Scientists have a bone to pick with red meat. Alexander Spitari/Getty Images Weve spent a lot of time here at CNET testing the faux meat patties from Impossible Burger and the new pea-rice-bean concoction of Beyond Burger.
As it turns out, we might have been doing our bodies a favor. New research, published in the journal The BMJ on Wednesday, shows that increasing red meat consumption is associated with a higher risk of death.Red meat, such as beef, lamb and pork, and processed meats, like sausages and bacon, have been linked with a higher incidence of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.
For instance, a recent report from the World Cancer Research Fund suggests that processed meats increase the risk of bowel cancer. The evidence is clearly mounting for lowering consumption of red meat, making it one part of a balanced diet.
Now playing: Watch this: The Impossible Burger gets a beefy upgrade at CES 2019 4:46 The new study, conducted by researchers in the US and China, looked at changes in red meat intake of middle-aged adults.
A previous study, by the same research group, showed red meats and processed meat may contribute to an early death -- suggesting the risk could be raised by up to 13%. The researchers followed over 53,000 female nurses and almost 28,000 male health professionals for a period of eight years, and every four years, they would complete a questionnaire asking how often they ate each food of a standard portion size in the previous year.
Over the course of the study, 14,019 people died of heart disease, cancer, lung disease or neurodegenerative conditions. Once the team adjusted for age, it saw that increasing red meat intake by three and a half servings a week over an eight-year period resulted in a 10% higher risk of death in the following eight years.
The authors suggest that red meat might accelerate processes leading to heart disease, lung disease or dementia because they are high in saturated fat, cholesterol, salt and heme iron.Notably, switching out a serving of red meat each day for a serving of fish was linked with a 17% lower risk of death.
This new study adds important fuel to the fire on the danger of red meat consumption, said Brian Morris, emeritus professor in the school of medical sciences at the University of Sydney. But the good news is that if people switch to non-meat sources of protein they can substantially reduce their risk of.