It doesn't have to be a McDonald's Quarter Pounder: Any and all red meat -- no matter how small the portion -- is pushing you closer to death, according to a new study published by the Archives of Internal Medicine.
The study followed the dietary habits of 110,000 adults over 20 years and found, for example, that eating just one 3-ounce serving of unprocessed red meat increased the chances of dying during the study by 13%. Processed meat was even worse: One hot dog or a couple of strips of bacon a day increased the chances of dying by 20%.
The team behind the study had hypothesized that only processed red meat would be linked to a higher mortality rate. Previous studies have linked red meat consumption to an elevated risk of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and certain cancers.
"Any red meat you eat contributes to the risk [of dying]," An Pan, lead author of the study, told the Los Angeles Times. "If you want to eat red meat, eat the unprocessed products, and reduce it to two or three servings a week."
Replacing red meat with a serving of nuts reduced the chances of dying by 19%; poultry or whole grains by 14%; and fish by 7%, the study found.