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White meat is just as bad for you as red meat when it comes to cholesterol – new study

White meat is just as bad for you as red meat when it comes to cholesterol – new study

Will you be having the chicken or the beef? A new study finds that white meat can be just as bad for your cholesterol as red meat.

White meat is just as bad for you as red meat when it comes to cholesterol – new study

Over the years red meat has been given a bad rep for heart health, but a new study finds that white meat may be just as bad when it comes to cholesterol.

The study, published last week in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined people who shifted between eating diets high in red meat, white meat, and plant-based proteins. While plant-based protein was less likely to cause high blood cholesterol levels than meat-based protein, the difference in effect between white and red meats was insignificant.

More than 100 healthy men and women between ages 21 and 65 were randomly assigned to either the high-saturated fat, provided primarily by butter and full-fat foods, or low saturated fat groups.

All participants, who abstained from alcohol for the duration of the study, cycled through three test diets: red meat diet, white meat diet and then a no meat diet. Each diet lasted four weeks and was punctuated by a “washout period” when participants ate their usual foods. The main source of red meat provided by the researchers was beef, while chicken served as the main white meat protein. Blood samples were collected from all the participants at the start and finish of each test diet.

The study from the Children’s Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI) found that people who ate white meat diets consisting of chicken and turkey ended up with cholesterol levels that were no different from those who ate red meat diets consisting of lean beef or pork. Both diets caused significant jumps in cholesterol compared to people whose diets consisted of plant-based proteins.

“When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but we were surprised that this was not the case — their effects on cholesterol are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent,” said study senior author Dr. Ronald Krauss, senior scientist and director of atherosclerosis research at CHORI, in the study’s press release.

The long-held belief that eating white meat is less harmful for your heart may still hold true, because there may be other effects from eating red meat that contribute to cardiovascular disease, said the University of California, San Francisco researchers. This needs to be explored in more detail, they added.

A combination of poultry, fish, vegetable proteins, and lean red meat” is still a good approach to nutrition, dietitians tell CNN.

Read more: What causes high cholesterol

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