Why Is Red Meat Bad for You?


Quick Answer

Red meat contains high amounts of fat and cholesterol, which contribute to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers. Consuming only one extra serving of red meat above the guideline for one's sex and weight increases the risk of a heart or stroke related death by up to 20 percent.

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Full Answer

A diet that consists of extra red meat is dangerous for the health of the heart and cardiovascular system because of the high saturated fat content. Saturated fat raises the amount of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, which blocks arteries. Exchanging red meat for fish or chicken in the diet can reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, helping to achieve a healthier heart. Additionally, the high unsaturated fat content and omega fatty acids in fish raise the amount of helpful HDL cholesterol in the bloodstream. Eating just three extra servings of red meat per week can raise the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by up to 50 percent. Other studies link red meat consumption to Alzheimer's Disease.

Much of the read meat that is available for purchase in supermarkets contain another potential cause for concern. Farm-raised animals are given growth hormones to make them grow larger, faster and antibiotics to keep them from getting ill. The effects of these combined added chemicals have not yet been evaluated by the FDA to understand their effect on human health, as of 2014.

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