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Red Meat: Does it increase stroke risk?

According to researchers at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, the link between red meat consumption and stroke risk is ‘weak and inconsistent’.

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As tempting as a succulent fillet steak or any other red meat might be, there is often a clouded thought of how harmful to your health could this be?

Red meat has picked up quite the reputation over the years for being harmful to your health and increasing serious health risks like stroke, if too much is consumed.

Red meat is any meat that comes from non-bird mammals, including beef, pork, veal and lamb. 

Whilst red meat has been given the connotations of leading to health problems, a new study aims to debunk these long told allegations of red meat being bad for the brain.

According to researchers at the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, the link between red meat consumption and stroke risk is ‘weak and inconsistent’.

The researchers used a star rating to establish weak to strong correlation between food/behaviour and potential health risk, unlike uber ratings, on this scale you would want your favourite foods to be scoring as little as possible.

The stars represent a percentage of likelihood of health risk, for example one star means there is no connection, whilst three represent a 15 to 50 per cent risk.

The correlation of 180 risk factors and health outcomes were analysed and the researchers results may surprise you.

The researchers gave the association between a high red meat diet and ischemic stroke a one star rating.

However, don’t go diving into a tomahawk steak just yet…

A conflict of information

The association between red meat and stroke risk wasn’t just born out of thin air, previous studies have displayed a genuine link between stroke risk and red meat.

In the American Heart Association’s study into stroke risk and animal fat, they found that those who eat a diet including high levels of red meat and also processed meat, were at a higher risk of stroke.

Another study conducted in 2011, published in the journal Stroke, also discovered a link between red meat consumption and higher stroke risk.

Should my red meat eating days be over?

To put simply, no, however, red meat consumption should be done so in moderation.

The findings of the study published in Stroke, show that men who consumed more than two servings of red meat per day had a 28 per cent higher risk of having a stroke than those who consumed around one-third of a serving daily.

Another thing to be wary of with red meat, is the type of red meat you are consuming, as red meat includes both processed and unprocessed.

Of course an excess amount of any food will impact your health, however, processed meats will make the biggest impact.

High consumption of processed red meats can lead to lethal health complications like stroke.

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