Red Meat and High Cholesterol: Why the Two Don't Mix

If you are experiencing health problems that are related to high cholesterol, you should refrain from consuming too much red meat. Red meat is known to contain high amounts of cholesterol, and it can cause serious illnesses if it is consumed in excess.

What is High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is also known as hypercholesterolemia, and it refers to a high concentration of low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, in the body. Cholesterol is present in all the cells in the body, and it is essential for the maintenance of healthy cells. However, bad cholesterol can impede the flow of blood, resulting in a variety of health problems.

Dangers of High Cholesterol

Cholesterol does not dissolve in your blood, and it will be transported in your blood stream. Fatty deposits from excess cholesterol will form on the walls of your arteries, and they will eventually turn to blood clots. Blood clots will prevent the transportation of oxygen to various parts of the body, leading to cardiovascular disease.

Cardiovascular disease can cause problems in different parts of your body, and its symptoms are determined by the severity of the blood clotting in arteries and the organs that are supplied by the clotted arteries. If arteries that transport blood to your lower limbs are affected, you may experience pain in the leg when you are walking. If the supply of blood is totally cut off, an amputation of the leg may be necessary. Cardiovascular disease can also cause haemorrhage in the brain, and this can result in a stroke. When blood clotting occurs in the heart, it can cause angina and heart attack.

Red Meat and High Cholesterol

Consumption of red meat can result in an increase in blood cholesterol levels because it contains saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat is known as the main factor contributing to high cholesterol levels. When you consume an excessive amount of saturated fat, your body will respond by producing more cholesterol.

According to the American Heart Association, you should not consume more than 300 milligrams of cholesterol everyday. It is estimated that 3 ounces of beef contain 8 grams of saturated fat, and this represents almost half the recommended daily intake. The same serving of beef also has close to 70 milligrams of cholesterol, which is equal to about 23% daily value. If you eat 3 ounces of lamb, you will be adding about 8 grams of saturated to your body, or approximately 40% daily value. The cholesterol content in lamb is around 80 milligrams, which amounts to almost 30% daily value. However, the way red meat is prepared also has significant effect on the contents of saturated fat and cholesterol. For instance, meat that comes from a cow has more saturated fat than buffalo meat.


The best way to maintain a healthy cholesterol level is to eliminate red meat from your diet. However, if you find that it is difficult to stop eating red meat, you can choose to consume lean red meat. Lean red meat has much lower fat and cholesterol contents than ordinary red meat.


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