Cutting out a sausage a day for a long and healthy life!

sausage

It may seem a simple substitution, but exchanging just a small amount of processed red meat for plant protein reduces the risk of early death by 34 per cent. Ditching bacon and eggs could also extend life, the study suggests.
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital followed more than 130,000 people for 36 years, monitoring their diet, lifestyle, illness and mortality.
For a man, they found that switching 19g of animal protein – the equivalent of a sausage or a few slices of bacon – for nuts, vegetables or wholegrains significantly cut the risk of early death. A woman needs to exchange just 15g for the same effect. Substituting eggs for plant protein also led to a 19 per cent reduction in the risk of early death.
In contrast, raising the animal protein share of calories by 10 per cent led to a two per cent higher risk of death from any cause and an eight per cent greater chance of dying from a heart problem.
“Overall, our findings support the importance of the sources of dietary protein for long-term health outcomes,” said lead scientist Dr Mingyang Song, from Massachusetts General Hospital.
“While previous studies have primarily focused on the overall amount of protein intake – which is important – from a broad dietary perspective, the particular foods that people consume to get protein are equally important.

“Our findings suggest that people should consider eating more plant proteins than animal proteins, and when they do choose among sources of animal protein, fish and chicken are probably better choices.”
Animal protein foods include all types of meat, fish, eggs and dairy products such as milk and cheese. Plant sources of protein include cereals, beans, nuts, legumes, soya and bread.
The risk was more pronounced among people who were obese, had a history of smoking, drank heavily and who did little exercise.
Among the healthiest participants, the association disappeared – possibly because health-conscious people tended to eat more fish and poultry rather than red and processed meat, said the researchers.
Prof Tim Key, director of Oxford University’s Cancer Epidemiology Unit, said the findings showed th
at cutting out processed meat was crucial to good health.
“Overall, the study adds to the view that healthy diets should emphasise plant foods, including plant sources of protein, and that intakes of animal source foods – especially processed meat – should be low,” he said.
The researchers analysed data covering more than 3.5 million years of human life for the study. The findings were reported in the journal Jama Internal Medicine.
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