January 7/Cleveland/Stroke -- A new study in the journal Stroke suggests that eating too much red meat may drastically increase risk of stroke.

The study led by Adam M. Bernstein, MD, ScD of the Wellness Institute of the Cleveland Clinic and colleagues found high intake of red meat was associated with an elevated risk of stroke while eating poultry was correlated with a reduced risk.

For the study, researchers followed 84, 010 women aged 30-55 years at baseline and 43,150 men aged 40-75 years who at baseline had no diagnosed cancer, diabetes or cardiovascular disease, for 26 and 22 years respectively.  During the follow-up, 2633 and 1397 strokes occurred in women and men respectively.

The researchers found that compared to consumption of one serving per day of red meat, one serving per day of poultry, nuts, fish, low-fat dairy and whole fat dairy cut the risk of stroke by 27%, 17%, 17%, 11% and 10%, respectively.

However, when legumes and eggs replaced red meat, the risk remained the same.  Caution needs to be exercised when interpreting this finding.  Legumes were consumed in small quantity and it may not play any significant role in the risk for stroke, a health observer suggested.

The findings indicate that red meat eaters may cut their risk for stroke if they opt to eat poultry, fish, but and dairy products instead of red meat.

 From the January 9, 2011, Prepared Foods' Daily News.