15 Myths and Surprising Facts About Heart Health

Top heart docs at the Cleveland Clinic deliver the latest news on heart health (17 Photos)

The Cleveland Clinic on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:01PM

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15 Myths and Surprising Facts About Heart Health

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The Claim: Red Meat Is Black-Listed

The Truth: Red meat is relatively high in saturated fat, and as a result, it gets a bad rap. The most important point is to distinguish between processed and unprocessed products. Processed meats have similar contents of saturated fat and cholesterol as unprocessed meat but four times as much sodium and 50 percent more nitrates and nitrites. The sodium can increase blood pressure, while the nitrates may promote atherosclerosis and diabetes.

In general, limit all red meats because of their high saturated fat content and try to avoid processed red meats. An occasional meal that contains a reasonable quantity of unprocessed red meat (a 6- to 8-ounce steak, not a 22-ounce rib eye) is unlikely to cause harm.

Learn more about preventing and managing heart disease from Heart 411: The Only Guide to Heart Health You’ll Ever Need by Marc Gillinov, MD and Steven Nissen, MD (Three Rivers Press, 2012)

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