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Red meat hasn't been receiving good press lately and now a new study has found that halving the amount of red meat in the diet can reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood further reducing the risk of developing heart disease. Red and processed meat (RPM) include fresh pork, beef, lamb and veal and meats that have been smoked, cured or preserved (other than freezing) in some way. These meats are typically high in saturated fatty acids which cause an increase in LDL cholesterol. This is the "bad" cholesterol that collects in the walls of blood vessels, where it can cause blockages and raise the chance of a heart attack. Increasing awareness of the risks associated with eating red and processed meat has led to a growing number of people adopting vegetarian and vegan diets, which cut out meat completely. Overall there was an average drop in LDL cholesterol of approximately 10% with men (who tended to have the highest starting values) seeing the biggest change. For this intervention trial, 46 people agreed to reduce their red meat intake over a period of 12 weeks by substituting it for white meat, fish or a meat substitutes, or by reducing the portion size of their red meat. They kept a food diary during the study and were given blood tests at the beginning and intervals throughout. As well as reducing levels of LDL cholesterol, researchers were surprised to also see a drop in white and red cells in the blood.