A new US study claims that eating lots of red meat can increase the risk of cancer and heart problems.
The Harvard School of Public Health researchers analysed data from 120,000 people over more than 20 years.
The study says that the saturated fat and cholesterol in red meat is a possible cause of coronary heart disease.
It also says that processed red meat such as bacon, ham, sausages and burgers is “associated with a significantly elevated risk of total cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality”. Processed meat typically has a higher salt content.
The researchers recommended eating fish, chicken or nuts and pulses instead. They claim swapping one serving of red meat a day could have prevented the early deaths of one in ten of the men and one in seven of the women analysed for the study.
The response from over here
Dr Carrie Ruxton of the UK’s Meat Advisory Panel, which is funded by the meat industry, commented: “Average intakes in the UK are already below [Government recommendations], suggesting that, for most people, red meat consumption is not associated with health risk and does not need to be reduced."
"Red meat is an important source of iron, zinc and vitamin D and has a role in a healthy, balanced diet.”
Victoria Taylor, Dietician at the British Heart Foundation, added: “Red meat can still be eaten as part of a balanced diet, but go for the leaner cuts and use healthier cooking methods such as grilling. If you eat processed meats like bacon, ham, sausages or burgers several times a week, add variation to your diet by substituting these for other protein sources such as fish, poultry, beans or lentils.”
Do you eat a lot of red meat? What do you think about this research? Have your say in the Comments section below.
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