Many patients ask me does eating lean red meat increase my cholesterol levels? It does not and will not if you choose lean meat cuts. New studies at China’s Zhejiang University show lean meats can help lower your cholesterol and won’t contribute to weight gain, making it almost as healthy as chicken or pork. Red meat is also a key source of vitamin B-12, an essential building block of red blood cells and nerve tissues. In choosing red meats select ground meat at 93% lean or better, top round, top sirloin, or round tip, and watch portions.