Harvard Medicine

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Getting the Red Out

Replacing red meat with nuts, fish, or poultry can save your heart

Photo by Ken Brown<br/>iStockphoto.com Replacing just one serving of red meat a day with a packet of nuts could reduce your risk of heart disease by nearly a third. Harvard researchers have found that women who consumed greater amounts of red meat had an increased risk of coronary heart disease, but those who replaced red meat with protein-rich foods such as fish, poultry, or nuts had a much lower risk. Eating one serving a day of nuts in place of red meat was linked to a 30 percent lower risk of coronary heart disease; substituting a serving of fish lessened risk by 24 percent; poultry, by 19 percent; and low-fat dairy, by 13 percent. The findings, which appeared in the August 31 issue of Circulation, draw on the long-running Nurses’ Health Study, based at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.

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