A new study found that the type of fat – not the amount of fat – you eat can mitigate your risk of a stroke.
The study comes from Harvard’s School of Public Health. It showed that eating more animal fat is linked to a higher risk of stroke and eating vegetable fat was linked to a lower risk of stroke. Researchers analyzed 27 years of data from over 117,000 health care professionals. They found that participants who ate large amounts of animal fat, particularly from red and processed meats, were 16 percent more likely to have a stroke. Somewhat surprisingly, fat from dairy was not linked to an increased risk of stroke.
The authors warn against replacing red meat with processed vegetable-based products such as vegan burgers and lunch meats because those contain a lot of salt, sugar and saturated fat, not to mention palm oil which contributes to deforestation.
“I don’t think anyone needs to look at this and become vegan if that’s not what they want to do,” one dietician told NBC News. “But swapping even one meal of red meat a week and replacing it with an unprocessed vegetarian option is going to be good for cardiovascular health.”