Does red meat increase the risk of stroke? Here’s what a study says

red meat and stroke
Is there a link between red meat and stroke? Image courtesy: Freepik
Arushi Bidhuri Updated: 11 Oct 2022, 15:07 pm IST
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Over the years, red meat has gained a bad reputation for being harmful to your health. So many research papers point to the possibility of a stroke if you consume too much red meat. But a new study suggests otherwise. A study published in Nature Medicine suggests that red meat might not be as bad for your brain as claimed.

For the unversed, red meat is defined as any meat that comes from non-bird mammals, which includes beef, pork, goat, mutton, veal, and lamb. While red meat has been associated with a lot of health problems, this research is not so supportive of its effects on your brain.

red meat and stroke
Does red meat increase stroke risk? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

Does red meat increase stroke risk?

According to the study conducted by researchers from the University of Washington’s School of Medicine, the link between eating red meat and stroke is weak and inconsistent. The researchers assigned a weak to strong correlation between food or behaviour and a potential health risk a rating of one to five stars. A score of one means that there is no true connection between the behaviour or condition and the health consequence. While 2 stars indicate a 0-15 percent change in the likelihood of a health consequence, 3 stars denote a 15-50 percent change.

After analysing the correlation between 180 risk factors and health outcomes, researchers gave the association between a high red meat diet and ischemic stroke a one-star rating. In other words, the team did not find any correlation between red meat and stroke. Ischemic stroke happens when a blood clot blocks the oxygen and flow of blood to the brain. Basically, your brain cells begin to die. In such cases, patients require prompt treatment.

red meat and stroke
Does red meat increase stroke risk? Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

However, other studies totally defy the possibility that there is no risk associated with consuming red meat and ischemic stroke. In fact, a study by the American Heart Association (AHA) found that people who ate more animal fat, like red meat and processed meat, were at a higher risk of stroke. A 2011 study published in the journal Stroke also found a link between eating red meat and elevated stroke risk.

The key to avoid side effects of red meat is to eat in moderation

As per the study published in Stroke, men who consumed more than two servings of red meat per day had a 28 percent higher risk of having a stroke than men who consumed around one-third of a serving daily. Another thing that matters when it comes to eating red meat is the type of red meat you are eating.

Red meat includes both processed and unprocessed. While everything eaten in excess can take a toll on your health, processed meat sits at the top of that list. If you eat more processed types of red meat, you can suffer from several unwanted and lethal diseases, including stroke.


Despite the fact that red meat contains several essential vitamins and minerals, several studies have found a link between red meat and diseases, including stroke. The best keep safeguard yourself from these dangerous diseases is to avoid eating unprocessed types of red meat and eat processed meat in moderation. However, you should consult a doctor and nutritionist before making any dietary changes to your regimen.

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About the Author

Arushi Bidhuri is a journalist with 7 years of experience in writing, editing, and conceptualizing story ideas across different genres, including health and wellness, lifestyle, politics, beauty, fashion, and more. Arushi has a strong connection in the industry that helps her write concise and original stories as she believes in working towards writing pieces that can enlighten people. ...Read More

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