Skip to main content

Support our lifesaving work. Make a donation to the Physicians Committee today. | Donate Now

  1. Health and Nutrition News

  2. Jan 22, 2020

Experts Recommend Dietary Guidelines Exclude Red and Processed Meat

Experts from Harvard University recommend that dietary guidelines exclude red and processed meat in favor of plant-based foods for the benefit of human health and the environment, according to a publication from the American Diabetes Association. The authors examined the methodologies behind recent dietary recommendations from the Nutritional Recommendations (NutriRECS) consortium, which called for no reductions in red and processed meat intake, and found several limitations, inadequacies, and misinterpretations of data. Researchers reassessed the health impacts of these foods with more appropriate rubrics and found close associations between red and processed meat consumption and diabetes and increased mortality. Results also showed replacing red meat with plant-based protein sources improved cholesterol levels and other health outcomes. The authors suggest that dietary guidelines that emphasize vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes and limit red and processed meat best promote human and environmental health.

References

Qian F, Riddle MC, Wylie-Rosett J, Hu FB. Red and processed meats and health risks: How strong is the evidence? Diabetes Care. 2020;43:265–271.

More on Processed Meat