Bad news for people who prefer well-done meat: It’s linked to an increased risk for high blood pressure

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  • Eating well-done meat has been linked to increased risk for developing hypertension or high blood pressure, according to preliminary study results presented at an American Heart Association meeting.
  • Consuming more meat or fish that had been grilled or roasted at high temperatures was also associated with an increased risk.
  • High blood pressure increases the chance that someone will develop heart disease and suffer a stroke or heart attack.

People who like their meat well-done have a higher risk of developing high blood pressure, according to preliminary study results presented at an American Heart Association meeting.

Specifically, eating meat or fish cooked at high temperatures, over an open flame, or well-done in general all seem to be linked to a higher chance of hypertension, which can eventually damage blood vessels and lead to a heart attack or stroke, along with other issues.

That finding comes from an analysis of more than 100,000 participants in several ongoing studies. None of the participants started with high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, but 37,123 developed high blood pressure over the next 12 to 16 years, according to data from the researchers.

The researchers looked at participants who ate at least two servings of red meat, chicken, or fish every week. They found that people who ate grilled, broiled, or roasted meat or fish more than 15 times a month had a 17% higher chance of developing high blood pressure.

People who preferred meat well-done as opposed to rare had a 15% higher chance of developing high blood pressure as well – sorry, President Trump.

The researchers also found that eating meat that was highly charred was associated with a 17% increased risk for hypertension. Charring meat is also unfortunately associated with an increased cancer risk.

The researchers behind this work can’t be sure whether eating meat directly caused the risk of high blood pressure. Though they noticed a trend, it’s still possible that these groups of people had something else in common that led to their increased risk.

Still, dietitians and nutrition experts generally recommend that people limit their consumption of processed and red meats. This is more evidence that points in that same direction.