Xinhua News Agency, London, March 7 (Reporter Zhang Jiawei) A study published online recently in the British "BMC Medicine" magazine showed that frequent meat consumption is associated with a higher risk of ischemic heart disease and diabetes.
The Oxford University team analyzed the health data of nearly 475,000 British adult volunteers.
These volunteers filled out a questionnaire at the beginning of the study, which involved their daily eating habits, and then the researchers conducted an average of 8 years of continuous evaluation of their situation.
The team found that volunteers who ate unprocessed red meat and processed meat 3 or more times a week were more likely to smoke, drink, and be overweight than those who ate less meat. They ate fruits, vegetables, and fish. The frequency of such foods is also often less.
The results of the study show that eating more unprocessed red meat and processed meat is associated with a higher risk of ischemic heart disease, pneumonia, digestive diverticulosis, colon polyps, and diabetes.
For example, people who eat more than 70 grams of meat per day may have a 15% increase in the risk of ischemic heart disease and a 30% increase in the risk of diabetes.
But researchers also found that eating more unprocessed red meat and poultry meat is associated with a decreased risk of iron deficiency anemia.
The team said that unprocessed red meat and processed meat are the main dietary sources of saturated fatty acids. Saturated fatty acids can increase the level of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the body, which is a risk factor for ischemic heart disease.
However, researchers at the University of Oxford also believe that further research is needed to analyze the differences in the risks of different diseases associated with eating meat, in order to clarify the causal relationship, and explore whether reducing meat consumption can avoid these disease risks.