Many people choose white meat over red meat as it is thought to be a healthier option. It has long been assumed that meats such as chicken is better for your cholesterol levels than beef, but the latest research indicates that poultry has an equally bad effect on the health of your heart.
However, according to researchers from the University of California, there may still be some truth to the idea that red meat is worse for you overall, seeing as there are other negative effects that can cause cardiovascular disease. In any case, the latest studies suggest that plant proteins (beans, legumes, vegetables) have the greatest affect on cholesterol.
It is well documented that saturated fats strengthen low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels. As this begins to build up in the arteries, the chance of suffering a stroke or heart attack increases significantly. The majority of saturated fats comes from meat and animal byproducts.
What the study revealed
Over 100 averagely healthy men and women aged 21 to 65 were put onto three separate diets – red meat, white meat, and no meat. The diet extended over a four week period after which, blood samples were taken from the group and compared with the samples taken at the beginning of the test. The plant based diet had the best results on cholesterol, while the red and white meat subjects had nearly exactly the same increase in saturated fat levels and inevitably, higher measures of LDL cholesterol.
“If you have problems with cholesterol or if you have a family history of cholesterol or heart disease, then it is best to consume less of both red and white meats and instead substitute (with) beans, lentils, higher protein grains like quinoa, and soy-based products like tofu and tempeh,” says postdoctoral dietitian, Maria Romo-Palafox from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. “Finding by finding, we are confirming that a plant-based diet tends to have better health results and tends to have less [negative environmental] impact.”