EATING popular foods could drastically increase your risk of a killer condition, experts have warned.

While we all need a diet that consists of a variety of food groups, medics have found a dangerous link to one in particular.

A new study led by researchers at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy found that eating red meat can raise your risk of cardiovascular disease – especially in older adults.

Red meat includes foods such as beef, lamb and pork and the NHS says you shouldn't eat more than 70g-a-day.

This they say, will help reduce the risk of illnesses such as bowel cancer.

Experts at Tufts University and Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute looked at over 4,000 men and women over the age of 65.

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They found that those who ate more red meat had a 22 per cent higher risk of heart issues.

They detailed that around 10 per cent of the risk was explained by the gut bacteria produced from the nutrients in the meat.

Those who ate the red meat had a '1.1 serving' each day.

Medics said that while there was a link to foods like beef, pork and lamb – that this wasn't the same for poultry, eggs or fish.

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Experts said that the higher risk of cardiovascular illness could be partly down to the fact that those who eat more red meat may also have high blood pressure and worse cholesterol levels.

The paper’s co-first author Meng Wang, a post-doctoral fellow at the Friedman School said: "The interactions between red meat, our gut microbiome, and the bioactive metabolites they generate seem to be an important pathway for risk, which creates a new target for possible interventions to reduce heart disease.” 

"When choosing animal-source foods, it’s less important to focus on differences in total fat, saturated fat, or cholesterol, and more important to better understand the health effects of other components in these foods, like L-carnitine and heme iron," she added.

L-carnitine and heme iron are both components that are found in red meat products.

Cardiovascular disease is a general term for conditions that affect the heart and blood vessels.

In most cases it's associated with a build up of fatty deposits inside the arteries – it also increases your risk of blood clots.

It's one of the main causes of death and disability in the UK and the NHS says it can largely be prevented by living a healthy lifestyle.


The experts said that dietary efforts should be made to reduce the risk.

This includes making sure your diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole grains and other heart-healthy foods.

Alongside this, the experts said you should aim to maintain a health weight, manage stress and blood pressure.

Getting more exercise, adequate sleep and quitting smoking will all help, they said.

It was previously found that deaths in some countries, attributable to red and processed meat, have gone up by 75 per cent.

Countries across the world have increased their red and processed meat consumption in the past 20 years.

Writing in BMJ Global Health experts found that diet related deaths associated with the global meat trade rose in three quarters of the 154 countries between 1993-5 and 2016-18.

Comparing the uptick in demand in each country with the deaths, the experts found that this accounted for 10,898 attributable deaths in 2016–18, an increase of nearly 75 per cent on the figures for 1993-5. 

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In 2016–2018, the top 10 countries where attributable deaths were most linked to meat consumption included, The Netherlands, Bahamas, Tonga, Denmark, Antigua and Barbuda, Seychelles, United Arab Emirates, Singapore, Croatia and Greece.

In these countries the meat deaths accounted for more than 7 per cent of all deaths attributable to diets.

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