The general health message to the public about meat consumption is both confusing and misleading. It is stated that meat is not good for health because meat is rich in fat and cholesterol and high intakes are associated with increased blood cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease (CHD). This paper reviewed 54 studies from the literature in relation to red meat consumption and CHD risk factors. Substantial evidence from recent studies shows that lean red meat trimmed of visible fat does not raise total blood cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels. Dietary intake of total and saturated fat mainly comes from fast foods, snack foods, oils, spreads, other processed foods and the visible fat of meat, rather than lean meat. In fact, lean red meat is low in saturated fat, and if consumed in a diet low in SFA is associated with reductions in LDL-cholesterol in both healthy and hypercholesterolemia subjects. Lean red meat consumption has no effect on in vivo and ex vivo production of thromboxane and prostacyclin or the activity of haemostatic factors. Lean red meat is also a good source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, niacin, zinc and iron. In conclusion, lean red meat, trimmed of visible fat, which is consumed in a diet low in saturated fat does not increase cardiovascular risk factors (plasma cholesterol levels or thrombotic risk factors).
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Field of Research
111799 Public Health and Health Services not elsewhere classified
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