Here’s another reason to cut back on the steaks and burgers: Dr. Stanley Hazen, who’s an expert on cell biology, says that red meat is loaded with a chemical that speeds up hardening of the arteries. It’s called L-carnitine. The chemical is also sold as a dietary supplement, and is added to some energy drinks. It’s supposed to fight fatigue and build muscle. But Dr. Hazen says what it really builds is artery-clogging plaque. 

When you consume carnitine, it changes the way your body handles cholesterol. And studies show that when the levels carnitine in your bloodstream are high, it causes the cholesterol in your system to become stickier - and more likely to collect on artery walls. 

Which means, eating red meat packed with cholesterol and carnitine significantly raises your risk for clogged arteries, and heart disease. 

Does this mean we can’t enjoy the occasional steak? Dr. Hazen says, we can still eat steak - but he recommends limiting our consumption to a 6-ounce serving of red meat every two weeks. He also strongly recommends that we avoid any supplements that contain carnitine. Because any benefits don’t outweigh the increased risk of heart disease.