundation, explained.

“Eating well means looking at your diet as a whole, rather than focusing too much on individual elements,” he said, according to The Telegraph.

“Meat and dairy can contribute to a healthy, balanced diet as long as they’re eaten in moderation along with plenty of fruits and vegetables, pulses, wholegrains and nuts.”

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