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health alert

White meat can be just as bad for your heart as red meat, study finds

Will you be having the chicken or the beef?

Either way, you could be endangering your heart health, suggests a new study. The research has found that white and red meats can be equally bad for cholesterol levels, contradicting the common knowledge that white meat is more healthy.

The study, published on Tuesday in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, examined people who shifted between eating diets high in red meat, white meat, and plant-based proteins. While plant-based protein was less likely to cause high blood cholesterol levels than meat-based protein, the difference in effect between white and red meats was insignificant.

That's not to say that you should stop eating meat altogether, though: "A combination of poultry, fish, vegetable proteins, and lean red meat" is still a good approach to nutrition, NBC News explained. It's more about how much saturated fat is in your food — whether white or red, meats high in saturated fat present the greatest danger to your cholesterol levels. As long as you're eating leaner cuts, white and red meat can both be parts of a healthy diet; in fact, red meat can even be an important source of vitamins like B12.

As always, "demonizing any food based on one study" is a dangerous route to take. "I don't want people to get too focused on an all-or-nothing approach," said Ronald Krauss, the study's lead author.

Read more at NBC News.