Heart Health: Does the Type of Protein You Eat Matter?

Heart disease is the number one cause of death in the United States. Unlike some diseases that aren’t completely understood, you can lower your risk for heart disease by making the right lifestyle choices. It should come as no surprise that diet, the food choices you make, contributes to heart disease risk. According to a study published in the journal Circulation, a simple way to lower your risk for heart disease is to change the type of protein you eat.

Type of Protein and the Risk of Heart Disease

Researchers at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital looked at the eating habits of over 80,000 middle-aged women as part of the Nurses’ Health Study. These healthy women responded to diet questionnaire every four years over a twenty-six year period. The women were also closely monitored for heart disease.

The results of this study are revealing. The type of meat and protein these women ate over the twenty-six year study period significantly impacted their risk of heart disease. Women who ate nuts, fish, poultry, and low-fat dairy had a lower risk of heart disease than those who ate red meat.

In fact, when the participants exchanged a single serving of red meat with a serving of nuts each day, it lowered their risk of heart disease by thirty percent. That’s significant! Substituting fish for a serving of red meat was linked with a 24% reduction in heart disease risk and poultry a 19% reduction.

Eat Chicken and Fish and Less Red Meat?