White meat is just as bad for your cholesterol as red meat, study suggests

The belief that chicken is better for you compared to red meats may not mean much anymore after a recently published study found white meat can be just as bad for your cholesterol.

The research, which was published Tuesday in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, suggests that eating white meat can have the same effect on your cholesterol levels as red meat and that plant-based protein diets are better for you.

Researchers used more than 100 healthy men and women between the ages of 21 and 65 as part of the study. The men and women were separated into two groups – one for high-saturated fats and one for low-saturated fats. They were also asked to stay away from alcohol and vitamin supplements.

Each group went through three different diets: one focused on red meats, another on white meats and one on non-meat proteins. They cycled through the diets randomly and did each one for four weeks at a time.

At the beginning and end of each diet, researchers took blood samples from the participants to measure their cholesterol levels.

The study happened between March 26, 2012 and Oct. 27, 2016. For the high-saturated fat group, there were 27 men and 35 women, while 17 men and 34 women were part of the low-saturated fat group.

The results indicated that plant-based proteins were least harmful to a person’s cholesterol compared to diets consisting of red or white meat. The participants who were eating higher levels of saturated fats were equal in terms of showing bad cholesterol levels, regardless of their diets of red or white meat.

Researchers concluded that people should have a higher portion of plant-based foods and that the results showed neither type of meat reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.