Replacing red meat with other protein sources in diet linked to lower kidney failure risk: Study

A study has found that replacing red meat with other sources of protein in one's diet led to a lower risk of developing kidney disease.
A study has found that replacing red meat with other sources of protein in one's diet led to a lower risk of developing kidney disease. PHOTO: BLOOMBERG

SINGAPORE - Replacing red meat in one's diet with other types of food containing protein, such as poultry and fish, has been shown to be linked to a reduction in the risk of developing kidney failure, a study conducted by researchers in Singapore has found.

A reduction of up to 62 per cent in the risk of developing end-stage renal disease - which requires dialysis or a kidney transplant - was associated with one serving of red meat being substituted with other sources of protein, going by the study's findings which were released on Monday (July 18).

In the study, 97 per cent of red meat intake by participants consisted of pork.

In contrast, no association was found between kidney failure and the consumption of poultry, fish, eggs or dairy products.

Based on more than 60,000 Chinese adults in Singapore, the study was conducted over 15 years. Participants were aged between 45 and 74 at the start of the study.

However, it is not necessary to stop red meat consumption entirely, according to Professor Koh Woon Puay.

"It is best to eat red meat in moderation. For example, instead of eating red meat for every meal or daily, it is advisable to replace it with other meat such as poultry and fish, or plant-based protein such as soy and legumes for alternate meals or days," said Prof Koh, a clinical sciences professor at the Duke-NUS Medical School and NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.