What we want to eat and what we don’t is completely our own choice, but there are certain things which can lead us to this fatal disease- CANCER. A large number of people love to eat meat, especially red meat. Processed meat is also very favorite to many people. But some studies and researches show that there may be an increased risk of cancer in such meat-lovers, in comparison of those who are either vegetarian or consume other source of animal proteins such as fish or seafood.
WHAT IS RED MEAT OR PROCESSED MEAT
First of all, let us know what Red Meat and Processed Meat are.
Red Meat refers to all mammalian muscle meat, including, beef, veal, pork, lamb, mutton, horse, and goat.
Processed meat refers to meat that has been processed to enhance flavor or improve preservation. They are transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or some other processes. Most processed meats include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces, but processed meats may also contain other red meats, poultry, offal, or meat by-products such as blood.
RISK IN CONSUMING RED OR PROCESSED MEAT
Some studies suggests that small increases in the risk of several cancers may be associated with high consumption of red meat or processed meat. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a well-known and respected agency of the World Health Organization, has classified processed meat as a “definite” cause of cancer, or a Group 1 carcinogen. The evidence so far suggests that it’s probably the processing of the meat, or chemicals naturally present within it, that increases cancer risk, says Alok Khorana, MD, Director of the Gastrointestinal Cancer Program at Cleveland Clinic.
Red meat was classified as Group 2A, probably carcinogenic to humans. In the case of red meat, the classification is based on limited evidence from epidemiological studies showing positive associations between eating red meat and developing colorectal cancer as well as strong mechanistic evidence.
Some evidence also suggests their association with some other cancers, such as pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer. An association with stomach cancer was also seen, but the evidence is not conclusive. The increased risk may be explained by the iron and fat content in red meat, and/or the salt and nitrates/nitrites in processed meat.
An analysis of data from 10 studies estimated that every 50 gram portion of processed meat eaten daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by about 18%. The cancer risk related to the consumption of red meat is more difficult to estimate because the evidence that red meat causes cancer is not as strong. However, data from the same studies suggest that the risk of colorectal cancer could increase by 17% for every 100 gram portion of red meat eaten daily.
Research has shown that what you eat can play a large role in your risk for developing colorectal cancer. The study showed a pesco-vegetarian diet, which can be understand as a diet which is dominated by fruits and vegetables and including a moderate amount of fish, is associated with a 45 percent reduced risk for colorectal cancers compared to people whose diets include meat.
Thus, nothing can be said conclusively about whether we should stop eating Red or Processed meat, but it is always good to be safer by reducing the amount of our meat intake and include more of vegetarian diets on a daily basis.
As in the words of Dr. Khorana- A healthy diet is good for your overall outcomes and your cardiovascular health. It turns out now that it’s also good for preventing cancer.