ORLANDO, Fla. (KFSN) -- Limiting red meat in your diet isn't just about controlling fat and cholesterol. One researcher has found a way to measure your risk for heart disease, and how your diet plays a huge role.
According to a recent Cleveland Clinic study, if steaks and burgers are a regular part of your diet, you might be putting yourself at serious risk for heart disease.
Stanley Hazen, MD, PhD, Cardiovascular Medicine, Cleveland Clinic said, "How does this impact the development of a compound called TMAO, which stands for trimethylamine n-oxide, it's made by gut microbes and known to contribute to the development of heart disease and what we found is that individuals who eat a diet that's rich in red meat, have a significant elevation in their TMAO level."
Researchers studied 113 adults who got their protein from red meat, white meat, or vegetable-based protein and found that TMAO levels tripled in the red meat eaters. Participants' kidneys were also affected.
"What we saw is that TMAO was less efficiently excreted or gotten rid of by the kidneys on a red meat diet. And had improved elimination or excretion on the white meat or the plant-based diet," Dr. Hazen continued.
The good news? TMAO levels return to normal two to three weeks after cutting red meat out of your diet. So to protect your heart, choose chicken over beef!
TMAO enhances cholesterol deposits into cells of the artery wall, and increases the risk of clot-related events such as heart attack and stroke. A simple blood test can measure your TMAO level to help prevent heart disease.
Health Watch: Is red meat hurting your heart?
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