Red meat may not be as good for your health as you believe. A recent study suggests you should exchange that steak for a pea salad as you are likelier to suffer from kidney failure you eat too much of red meat.
To examine the relationship between dietary intake of major sources of protein and kidney function, a team led by Woon-Puay Koh analysed data from the Singapore Chinese Health Study, a prospective study of 63,257 Chinese adults in Singapore. This is a population where 97 percent of red meat intake consisted of pork. Other food sources of protein included poultry, fish/shellfish, eggs, dairy products, soy, and legumes.
After an average follow-up of 15.5 years, the researchers found that red meat intake was strongly associated with an increased risk of End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) in a dose-dependent manner. People consuming the highest amounts of red meat had a 40 percent increased risk of developing ESRD compared with people consuming the lowest amounts.
No association was found with intakes of poultry, fish, eggs, or dairy products, while soy and legumes appeared to be slightly protective. Substituting one serving of red meat with other sources of protein reduced the risk of ESRD by up to 62 percent.
“We embarked on our study to see what advice should be given to CKD patients or to the general population worried about their kidney health regarding types or sources of protein intake,” said Koh.
Koh added, “Our findings suggest that these individuals can still maintain protein intake but consider switching to plant-based sources; however, if they still choose to eat meat, fish/shellfish and poultry are better alternatives to red meat.”
The findings appear in the Journal American Society of Nephrology (JASN).
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