More evidence for replacing red meat with other protein sources

Reducing red meat consumption while eating more plant and dairy protein could lower the risk of developing and dying from coronary heart disease, according to preliminary results from two studies led by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health researchers.

The studies were presented at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention and Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2020, which were held March 3-6, 2020.

The first study, led by Zhilei Shan, postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Nutrition, found that middle-aged Americans who ate the most plant protein were 27% less likely to die of any cause and 29% less likely to die of coronary heart disease compared to those who ate the least amount of plant protein.

The second study, led by Laila Al-Shaar, postdoctoral researcher in the cardiovascular epidemiology program, found that people who replaced one serving per day of red or processed meat with foods such as nuts, whole grains, or dairy were up to 47% less likely to have coronary heart disease than those who didn’t replace a serving of meat.

“Our findings suggest that even partial replacement of red meat with healthy, plant-based sources of protein could substantially reduce rates of coronary heart disease in the United States,” Al-Shaar said in a March 5, 2020 CNN article.

Read the CNN article: Replace red meat with plant protein or dairy to live longer, two new studies suggests