Diet High in Animal Protein Associated With Higher Risk of Early Mortality
The American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating no
more than 510g of cooked red meat per week. A new study suggests that men who
eat a diet high in animal protein have a 23% greater risk of early mortality,
compared to men who eat a more balanced diet.
Participants in the study included 2,641 men between the ages of
42 and 60 who took part in the Kuopio Ischemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study.
They were followed for an average of 22.3 years. The researchers calculated
protein intakes via a 4-day dietary questionnaire. The main source of animal
protein was found to be red meat. The researchers also collected data on
disease deaths for the participants during the follow-up period.
Men with the highest intakes of total protein and animal protein,
more than 200 grams per day, were found to have a 23% higher risk of early
mortality compared to men who had the lowest intakes, less than 100 grams per
day. The risk was greatest in men who had been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes,
cardiovascular disease, or cancer at the beginning of the study.
A higher animal-to-plant ratio in the diet was also associated
with a higher risk of death. Consumption of fish, eggs, dairy, and plant
protein sources was not associated with early mortality.
The study was conducted by researchers at the University of
Eastern Finland. It was published on April 9, 2019 in the American
Journal of Clinical Nutrition.