It’s Friday night, and you’re hungry, what food are you going to indulge in? The greens and salads you’ve been putting into your body all week? No, you want something that’s going to touch the sides, something that’s going to send you into the weekend contented.
Well, if the food that you choose to indulge in is a juicy cheeseburger then researchers from McMaster University in Canada have some good news for you. They have proposed that regularly consuming unprocessed red meat and cheese can reduce your risk of an early death by improving the wellbeing of your heart.
More than 218,000 adults from more than 50 countries around the world contributed to the McMaster University study. The participants were given a “dietary quality score” based on the foods they ate and their association with lowering the risk of death – so things like fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy products and meat.
Once the researchers had established the participants’ diets, they were divided into five groups based on their dietary quality score.
The researchers found that eating a moderate amount of dairy and meat every day as part of a balanced diet can drastically reduce the risk of dying prematurely. However, they did point out that you can’t just eat cheeseburgers for the rest of your life and be healthy. As is usually the case, you need a balanced diet, but unprocessed red meat and cheese can be part of that.
“People who consumed a diet emphasising fruit, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fish, dairy products and meat had the lowest risks of cardiovascular disease and early death,” said Dr Andrew Mente, principal investigator at McMaster’s Population Health Research Institute. “Thinking on what constitutes a high-quality diet for a global population needs to be reconsidered.”
The NHS currently recommends that adults who eat more than 90g of red or processed meat a day should try to reduce their intake to 70g a day. That’s because eating a lot of red and processed meat can reportedly increase your risk of developing bowel cancer.
Our advice: everything in moderation.