A study published yesterday in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that those people who substitute red meat with foods such as fish and poultry have a lower risk of mortality and those consuming high quantities of red meat are at an increased risk of death from heart disease and cancer.
The study looked at the diet of more than 120,000 people from the 1980s to 2008 finding that an extra daily portion of processed meat increased the risk of death by 20%; by consuming unprocessed red meat this risk was 13%. The authors believed that the effects of red meat on cardiovascular disease and cancer may be due to the effect on blood pressure of saturated fat and sodium found in these foods.
The researchers also found that a high level of meat in the diet was linked to a higher risk of diabetes. They went on to predict that by substituting one serving of red meat with fish would lower one's mortality risk by 7% or with vegetables, by 10%.