Folks trying to lower their bad cholesterol levels might have lost an ally. White meat isn’t the superfood some may have thought it is.
It’s long been believed that white meat like poultry does a better job than red meat at battling cholesterol, which builds fatty deposits in blood vessels that can eventually lead to a heart attack or stroke. But researchers at the University of California at San Francisco report neither appears to have a decided advantage over the other. Like a zero-zero soccer match, it’s a draw.
The good news for white meat aficionados is that scientists say it still might be better for your heart because of other detrimental cardiovascular effects of eating red meat.
In a paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the researchers say the best bet to get cholesterol under control is the one that offers little surprise — a plant-based diet.
In their study, more than 100 adults were assigned to two groups, each following either a low- or high-saturated-fat diet. Then each group was assigned to one of three diets for four weeks each: white meat, red meat and no meat, just vegetables and dairy products.
The participants’ blood was tested for LDL, which is known as bad cholesterol.
Both types of meat resulted in the same levels of LDL and total cholesterol. And both couldn’t hold a candle to plant-based chow.
Researchers caution that the overall health effects of red and white meat are a complicated stew. Their research was relevant to just cholesterol.
It looks like mom knew what she was doing when she told us to load a big pile of vegetables on the dinner plate. That’s the best bet to keep your cholesterol in line.