Inverse Association of Poultry, Fish, and Plant Protein Consumption with the Incidence of Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiol Rev. 2021 Apr 12. doi: 10.1097/CRD.0000000000000392. Online ahead of print.


Cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains a major cause of death and disability worldwide and food intake plays an important role in its onset or prevention. It is also well known that consumption of red meat (processed and unprocessed) is associated with an increased incidence of CVD, coronary heart disease (CHD), and premature death. However, little is known about the association of consumption of poultry, fish, and plant protein with the incidence of CVD, CHD, and mortality. Several recent studies, reviews and meta-analyses have shown an inverse association of consumption of these foods with the incidence of CVD, CHD, and death. In order to get a better perspective about the current consumption of these foods, a focused Medline search of the English language literature was conducted between 2010 and 2020 using the terms poultry, fish, plant protein consumption, cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, mortality; 28 papers with pertinent information were retrieved. The analysis of data from these papers suggest an inverse relationship between the consumption of these foods and the incidence of de novo CVD or worsening of preexisting CVD. They also demonstrate that the consumption of these foods is still low and that great effort should be made to inform the public about the benefits of switching from red meat to an increased consumption of poultry, fish, and plant protein. All the data from the retrieved papers regarding the consumption of these foods, together with collateral literature, will be discussed in this review.