Health Tips: An inside look at why meat is bad for you


In 2018 Americans ate a record-breaking amount of red meat and poultry (much of it fried) -- 222.2 pounds apiece. No wonder a new study published in the journal Hypertension has us once again singing the praises of omega-3-loaded fish, like salmon and sea trout, and advising you to eat lean, skinless poultry (not fried), and plant proteins found in foods like peas, quinoa, chia nuts and seeds.

The study looked at the presence of trimethylamine-n-oxide, or TMAO, a byproduct from digesting certain meat-based proteins, in the bodies of 100 adults and 22 young adults. Researchers analyzed how it affects the risk of chronic disease. They found that meat-eaters’ TMAO level rose significantly with age, as did signs of health-threatening tissue and blood vessel damage. This was independent of the damage excess saturated fat in meats can do to your health.

A previous study in the Journal of the American Heart Association found a more than 60% increased risk of major cardiovascular events in people with elevated TMAO. 

The bottom line: To reduce TMAO levels, eliminate red and processed meats from your diet. Limit lean, skinless poultry to a 3- to 6-ounce serving. Eat fish such as salmon and sea trout that are loaded with heart-healthy omega-3 fats twice weekly, and learn how to cook well-seasoned plant proteins like peas and quinoa, so you love them -- as they love your body back. In two weeks, you can lower your risk of heart and kidney disease, dementia and cancer. 


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