WHO says “Good Red Meat” Is an Excellent Way to Increase Your Cancer Risk

The World Health Organization (WHO) has determined that processed meats are carcinogens.

Honestly, is this a surprise to anyone?

meatWe’ve long known that the nitrates and nitrates used in processed meats are problematic. But many of us have been in denial – after all, bacon, hot dogs, salami, sausages, bologna, and other processed meats are as American as apple pie.

Unfortunately, the processes used to create these standard dietary delicacies include salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking – and they do nothing to ameliorate their damaging health effects; in fact, they increase the risks of their consumption. (For our discussion, “red meat” includes beef, pork, lamb, and goat.)

Expressions like “bringing home the bacon” are infused with positive cultural images, evoking the good life on a traditional family farm. And “bacon and eggs” is the epitome of the all-American breakfast.

Twenty-two experts from 10 countries reviewed more than 800 studies to reach the WHO’s conclusions regarding the healthiness or otherwise of consuming these products.

They found that eating just 50 grams (one-ninth of a pound) of processed meat daily increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. That’s the equivalent of about four strips of bacon or one hot dog per day.

In plain terms, what this means is that out of every hundred solid citizens who eat good, wholesome all-American processed meat, 18 will succumb to cancer, while those eating a diet free of processed meat can avoid this nearly one-in-five life-threatening risk.

Dr. Marcel Hernandez

Dr. Marcel Hernandez

For red meat specifically, there was evidence that its consumption increases the risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.

The American Cancer Society has long recommended a diet that limits processed meat and red meat, and that is high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.

The society’s Guidelines on Nutrition and Physical Activity for Cancer Prevention recommend choosing fish, poultry, or beans instead of red meat and processed meat.

Comment: At Pacific Naturopathic, we’ve always counseled our patients about the hazards of eating processed foods. The WHO report confirms what we’ve been saying for 25 years. In fact, WHO announced earlier this year that by 2020 the world incidence of cancer will increase by 57 percent.

It simply makes good sense – to stay healthy and cancer-free, you don’t have to eat a diet confined to cold tofu! – just browse among the many delicious alternatives to processed meats and red meats. You’ll feel better and live longer.

To learn more about our approach to adjunctive cancer care at Hernandez  Center, give us a call: 650-917-1121


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