Cholesterol Can Increase By White Meat As Much As Red Meat

Henrietta Brewer
June 8, 2019

According to the researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, the study breaks the prolonged mentality of people that eating white meat will be less harmful to the heart as compared to red meat. The main source of red meat listed by the researchers was beef, while chicken served as the main white meat protein. LDL stands for low-density lipoproteins and is often dubbed "bad 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 CT.

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. Between each eating regimen period, the people had a "washout period", during which they ate their standard sustenances. After each diet interval, for two consecutive days the researchers collected blood samples from participants following an overnight fast.

"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", multiple reports quoted the study's senior author Dr. Ronald Krauss, senior scientist and director of Atherosclerosis Research at CHORI, as saying.


When it comes to maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, researchers have found that chicken may be just as bad for you as steak. Saturated fats occur naturally in foods such as fatty beef, poultry with skin, butter and cream and cheeses, according to the American Heart Association.

The study revealed there were no significant differences in the amounts of LDL particles of different sizes in people while on the white meat and red meat diets. However, a high saturated fat diet was associated with a higher concentration of large LDL particles, though no association was seen in relation to small or medium particles.

A diet consisting of red meat has always been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

Government dietary guidelines have encouraged eating poultry as a healthier alternative to red meat and generally leaner cuts - those that have less saturated fat.


It's also possible that there are other factors about red meat that can affect cardiovascular health, he said.

Each group went through three different diets: one focused on red meats, another on white meats and one on non-meat proteins.

The examination is top notch and thorough, Hunnes said.


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