Red Meat Not Worse for Your Cholesterol Than Chicken Study Says

A steak cut up on a platter

It’s been a truism in the diet world that red meat is worse for your cholesterol than white meat like chicken or pork. A new study seems to have found that not to be the case. The key is not what type of meat you eat, but how much saturated fat you consume more broadly.

The study, which was recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, took over 100 healthy men and women between 21 and 65 and randomly assigned them either a high saturated fat diet (with things like butter or other full fat foods) or a low saturated fat diet. Researchers then layered on top of that a red meat diet, a white meat diet and a no meat diet over the course of several weeks.

The results showed the people eating the high saturated fat diet had higher levels of both total and LDL (that’s the bad kind) of cholesterol regardless of whether they at red meat or white meat. The not meat diet however did make a difference.

Ultimately what this diet argues for more than anything is eating lean cuts of meat regardless of the type, and, if you can to cut back on all meat. CNN spoke to nutritionist Maria Romo-Palafox who said, “if you can adopt a meatless Monday, why not? That might help you balance your risk.” But no need to miss out on all the grilling action summer has to offer. If you can’t look for cuts of beef like hanger or skirt steak and if you’re making burgers, go for the 96 percent lean packs of ground beef.