Eat Less Meat to Reduce Death Risk
Research shows that replacing carbs with protein can help with weight management. But what type of protein is best when it comes to good health? A new study from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, published in JAMA Internal Medicine, shows that protein type is very important—affecting other components of our diet, such as nutrients.
More than 131,000 people participated in the study. About 65% were women, and the average age was 49. Researchers accounted for other risk factors—physical activity levels, smoking, alcohol use, etc.—and looked at mortality rates in animal-based protein versus plant-based protein diets. A 10% higher intake of animal protein was associated with a 2% higher risk of death from all causes and an 8% higher risk of death from heart disease overall. People with other risk factors—like obesity and high alcohol intake—had the highest risk of death.
According to researchers, red meat increases risk more than lean meats like fish and chicken. By substituting plant proteins—legumes, nuts, seeds—for animal proteins in just 3% of your total daily calories can lower your overall risk. Interestingly, eating plant proteins instead of animal proteins is especially beneficial for people who have other risk factors.
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