Researchers found that well-done meat, be it grilled or cooked at high temperatures, can boost the risk of high blood pressure in people that regularly consume it.
The findings were unveiled at the American Heart Association’s Epidemiology and Prevention / Lifestyle and Cardiometabolic Health Scientific Sessions 2018 this week.
The research team focused on various cooking methods and types of meat. They also tracked the blood pressure of more than 86,000 women and 17,000 men.
Participants were asked questions about their favorite cooking methods. None of them had been diagnosed with high blood pressure, heart disease or cancer when the study started. Most participants were tracked for up to 16 years.
There was a group of volunteers who regularly consumed two or more servings of beef, pork, chicken, or fish per week. Of those, participants who liked their meat or fish broiled, grilled, or roasted over 15 times per month had a 17% higher risk of hypertension.
Well-Done Meat Boosts Cardiovascular Risk
People who liked their meat or fish well done had a 15% higher risk of high blood pressure than their peers who enjoyed rarer meat. Also, participants who had high levels of chemicals released by meat protein when exposed to high temperatures had a 17% higher risk of high blood pressure.
Study authors underlined that the link between high cooking temperatures and hypertension was still there, regardless of the type of meat consumed.
Lead author Gang Liu explained that meats that are well-done boost the oxidative stress, level of inflammation, and insulin resistance in the body. A higher inflammation and oxidative stress damage blood vessels.
The process ultimately leads to atherosclerosis, which means that blood vessels become narrower and the blood pressure rises.
Researchers acknowledged that their study found a link between cooking temperatures and risk of hypertension. They did not find a cause-and-effect link.
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