Type of fat may be important factor in stroke risk, study finds

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Plant-Based Meat, Isn't Nutritionally Equivalent, to Animal Meat, Study Suggests.Researchers from Duke University say that meat products and plant-based substitutes are not “truly nutritionally interchangeable.”.The team believes their findings can help consumers make informed decisions regarding their diet.If you peek behind the curtainusing metabolomics and lookat expanded nutritional profiles,we found that there are largedifferences between meatand a plant-based meat alternative, Stephan van Vliet, study co-author, via The Independent.If you peek behind the curtainusing metabolomics and lookat expanded nutritional profiles,we found that there are largedifferences between meatand a plant-based meat alternative, Stephan van Vliet, study co-author, via The Independent.Researchers compared 18 samples of plant-basedmeat alternatives to an equal number of grass-fed ground beef samples.The team found 171 out of the 190 metabolitesthey measured varied between the two.The beef samples contained 22 metabolites that the plant substitutes did not.The plant-based meat contained 31 metabolites not found in the real meat.Several metabolites known to be important to human health were absent from plant-based meat or in lesser quantities.It is important for consumers to understand that these products should not be viewed as nutritionally interchangeable, but that’s not to say that one is better than the other. Plant and animal foods can be complementary, because they provide different nutrients, Stephan van Vliet, study co-author, via The Independent.It is important for consumers to understand that these products should not be viewed as nutritionally interchangeable, but that’s not to say that one is better than the other. Plant and animal foods can be complementary, because they provide different nutrients, Stephan van Vliet, study co-author, via The Independent.The team called for further studies on the short and long-term effects of particular metabolites in meat and plant-based meat alternatives

It turns out not all fat is created equally.

A study was presented last week at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2021. It found that vegetable fat may decrease the risk of stroke while animal fat may increase it.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has noted that diets high in saturated fats, trans fat and cholesterol have been linked to stroke. Red meats are among the foods that have high levels of saturated fat, Medline Plus reported. Too much saturated fat can increase the cholesterol in your arteries and raise LDL, or bad cholesterol. This puts you at risk of heart disease.

The AHA’s study is the first to evaluate how fat derived from vegetable, dairy and non-dairy animal sources impacts stroke risk.

“Our findings indicate the type of fat and different food sources of fat are more important than the total amount of dietary fat in the prevention of cardiovascular disease including stroke,” said Fenglei Wang, Ph.D., in a statement. Wang is the lead author of the study and a postdoctoral fellow in the department of nutrition at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston.

The study evaluated 27 years of follow-up from 117,136 participants in two long-term studies. They were the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study; each began in 1986 and ended in 2016. They’re two of the biggest studies to examine various chronic disease risk factors.

On average, participants were 50 years old, 63% women and 97% white. They were all were free of heart disease and cancer when they enrolled. At the start and every 4 years throughout the study, participants completed food frequency surveys. These were used to measure the amount, source and types of fat they ate in their diet the year prior. Researchers calculated the cumulative average of the dietary data over time to reflect long-term dietary intake. Then the amount of fat consumption was split into 5 groups.

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The study included total red meat — beef, pork or lamb as a main dish — and processed red meats, which were bacon, sausage, bologna, hot dogs and salami among others.

Findings showed that participants in the highest group of non-dairy animal fat intake were 16% more likely to have a stroke compared to those who ate the least. Participants who consumed the most vegetable fat and the most polyunsaturated fat had a 12% less likely chance of having a stroke compared to those who ate the least. People who ate one more serving of red meat daily had an 8% higher risk of stroke. People who ate one more serving of processed red meat increased their stroke risk by 12%.

“Based on our findings, we recommend for the general public to reduce consumption of red and processed meat, minimize fatty parts of unprocessed meat if consumed and replace lard or tallow (beef fat) with non-tropical vegetable oils such as olive oil, corn or soybean oils in cooking in order to lower their stroke risk,” Wang said.

Alice H. Lichtenstein, Stanley N. Gershoff professor of nutrition science and policy at Boston’s Tufts University, noted the health impacts of a balanced diet.

“Key features of a heart-healthy diet pattern are to balance calorie intake with calorie needs to achieve and maintain a healthy weight, choose whole grains, lean and plant-based protein and a variety of fruits and vegetables; limit salt, sugar, animal fat, processed foods and alcohol; and apply this guidance regardless of where the food is prepared or consumed,” she said. Lichtenstein is lead author of the American Heart Association’s 2021 scientific statement, Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health.

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