Indeed, growing research linking non-communicable diseases with red meat consumption has prompted a number of governments to recommend limiting the amount of red meat consumed per week in their dietary guidelines.
At the end of the day, white and red meats had similar impacts on blood cholesterol levels, the analysts found. There is less pressure on consumers to do the same with its white counterpart. Of the three weight control plans in the investigation - red meat, white meat and nonmeat proteins - just the plant-based eating routine was related with solid blood cholesterol levels, the analysts found.
The team found that the consumption of red meat or white poultry at high levels was associated with higher blood cholesterol levels compared to the consumption of plant proteins.
Saturated fats, most of which come from animal sources, include butter, beef fat and poultry skin, increase the concentration of "bad" cholesterol, in one's bloodstream which can result to a heart attack or stroke. Still, it's good to remember that chicken and turkey tend to be leaner meats than beef.
Dr Krauss said a diet that includes non-meat proteins such as vegetables, dairy, and legumes - including beans - show the best cholesterol benefit. Despite what we've been told for decades, white meat, including chicken, may not be so healthy after all.
The effect was observed whether or not the diet contained high levels of saturated fat, according to the findings published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
High cholesterol can block blood vessels and cause heart disease, which causes more than a quarter of deaths in the U.S. and UK.
A diet consisting of red meat has always been linked to an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).
The new research had a few confinements; the meats in the investigation did exclude grass-nourished hamburger or handled items, including bacon or hotdog. Participants who consumed a diet rich in saturated fats had higher total LDL cholesterol rather than those who were assigned to consume a diet low in saturated fats.
"If you have problems with cholesterol or if you have a family history of cholesterol or heart disease, then it is best to consume less of both red and white meats and instead substitute (with) beans, lentils, higher protein grains like quinoa, and soy-based products like tofu and tempeh", says postdoctoral dietitian, Maria Romo-Palafox from the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of CT. "So the result can be viewed as indicating either a cholesterol raising effect of both meats, or a cholesterol lowering effect of plant foods, or both", added Dr Krauss.
It's additionally conceivable that there are different factors about red meat that can influence cardiovascular wellbeing, he said.
But it is not all doom and gloom for meat lovers as the University of California, San Francisco researchers said that the long-held belief that eating white meat is less harmful for your heart may still hold true, because there may be other effects from eating red meat that contributes to cardiovascular disease.