A new study has hammered home just how big an impact cutting down meat intake can have on health – with cutting out just one portion a day slashing the risk of early death.
Swapping just one portion of meat per day for nuts cuts the risk of early death by up to 17%, a large-scale study in America found.
Improving diet by 20% (the equivalent of swapping a portion of meat every day for nuts) reduces the risk of dying prematurely by 8-17% the researchers found.
Researchers from Ohio University analysed the diets of 48,000 women aged 30-to-55 and 26,000 men aged 40-to-75 over the course of 12 years.
Lead author Dr Mercedes Sotos-Prieto from Ohio University, said: ‘It’s not necessary for people to conform to a single dietary plan to achieve a healthy eating pattern.
‘The essential elements of a healthy diet include higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and beans, and lower intakes of red and processed meats, sugar-sweetened beverages and highly refined grains, like white rice and flour.’