Background: High saturated fat consumption, mostly from red meat and sausage meat has been associated with an increase in cardiovascular risk (CVR) in contrast to the effect of high fish consumption.
Objective: To get to know the frequency of meat and fish consumption in an elderly high Mediterranean population, their correlations with adherence to the Mediterranean diet (MD) and their association with intermediate CVR phenotypes.
Methods: A cross-sectional study was carried out on 945 people (67.4±6.2 years old) with high CVR recruited in primary care centres of Valencia, and participating in the PREDIMED study. The frequency of meat and fish consumption was determined through a validated questionnaire. We analyzed clinical, biochemical and anthropometric variables using standard methods.
Results: Mean red meat consumption was high (7.4±4.7 times/week), being higher in men than in women (P=0.031) and was associated with greater weight (P=0.001) and prevalence of obesity (P=0.025). Fish consumption was also high (4.5±2.6 time/week) and was associated with lower concentrations of fasting plasma glucose (P=0.016) as well as with lower prevalence of diabetes (P=0.017).
Conclusion: Red meat consumption in this high CVR population is very high and far from the recommendations of MD, needing, therefore, to be reduced. Fish consumption is closer to the recommendations and should be maintained.