Heart beat: Make it a bean burger with that beer

Heart beat

Make it a bean burger with that beer

For many people, the recipe for a successful summer cookout includes a sizzling burger and an ice-cold beer. Routinely combining red meat and alcohol, though, may not be so good for your heart. Instead, try a bean burger.

The difference has to do with the kind of iron in meat (heme iron), which may contribute to heart disease, and zinc, which may fight it.

In a 15-year study of more than 34,000 older women, researchers found that overall iron intake wasn't linked with deaths from heart disease and stroke. But among women who averaged an alcoholic drink a day, those who ate the most heme iron had twice the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease compared to women who ate the least. The risk was even higher for heavier drinkers. The results were published in the April 2005 American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

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