Is Red Meat Bad for Your Heart?

Last Editorial Review: 8/21/2017

Ask the experts

I love steak, but everyone tells me that it's not good for my heart. Is this true? Is all red meat bad for the heart?

Doctor's response

While red meat does have fat which is converted to LDL or "bad" cholesterol, in people who have a genetic predispostion to high cholesterol, total avoidance of red meat does not mean that the body will not make LDL. That is why many people need cholesterol lowering medicines, even with an excellent diet. Having said that, it makes prudent sense to try and avoid foods high in so called "bad fats" - these include saturated fat and trans fats. Protein intake is important, and generally fish and "white meats" are healthier than red meat. Still occasional red meat (such as on special occasions) is OK in moderation, and it's best to choose the leanest cuts available and trim excess fat.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors

Medically reviewed by Robert Bargar, MD; Board Certification in Public Health & General Preventive Medicine


"Healthy diet in adults"