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Consumption of Red Meat Increases Risk of Cancer
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Extensive study shows red and processed meat is linked to heart disease and cancer

Our diet is mainly based on meat, and it’s not healthy, nutritionists say. In fact, it relies so much on this type of food that we’re actively increasing our chances of developing heart disease and cancer, as a new extensive study reveals. Red and processed meat considerably boost risks of developing either condition, which is why health experts encourage the consumption of healthy one, like chicken and fish.

The study, the largest of its kind ever to be conducted, included more than half a million people whose eating behavior and health state were analyzed for a period of 10 years.

The results clearly show that older people whose diets include excessive quantities of red meat (hamburger), and processed meat like hot dogs, bacon and cold cuts, are more prone to health diseases, which can be easily prevented by adopting a more appropriate diet, based on white meat such as fish and chicken.

“Over 10 years, eating the equivalent of a quarter-pound hamburger daily gave men in the study a 22 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 27 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease. That’s compared to those who ate the least red meat, just 5 ounces per week. Women who ate large amounts of red meat had a 20 percent higher risk of dying of cancer and a 50 percent higher risk of dying of heart disease than women who ate less.” MSNBC informs, based on the findings of the study.

A lower consumption of red and processed meat would be recommendable not only because of the massive health implications it would have, but also because it would decrease the impact on the environment, as the researchers point out. Eating more fish and chicken would be much “greener,” they say.

“We’ve promoted a diet that has added excessively to global warming.” Barry Popkin, director of the Interdisciplinary Obesity Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, shares in a recent interview, as quoted by the aforementioned source. At the same time, Popkin underlines that livestock increase greenhouse gas emissions, which is why eating white meat should be encouraged in all countries. Elisabetta Politi of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center in Durham, N.C., agrees, while also stressing we place too much importance on meat – “I’m not saying everybody should turn into vegetarians. Meat should be a supporting actor on the plate, not the main character.”

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