Switching from red meat to chicken to keep your cholesterol down may not be a great strategy, according to a new study this Tuesday.
"When we planned this study, we expected red meat to have a more adverse effect on blood cholesterol levels than white meat, but we were surprised that this was not the case", said study senior author Dr. Ronald Krauss. The study found that plant proteins are the healthiest for blood cholesterol.
But neither is as good as cutting out meat altogether and eating plant-based proteins instead, the study found. While plant-based protein was less likely to cause high blood cholesterol levels than meat-based protein, the difference in effect between white and red meats was insignificant. "Their effects on cholesterol are identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent".
"The results of the present study support current dietary recommendations to adopt dietary patterns with high vegetable content, but do not provide evidence for choosing white over red meat for reducing CVD risk on the basis of plasma lipid and lipoprotein effects", said the study.
"All we can say from our study is that if you are trying to lower your cholesterol, limiting white poultry meat may be just as effective as limiting red meat", said Krauss.
"Indeed, other effects of red meat consumption could contribute to heart disease", adds Krauss, "and these effects should be explored in more detail in an effort to improve health".
The study was conducted by researchers from the Children's Hospital Oakland Research Institute (CHORI), part of the University of California, San Francisco. About it reported in a press release on MedicalXpress.