A Red-Meat Allergy Could Put Your Health at Risk

Are you allergic to red meat? You might think that’s a funny question. People have been eating red meat for generations. Right?

But with more red meat in the food supply, and a growing tick problem that’s helping to spread an allergen, it’s a real problem. Getting a bite from an infected tick can trigger an allergic reaction to eating red meat. Hives, upset stomach, and trouble breathing are frequently visible symptoms.

What’s so insidious about this allergy to red meats? In a new study at the University of Virginia, researchers found that this particular allergy to red meat can increase the risk for a heart attack or stroke.

How is that possible? Researchers believe that the allergy causes an increase in plaque build-up that can block flow to and from major arteries. In the study, 118 people were evaluated for arteriosclerosis. Those with a known allergy to red meat were 30 percent more likely to have higher levels of plaque build-up.

What can you do to protect your heart health? Follow the rules to avoid a tick bite, and you’re on the right track. But you can also protect your heart by eating more plant-based foods, drinking more water, getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, and losing weight or maintaining a healthy weight.

So what should you eat to keep your heart healthy? Limiting foods high in sodium can be a good place to start. Instead, eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, and drink plenty of water. You should also check out our easy-to-make microwave meals made from fresh ingredients. You’ll find plenty to choose from on our Low-Sodium menu.