Eating red meat increases risk of death: study

March 14, 2012

Boston – Consuming red meat increases the risk of death due to cardiovascular disease and cancer, while substituting fish, poultry, nuts and low-fat dairy products for red meat lowers the risk, according to a study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

Researchers analyzed data from 37,698 men who participated in the Harvard School of Public Health’s Health Professionals Follow-Up Study and 83,644 females from the Nurses’ Health Study. Each additional serving of red meat the participants consumed per day was associated with a 12 percent higher risk of death, they found.

Replacing one daily serving of red meat with alternative sources of protein lowered the chance of mortality by 7 percent for fish, 14 percent for poultry, 19 percent for nuts, 10 percent for legumes, 10 percent for low-fat dairy products and 14 percent for whole grains, the study stated. Researchers also found that 9.3 percent of the deaths in men and 7.6 percent of the female deaths in follow-up could have been prevented by lowering red meat consumption to less than 0.5 servings per day.