Why should we limit our intake of red meat and processed meats

Red meats and processed meats can do more harm than good for our bodies. Some cannot imagine a meal without it but as tasty as it is red meat can be very harmful. Not that it should be avoided altogether but excess consumption can lead to unfavourable consequences. Red meats do have plenty of nutritional benefits like being high in proteins and being a good source of minerals, zinc, and iron.

Red meats include beef, lamb, pork, veal, venison goat. Processed meats are meats that have been preserved by smoking, curing, salting, or adding preservatives. This includes sausages, bacon, ham, salami, and pâtés. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), a part of the World Health Organization, conducted a research on how some things in our daily life can increase the risk of cancer. Red meat fell under category 2A, which is for those substances that can probably cause cancer.

Consumption of more than 90 grams of red meat per day can be harmful; the Department of Health advises that one should reduce the intake to 70 grams of red meat per day. While a daily diet that is high in red meat is not advisable, consuming some poses not great harm. Studies have shown that those who eat higher amounts of red meat are more susceptible to bowel cancer than those who don’t. Evidence does point towards the fact that people who have stomach and pancreatic cancer have a higher likelihood of having had a high intake of red meat.

While researchers are still trying to pinpoint the exact reason red meat can cause cancerous cells, a bulk of the evidence points towards the high levels of chemicals in the meat and not the meat itself.

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