People who eat two or more servings of red meat a day are much more likely to develop conditions leading to heart disease and diabetes, say U.S. researchers.
In this study funded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, the diets of 9,514 people were analyzed using a 66-item food frequency questionnaire.
The volunteers were categorized into two groups: those with a "western-pattern" diet, heavy on processed meat, fried foods, red meat; and a "prudent-pattern" diet with more fruit and vegetables, with small amounts of fish and poultry.
After nine years, nearly 40 percent of those involved developed three or more of the factors linked to metabolic syndrome.
Eating two or more servings of meat a day increases the risk of suffering from a cluster of risk factors known as metabolic syndrome by 25 percent compared to those who had only two servings of meat a week, the researchers reported in the journal Circulation.
The symptoms of metabolic syndrome include excessive fat around the waist, high cholesterol, high blood sugar and high blood pressure.Previous studies have linked diet soda consumption to risk factors for heart disease and diabetes.
Lots of meat, fried foods and diet soda add up to heart disease, the researchers said, and the conclusions add to a swelling body of evidence linking fast food with unhealthy lifestyles.To find out more about this topic, read Leslie Beck's February 6 column in the Globe and Mail.
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