Eat THIS and You Might Live LongerIf you replace red meat with beans and nuts, you will lower your risk of dying, according to research from Harvard. Specifically, people who rely on red meat as their primary source of protein could have shorter lives, but replacing animal protein with plant protein could change that.
But not all meat protein carries the same risks. While red meat and especially processed red meat are unhealthy, the protein from chicken and fish is fine. Processed red meats include bacon, sausage and deli meats. Plant proteins include beans and legumes, cereals, breads, pasta and nuts.
The study: Led by Dr. Mingyang Song, a nutrition research fellow with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the team analyzed data from two large U.S. studies that regularly tracked participants' diets over three decades. More than 131,000 people participated. On average, each had a daily calorie intake of 14 percent animal protein and 4 percent plant protein.
The takeaway: You don't have to become a vegetarian. But instead of eating a steak, eat a skinless chicken breast. Instead of a burger, choose salmon. Save the steaks, burgers and bacon for occasional treats.
The study findings were published in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine.