There’s a lot of conflicting information out there regarding which foods are healthy and which are unhealthy. One food that many people feel uncertain about is meat. Red meat is an excellent source of protein and iron, yet some studies suggest that eating meat can be bad for heart health. In fact, a recent study reinforced the evidence suggesting meat is a food that should be eaten in moderation.

Red Meat and Processed Meat Negatively Affect Heart Health

Many past studies have indicated that eating too much red meat can compromise heart health. However, a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that researchers could not definitively say that eating red meat or processed meat (hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, sausage, etc.) could cause health problems like cancer, type 2 diabetes, or heart disease. Many people took that study as being an indicator that it was fine to eat as much meat as they like. However, this latest study adds more evidence to the side of those who say limiting meat is better.

This latest study involved 30,000 adults who were followed for 30 years. The results of the study showed:

  • Eating two servings of processed meat per week increased the risk of heart disease and stroke by 7 percent.
  • Eating 2 or more servings of red meat per week raised the week by 3 percent.
  • Participants who ate 2 or more servings of red meat weekly had a 3 percent higher chance of dying during the study.
  • Overall, eating more red or processed meat raised their risks for heart disease, stroke, and dying.

Healthy Alternatives for Protein

Perhaps you’ve thought about helping your older family member to improve their diet by eating less red or processed meat. You may be uncertain of what kinds of foods they should eat to ensure they meet their protein needs. The good news is that protein is found in lots of different kinds of foods. Some healthy alternative sources of protein are:

  • Seafood.
  • Protein.
  • Low-fat dairy products.
  • Beans.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Tofu or other soy products.

Senior care can help your older family member to make healthy changes to their diet, including choosing proteins other than red meat or processed meat. Senior care providers can help the elderly person to plan meals that use fish, poultry, and plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Senior care providers can also drive the older adult to the grocery store and help them to shop. And, finally, a senior care provider can cook meals for your loved one, ensuring they eat a balanced diet including healthy foods they enjoy.


When you know your aging loved-one needs help with companion care, consider in-home care provided by Golden Heart Senior Care. We have offices nationwide. For more information, call us today at (800) 601-2792.