Cardiologists will tell you that eating a lot of meat is probably not the best thing for your heart health.
But now a new study out of Harvard finds that it all depends on what form of meat you're eating.
Here's Chuck Roberts with today's Health Minute.
Harvard researchers report on this week's Website of the Journal, Circulation, that eating processed meats, such as sausage, bologna and bacon may raise a person's risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
But on the flip side, the analysis found eating red meat that was not processed, such as beef, pork and lamb, did not elevate a person's risk for either of these health problems
The researchers looked at data from 20 large studies on meat and health and found processed meats were associated with a 42 percent higher risk of heart disease and 19 percent higher risk of type 2 diabetes.
But red meat had no significant effects.
Even though they found processed meat and red meat to have approximately the same amount of saturated fat and cholesterol, the researchers say the processed meat had four times more sodium and 50 percent more nitrate preservatives in them than the red meat, suggesting these elements could have more effect on heart disease and diabetes, than fat.
The meat industry has a different view.
The American Meat Institute Foundation says meat contains protein, amino acids, iron and zinc, which are the keys to good health the AMIF says this is just one study from a wealth of research that has clearly demonstrated processed meat is a healthy part of a balanced diet.
For today's Health Minute , I'm Chuck Roberts.