25 May 2011

Cancer experts cite red and processed meat as cancer causes

This week the Guardian reports that The World Cancer Research Fund has issued a warning about eating both red and processed meats, as it is believed they are linked to increased risk of bowel cancer.

The charity caused a stir four years ago when it published a study identifying meat as a risk factor for several types of cancer. Since then, a further 263 research papers have been studied at Imperial College London investigating the effect of diet, weight and physical activity in bowel cancer and an independent panel of cancer specialists reviewed the conclusions.

“The panel confirmed that there is convincing evidence that both red and processed meat increase bowel cancer risk,” states the report. It went on to suggest a weekly limit of 500g of cooked red meat (such as beef, pork and lamb), and to avoid processed meat such as ham and salami altogether.

Bowel Cancer UK chief executive Deborah Alshina said, “The report significantly adds to the available evidence into the increased risk of bowel cancer from eating too much red and processed meat; and strengthens the evidence of how eating food with fiber in it protects people against the disease.”

Just to clarify, meat contains no fiber whatsoever. Eat your plants people!

Bev Hahler | @redhotvegan
Bev, a vegetarian since she was 14 years old, became more interested in veganism several years ago after studying Agro-business as part of an Ecology degree. She has a gorgeous daughter in second grade who has been a vegetarian her whole life (lucky girl). Follow Bev on her blog and Facebook.

Photo credit:cc:flickr.com/photos/seandreilinger