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Red Meat Consumption Linked to Arthritis

Nutrition News Flash
  -- By Liza Barnes, Health Educator
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disease that has been linked to a combination of genetic and lifestyle factors. Previous studies have found that cigarette smoking and a diet low in vitamin C-rich fruits play roles in the development of rheumatoid arthritis, but a new study points to another nutritional factor.

A study published in the journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, found that consuming high levels of red meat (defined as two or more ounces every day) more than doubled the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis, compared to individuals who ate less than one ounce of red meat each day.

The authors point out that lifestyle factors may only influence the development of RA in people who are already genetically predisposed to the disease.

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Even if you’re not genetically predisposed to developing rheumatoid arthritis, there are many other potential dangers in over-indulging in red meat. It's higher in saturated fat and cholesterol (nutrients that contribute to heart disease, high blood pressure and high cholesterol) than other protein sources. Aim for variety when filling your protein requirements, choosing foods like beans, nuts, legumes, fish, and poultry.