Over the years, we seem to continuously hear about how too much red meat consumption can be detrimental to health. Previously there was not enough evidence to substantiate this claim, however, that has changed. A study published in the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine reports a positive relationship between the consumption of red meat and the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease.
A study was published in the Journal Archives of Internal Medicine, which revealed a shocking connection between the consumption of red meat and cancer. This large-scale study used 120,000 people who participated in two large US health and lifestyle investigations. This study revealed that consuming excess amounts of unprocessed red meat increased the risk of death by 13%. Unprocessed red meat increases the risk of fatal cardiovascular diseases by 18% and cancer by 10%. The study also showed that processed red meat can be more harmful in comparison; this is because it increases the risk of death by 20%. Processed meat increases the risk of cardiovascular disease by 21% and cancer by 16%. The study clearly showed that there is a definite link between red meat, cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Senior author Professor Frank Hu, of Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, US, said: "This study provides clear evidence that regular consumption of red meat, especially processed meat, contributes substantially to premature death.” He also said "On the other hand, choosing more healthful sources of protein in place of red meat can confer significant health benefits by reducing chronic disease morbidity [illness] and mortality."
However, some people believe that red meat can still be consumed, but in smaller quantities. The British Heart Foundation said that red meat can still be eaten occasionally. The study also revealed that cutting the consumption of red meat by half reduced the chances of cardio diseases and cancer. Hence, the researchers concluded that people should avoid eating processed red meat entirely. Dr Rachel Thompson, the charity's deputy head of science, said: "The study calculates that lives would be saved if people replaced red meat with healthy protein sources such as fish, poultry, nuts and legumes. We would like to see more people replacing red meat with these types of foods."
Dean Ornish, M.D., of the University of California in San Francisco said "In addition to their health benefits, the food choices we make each day affect other important areas as well. What is personally sustainable is globally sustainable. What is good for you is good for our planet. More than 75 percent of the $2.6 trillion in annual U.S. health care costs are from chronic disease. Eating less red meat is likely to reduce morbidity from these illnesses, thereby reducing health care costs."
Researchers believe that the extra saturated fats and sodium content in red meat are the main reasons of developing cardiac diseases.
This makes us wonder, should we not eat red meat at all? The choice is all yours, some doctors believe that processed red meat should be eliminated from the diet entirely while others believe that small amount of red meat can be consumed. The study clearly emphasizes on the fact that too much red meat can be deadly, red meat and cancer are connected. Hence, try to opt for healthier sources of animal protein healthy and avoid eating red meat in excess.