"A diet high in red and processed meats deluges the body with inflammatory compounds like saturated fat and nitrites," she said. Over time, the body's best efforts to cope with the influx of unhealthy compounds are overwhelmed.
"We get heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases," Heller said. "There are numerous studies showing a link between eating red and processed meat and chronic diseases and death."
Research suggests that going meatless even a few days a week can significantly reduce the risk of these devastating diseases, she said.
"Cut back to eating red or processed meat once or twice a week to start," Heller said. "On other days, substitute chicken, fish, beans, soy, nuts, whole grains like quinoa, and low or nonfat organic dairy for your protein sources."
For more on a healthy diet, visit the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
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