Do consumption of red meat increase the risk of heart diseases?

Do consumption of red meat increase the risk of heart diseases?

Jan 18, 2022

You might have heard that red meat can cause various heart related diseases, well, how much of it is actually true? In this article, we will provide you all the necessary information to conclude this debate.

According to a medical survey from all around the world, Coronary heart disease which is caused by narrowing arteries that supply blood to the heart take a minimum of 9 million lives each year.

Heart-related diseases are the main problem in the health sector globally.

The most prominent risk factors of heart related disease are unhealthy diet, lack of physical activities, tobacco use and excessive consumption of alcohol.

These small habits in lifestyle can facilitate and indicate an increased risk of heart attack, heart failure and other heart related diseases.

Things Related to diet can be the main cause of heart disease.

For centuries there is no evidence between heart diseases and red meat, but now substantial evidence show that there is a connection between red meat and increase in heart risk.

Trials and studies suggests that high intake of red meat, specifically processed red meat, is linked with an increased risk of major chronic heart diseases.

The researchers found that higher consumption of red meat will be worse imaging measures of heart condition and health.

People with higher red meat intake had smaller ventricles which is a leading cause of heart problem, poorer heart activity, and stiffer arteries and this can lead to sky touching risk of heart attack.

Composition of red meat

The whole or few sections of the organ of any buffalo, camel, cattle, deer, pig, poultry, rabbit, or sheep falls under the category of red meat.

On the other hand, processed meat  contains no less than 30 percent red meat, that has gone through various method of preservation apart from freezing, it also includes manufactured meat which include preservatives and various chemicals.

Red meat composes high biological value protein and various micronutrients and high levels of salt and fat.

It contains a range of fats, which can lead to high cholesterol in the body.

There is one more type of red meat, which is Conventional red meat.

Conventional red meats did not fall under processed meat, but the cows are usually factory farmed and this cause a lot of difference in the nutritional composition of meat.

Conventional red meat is more unhealthy for the heart as compared to normal red meat.

Natural red meat is highly nutritional which is filled with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and various other nutrients.

When it comes to an increased risk of heart disease, stroke and heart attack, we should divide natural red meat and processed red meat, as the two can have a different effect on the heart of the consumer.

The profound studies show processed red meat is a bigger culprit for increased risk of heart attack than normal red meat.

Processed red meat consists of a high level of preservatives and chemicals, which may become the reason for heart risk.

Also Read: Are calcium supplements a risk factor for heart attack?

Is red meat high in cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a type of waxy substance available in our body and animal-related products like meat, eggs, and dairy.

A low-cholesterol diet is vital to keep your heart healthy and to prevent various diseases.

While some red meat is high in cholesterol and saturated fat which can prove as a hurdle in your healthy life.

Some better red meat choices are low in cholesterol but still, we cannot roll out the fact that a high intake of any type of red meat can pose health problems in future.

A well-known university Harvard states in its reports that “people with a relatively low consumption of any kind of red meat have lower health risk like heart issue, high blood pressure or diabetes”.

The doctor generally recommends people take only two to three servings per week of red meat.

The key to including red meat such as beef, pork, lamb, and veal into the diet without adversely affecting your heart health is to be selective about the red meat you choose to include in your meal.

Processed red meats fall under the category of high-cholesterol foods, and you should limit its consumption.

Side effects of red meat

Many studies give us evidence that consuming red meat at a regular interval may decrease human lifespan.

It also states people can reduce red meat consumption in their diet by substituting other kinds of protein sources for some of the red meat they eat such as egg, fishes, soybean, and seafood.

A natural compound  found in red meat that is known as carnitine, which can cause atherosclerosis, which means it can harden or clog the arteries of the heart.

Doctors also found that a high intake of red meat can increase the levels of carnitine in the body can lead to a higher risk of heart diseases.

Red Meat contains a lot of iron which, when eaten in high amounts, can increase the amount of iron in the brain and may increase the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Consuming red and processed meats also welcome higher chances of colorectal cancer in people.

Many people suffer from stomach pain, inflammation, and rashes after consuming red meat due to allergic reactions in their bodies.

Doctors also found that hormones or hormone-like substances found in red meat increase cancer risk because this compound attaches to particular hormone receptors on the tumours in the body, which ultimately lead to cancer.

Studies also state that consuming red or processed meat can, in a long run, maximize the chances of developing type 2 diabetes In the blood.


Red meat is one of the favourite meat of people in many countries, but we should always keep our health before the taste.

Natural red meat consists of high protein, fat, cholesterol, vitamins and many beneficial nutrients for the body, but it can cause harmful effects on your heart in a long term.

If we summarize all the studies on this topic, we get to know that eating excess red meat can cause a higher risk of heart diseases.

Not just heart diseases but consumption of red meat also increase the risk of various problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, allergic reaction and even risk of cancer like deadly diseases.

Doctors recommend consuming natural red meat than processed red meat because it contains more preservatives and chemicals which can cause adverse effects on our bodies.

We can substitute red meat by taking high-protein items like egg, fish, tofu, pulses, lentils, nuts, seeds, soybean, and seafood.

These types of items can help us to get high-protein benefits without any health issues.

We can see that a traditional Mediterranean-style diet is quite healthy and nutritional because it contains eating less red meat, and more fish and plant-based protein.

It also includes plenty of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains which help as to keep our heart healthy.

Compared to people consuming white meat or plant-based protein in their diet to those people who ate red meat in their diet had a high level of heart problems.

Due to high saturated fat levels present in red meat, it contributes towards heart disease, which is a leading cause of death around the world.