Too much red meat puts life at high risk
EATING three rashers of bacon a day could raise the risk of dying from heart disease by almost a quarter, a study has concluded.
The review of several different investigations – dating back to the 1970s – into the health effects of processed meat concluded that eating more than 50g a day could increase the risk of dying from heart disease by 24%.
It also increases the risk of diabetes by 32%, and the risk of dying from cancer by 8%.
The research by the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, studied the dangers of eating red meat such as beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton and processed varieties such as ham, sausages, bacon, frankfurters and salami.
It found that eating more than 100g of unprocessed meat a day also increases the risk of advanced prostate cancer and bowel cancer by 19% and 17% respectively, death from heart disease by 15%, and breast cancer by 11%.
The report said a reason for this could be that the practice of cooking meat at high temperatures results in the production of chemicals called heterocyclic amines, which are believed to increase the risk of cancer in humans.
Prof Alicja Wolk, who led the study, said: “During recent decades, consumption of red meat has been increasing globally, especially in developing countries.
“At the same time, there has been growing evidence that high consumption of red meat, especially of processed meat, may be associated with an increased risk of several major chronic diseases.
“Overall, it’s plausible to conclude – taking into account the available scientific evidence – that high consumption of red meat and especially processed meat is associated with the increased risk of several major chronic diseases and preterm mortality.” – The Independent