A new study published in the scientific journal Aging from the University of Glasgow, found that eating too much red meat combined with not eating enough fruits and vegetables could decrease a person’s cellular or “biological age”, contrary to one’s chronological age. Red meat can cause an increase in the chemical serum phosphate and socioeconomically-disadvantaged males were the most affected by excess meat intake. Although phosphate is a naturally occurring substance in most foods, previous studies have shown the dangers of phosphate additives in foods like processed meats, canned fish, and soft drinks. High levels have been linked to kidney disease, higher risk of death, and premature vascular aging leading to other various chronic health conditions. People with kidney disease have a harder time breaking down certain minerals, even though cells need these minerals to function.
Professor Paul Shiels, one of the leading researchers of the Institute of Cancer Sciences, found a correlation in socioeconomically-disadvantaged males with reduced kidney function and chronic kidney disease. He states, “the data provides evidence for a mechanistic link between high intake of phosphate and age-related morbidities tied to socio-economic status.” He also remarks, “It’s notable that these effects are not apparent among less deprived males, or females, especially in the context of a more balanced diet," illustrating how important it is to consume adequate amounts of fruits and vegetables.
As an alternative to red meats, you can try healthier options instead like nuts, seeds and beans, whole grains, and low-fat dairy products to obtain the protein you need. By reducing your intake of meat, you’ll be one step closer to a better you and a better planet.
Written by Donna Chen