I hope you are all wonderful and enjoying this beautiful fall weather.
There was a lot of hype this last week about a study summary saying red and processed meat cause cancer, but does it?
Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) released a summary saying red and processed meat cause cancer.
Here are the main conclusions from this study:
1. Processed red meat is carcinogenic to humans: It is categorized as a “group 1” carcinogen, which means that the evidence linking processed meat with cancer is sufficient.
2. Red meat is probably carcinogenic to humans: It is categorized as a “group 2A” carcinogen, which means this category is used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Limited evidence means that a positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer but that other explanations for the observations (technically termed chance, bias, or confounding) could not be ruled out.
Red meat has not yet been officially established as a cancer cause.
The study concluded that processed red meat CAN increase the risk of colon cancer in humans, whereas unprocessed red meat is only PROBABLY carcinogenic.
These current findings support past recommendations about reducing meat consumption in general.
I discerned all this info to give you some suggestions on what this study means for you in your red meat consumption
1. Stay away from processed meats as much as possible: sausages, bacon, salami, hot dogs, processed deli or luncheon meats.
*This doesn’t mean you can’t have a piece of bacon every now and then, but don’t eat it regularly
2. If you are going to eat UNPROCESSED red meat choose:
- High quality organic and grass-fed meats
- Lean cuts over fatty ones
- Limit your consumption overall. (If you consume red meat once a week then try to do it every two weeks. If you consume it 3 times a week then reduce your consumption to once per week, and so on
3. When consuming high quality red meats make sure to combine it with lots of vegetables and dietary fiber, since there’s evidence that chlorophyll, the green pigment in vegetables, may counteract the cancer risk.
I believe by making the right food choices, balance and beauty can be achieved.
Will this new body of information change the way you consume processed and unprocessed red meats?
Resources: Authority Nutrition