Point for the veggie-eaters

I haven’t eaten red meat since I was about 12 years old. Turns out, it may be extending the length of my life.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health released on Monday a study linking red meat consumption with a person’s risk of dying young.

People who ate a card-deck-sized serving of unprocessed red meat, like a 3-ounce serving of steak, every day had a 13 percent higher risk of dying than those who didn’t eat red meat as often.

That percentage is even higher – 20 percent – for those who fancy processed red meat, like in a hot dog or two slices of bacon.

“This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death,” said Frank Hu, senior author of the study in the Archives of Internal Medicine.

The research also found that substituting nuts for red meat lowered the total mortality risk by 19 percent; poultry and whole grains lowered it by 14 percent; and fish dropped it by 7 percent.

(Here’s a graphic by the Los Angeles Times showing what foods increase and decrease mortality risk)

Before you question the reliability of the data, consider this: The data was compiled after researchers documented the eating habits of 37,698 men for 22 years and 83,644 women for 28 years.

What do you think of the new research? To the red-meat-eaters: Will you change how much red meat you eat because of the research?

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