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Red or White May Make You Blue



Animal protein and effects on cholesterol

Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday in September, is a public holiday that celebrates the achievements of the American worker.  Established out of the Industrial Revolution, a time when many adults and children worked 12 hour days for much less than a living wage – it is a holiday to celebrate the working man and woman.  And for many it’s the unofficial end of summer, marked with cook outs, parades, even fireworks of red, white and blue. 

When it comes to food however, celebrating this patriotic holiday with red or white meat may not be recommended if you’re trying to stay healthy.  New research, dubbed The Animal and Plant Protein and Cardiovascular Health Trial, observed that either type of animal protein resulted in elevated blood cholesterol levels while plant protein alternatives were the healthiest.  Study participants went through phases which included eating red meat, white meat or plant proteins for 4 weeks at a time while LDL cholesterol was monitored.  Results saw little difference between animal proteins. 

Despite dietary guidelines and dietitians’ suggesting white meat as a healthier alternative to red meat, researchers were surprised to see “their effects on cholesterol were identical when saturated fat levels are equivalent” Senior Author Ronald Krauss explained.  The key here is to watch portions, even if you’re choosing lean white meat (which still has some saturated fat); if overdone it could easily have the same effect as red meat. 

At Dole we believe in the benefits of a plant-based diet and we love that they are easier on the environment, wallet and waist.  Here are some dishes to help you celebrate this Labor Day. 

Red White and Blue Banana Split

Red White and Berry Salad

Layered Watermelon Tomato and Mixed Greens Salad with Feta Cheese

Published September 1st 2019

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