American Heart Association Loves Red Meat

For years and years, health “experts” have been telling us that red meat is bad for our hearts.

  • Wives have been replacing their husbands’ T-Bones with steamed tofu cubes.
  • Girlfriends have been replacing the boyfriends’ burgers with chicken breast & pesto wrap sandwiches.

Well….no more.

grilled steak American Heart Association Loves Red Meat

Today, the men of the world (and some of the women) are going to rise up and say no to steamed tofu cubes and dried out chicken breasts.

Today, we say yes to big juicy steaks and burgers dripping with saturated fat.

Because….according to the latest research, it is the consumption of processed meats, not red meats, that is associated with higher incidence of coronary heart disease (CHD) and diabetes.

The Science

According to their analysis:

  • Red meat has no statistical association with CHD, while
  • Each serving per day of processed meat is associated with a 42% higher risk of CHD
  • Red meat also has no statistical association with diabetes, while
  • Each serving per day of processed meat results in a 19% higher risk of diabetes


Steak & Veggies: GOOD

meat and salad American Heart Association Loves Red Meat

Cold Cut Sandwiches: BAD

Hoagie Hero Sub Sandwich American Heart Association Loves Red Meat

image: Wikipedia


Doug Robb is a personal trainer, a fitness blogger and author, a competitive athlete, a social media nerd and a student of nutrition and exercise science. Since 2008, Doug has brought his real-world experience online via his health & fitness blog, Health Habits.


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  2. Lyth

    August 21, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    @Gary … From what I have read, it is generally the sodium nitrate added to the processed meats. Not all cold cuts are bad, your best bet is to invest in a meat slicer then cook and slice it yourself.

  3. Gary

    July 30, 2010 at 1:28 pm

    What I haven’t heard addressed is that all the processed meats mentioned in the study are almost always eaten along with a high carbohydrate load, be it bun, roll or toast. So which is it, the processed meats themselves or the associated carbohydrates that are causing the problem. I’d like to see a study exploring processed meats as part of a low carbohydrate diet and any relationship with CVD before I’ll lose any sleep over this.

  4. George

    July 29, 2010 at 5:02 am

    This has been said by Barry Groves and others for years. Check out his site:

  5. sangita

    July 22, 2010 at 5:13 am

    Hi DR. Can u comment on that famous Frammingham study…?

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  7. Noel

    July 20, 2010 at 8:47 pm

    I don’t think this is really anything new. Athletes and actual experts within the fitness industry have known this for years, which is why diets like Paleo and the Zone are so popular to some.

    It’s great that the American Heart Association is finally helping to spread the word, though, and that the processed meats vs. red meats differences (which is where most of the confusion originates from, I believe) is being given more emphasis.

  8. Dan

    July 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm


    I can’t believe this I am so happy to hear it. Now I finally have scientific proof to my claims. Please send me the pdf or the link!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Dori

    July 20, 2010 at 1:58 pm

    Can you post a link to the actual research? Totally believe it’s true, but without the data, most won’t believe.

    • healthhabits

      July 20, 2010 at 2:51 pm

      Hi Dori,

      Here is a link to the full study

      The author of the study sent me a copy of the full study, but wouldn’t allow me to publish any info not included in the abstract.

      Most times, I can get their permission to publish selected passages from the full study, but in this case, they were sticklers for copyright.