A high consumption of red meat is linked to a 10% increased risk of early death, a new study published in the medical journal BMJ indicated.
"The data suggest that replacing red meat with other protein sources, such as poultry, fish, nuts, legumes and whole grains and even vegetables, can reduce the risk of premature death," Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology and chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, who is also the senior author of the study, explained.
"What we found is that increasing the consumption of red meat is associated with higher mortality risk, and the risk is particularly high for people who increased their consumption of processed red meat," he added.
"When people reduce their red meat consumption and eat other protein sources -- and also plant-based foods -- instead, they have lower risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular mortality," Hu pointed out.
Researchers recommended that people would replace red meat with other protein sources, noting that an increased consumption of whole grains and vegetables was associated with a lower risk of death.
He noted that a previous research had revealed that high amounts of saturated fat, heme iron, preservatives and other components in meat may add to unfavorable health repercussions.