A recent meta-analysis published by the American Heart Association shows a clear connection between meat consumption and stroke. The report looks at the added risk caused by each daily serving of meat, making the case for cutting back.
Researchers looked at 6 studies completed over the past decade, with a total of 329,495 participants and 10,630 stroke cases. Their analysis, published in AHA’s journal, Stroke, found that total consumption of fresh and processed red meat is “significantly positively associated with risk of total stroke.” Each daily serving of meat increased this risk by 11- 13%.
Skipping meat one day a week can be an easy way to cut overall servings, thereby reducing some risk. The report notes that the saturated fat found in red and processed meat is a contributing factor, as “some studies have indicated that a high intake of saturated fatty acids increases total cholesterol levels… which could increase the risk of stroke.”
The information for the meta-analysis was gathered from Europe, Japan and the United States. Researchers cite the global rate of stroke cases and meat consumption as their motivation for the investigation. According to the American Heart Association, approximately 795,000 people experience a new or recurrent stroke each year, with someone dying from the disease every four minutes. Given that meat consumption is on the rise in many countries, it is important to share the benefits of cutting back and offer simple ways to enjoy more plant-based meals.