Red meat could kill you, study finds

March 13, 2012 1:48:30 PM PDT
Americans love their red meat, but doctors have warned for years about the high levels of fat and cholesterol that come with it.

Now, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health analyzed nearly 30 years of data on more than 110,000 men and women. Results show people who eat one serving of red meat per day increased their risk of dying by 12 percent.

But replacing that serving of red meat with a healthier protein option like fish, poultry, legumes or nuts cuts the risk of dying by as much as 20 percent.

Researchers say the food choices we make are critical to our overall health, and that changes to your diet do not have to be drastic.

The key, they say, is moderation.

"We don't have to jump off a cliff," on doctor said. "But if you can decrease your red meat consumption by as little as one serving a day, you can decrease your risk of death between 7 and 19 percent, according to this. And if you consume less than half a serving of red meat per day, that showed a 10 percent decrease in death across the board."

Doctors also warn the dangers are higher for processed foods such as hot dogs and bacon, meaning Americans should consider cutting back even more on those favorites.

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