Red and processed meat intake increases the risk for ischemic heart disease, according to a meta-analysis published in Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition. Researchers reviewed 13 articles that compared meat intake with heart disease incidence and mortality rates. Consuming 50 grams per day of processed meat and red meat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 18% and 9%, respectively. A typical serving is usually between 115 and 170 grams, which would double or triple the risk. The authors attribute the elevated risk to increased intake of saturated fat, trimethylamine-N-oxide (TMAO), and sodium, which are associated with meat consumption and linked to increased inflammation, high blood pressure, and other heart disease risk factors. These findings support public health recommendations to limit meat intake to prevent heart disease.
Papier K, Knuppel A, Syam N, Jebb SA, Key TJ. Meat consumption and risk of ischemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. Published online July 20, 2021. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2021.1949575