Can eating red meat increase my risk for stroke?

Rose Reisman
Nutrition & Dietetics

Excess consumption of red meat has been linked to an increased risk of cancer, diabetes type 2, obesity and heart disease. But now we can add stroke to that list which is the 3rd most common cause of death. All which leads to a shorter life span.

  • According to a study at Harvard, men who eat more than 2 servings of red meat daily increased their risk of stroke by 28% and women had a 19% risk increase
  • A serving was only 4 – 6 oz, not much considering what most people eat typically
  • The study showed that poultry lowered the stroke risk by 27%, nuts or fish lowered the risk by 17% and dairy protein lowered the risk by 10%
  • Meat can still be part of a balanced diet if eaten in moderation.
  • Processed red meat had a greater risk.
  • The type of protein is the key. Using leaner cuts and adding proteins such as fish, poultry, soy and beans are highly recommended.
  • Keep those Steak Houses for the occasional indulgence
Dr. Robin Miller, MD
Internal Medicine

If you are a woman who eats more than 3.6 ounces of red meat daily you may be at increased risk of having a stroke. A study of over 30,000 Swedish women between the ages of 39 and 73 were followed for 10 years. Those who ate 3 ounces of red meat daily were 22% more likely to have a stroke when compared to those who ate the least amount of red meat. Those who ate processed meat were 24% more likely to have a stroke. There is a correlation between red meat consumption and high blood pressure, which is one of the main risk factors for stroke. This may be part of the connection. Limiting red meat consumption may be a good idea in general as part of a heart-healthy diet.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.