It has been known for a while that fish intake is associated with a decreased risk for heart disease, but other protein sources have not been studied much. Fish reduce the risk of heart disease because of the omega 3 fat it contains.
What about protein sources like red meat, poultry and nuts?
This has also been investigated now following 81,136 women aged 30 to 55 years during 26 years of follow-up (Bernstein AM, et al. 2010).
The findings were very interesting and documented that higher intakes of red meat, excluding processed meat and also high fat dairy were significantly associated with elevated risk of coronary heart disease.
Higher intakes of poultry, fish and nuts were however significantly associated with lower risk.
1 serving per day of nuts was associated with a 30% lower risk for coronary heart disease compared with 1 serving per day of red meat. When 1 serving of red meat per day was compared with the following, low fat dairy was associated with 13% lower risk, poultry 19% and fish 24% lower risk.
Just by cutting down on red meat and eating some nuts everyday you can reduce your risk for heart disease.
Bernstein AM, Sun Q, Hu FB, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Willett WC. Major dietary protein sources and risk of coronary heart disease in women. Circulation. 2010 Aug 31;122(9):876-83. Epub 2010 Aug 16.