Study: Red meat boosts risk of dying at younger age

The Uniform Retail Meat Identification Standards agency surveyed consumers who seem to be puzzled about the names of beef and pork cuts, and to help customers figure out the difference between a pork butt and rump roast, there will be new names for everything from pork chops to steaks.

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DENVER — A new study may be hard to swallow. It says eating red meat can boost your risk of dying young by up to 20%.

This study out of Harvard School of Medicine followed 120,000 people for 2 decades. They found that eating a small serving of unprocessed red meat daily, like hamburgers and roast beef, resulted in a 13-percent higher risk of premature death from heart disease and cancer. If the meat was processed, like in a hot dog or slices of bacon, the risk jumped to 20%.

“Red meat tends to be high in saturated fat. Saturated fat is associated with increasing your bad cholesterol,” says Bonnie Jortberg, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of Colorado. “You tend to eat more fat more saturated fat so some things that are related to cardiovascular disease.”

Shalene McNeill of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association says red meat is a healthy part of a well-balanced diet that provides key nutrients you cannot find in other food.

The study suggests that substituting red meat with foods like fish, poultry, nuts and beans may help people live longer.

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