The study concluded that plant proteins had the healthiest impact on blood cholesterol. It also showed the effects of white and red meats on participants' cholesterol levels were identical when saturated fat levels were equivalent.
But the key takeaway from the study is to watch out for saturated fat, no matter the protein source. A diet with high levels of saturated fat is associated with higher levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, CNN reported.
"The take-home message is there is no need to put a label of restricted or forbidden on red meat," registered dietician Maria Romo-Palafox told CNN. "Make sure you are choosing the leanest meats possible. If you can adopt a meatless Monday, why not? That might help you balance your risk."