Cut down on meat to lose weight

July 23, 2010

in Health News,Studies

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Eating less meat may be the key to keeping a healthy weight, say researchers.

(BBC News) A European study of almost 400,000 adults found that eating meat was linked with weight gain, even in people taking in the same number of calories.

The strongest association was found with processed meat, such as sausages and ham, the Imperial College London team reported.

It suggests that high-protein diets may not help slimmers in the long run.

But there could also be another lifestyle or dietary explanation for the link that was not accounted for by the study.

Study leader Dr Anne-Claire Vergnaud said: “I would recommend to people to control their consumption of meat to maintain a healthy weight and good health in general during life.”

But she added: “Decreasing the amount of meat alone would not be an adequate weight loss strategy.”

Sian Porter, a dietician and spokeswoman for the British Dietetic Association, said there were caveats in the study, including the fact that at the end-weight was self-reported.

But she said it was an interesting finding.

A portion of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards”

Sian Porter

“We eat more meat than we need.

“What I say to my patients is to think about variety – so have an egg for breakfast instead of bacon, cheese for lunch instead of ham and fish for the evening meal.

She advised people to eat lots of lentils and pulse, wholegrains, fruit and veg and oily fish as well as meat.

“Portion size is the other thing – a portion of meat should be about the size of a deck of cards.”

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