Red meat increases death, cancer and heart risk, says study

 
Meat Experts advise to choose leaner cuts of red meat

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A diet high in red meat can shorten life expectancy, according to researchers at Harvard Medical School.

The study of more than 120,000 people suggested red meat increased the risk of death from cancer and heart problems.

Substituting red meat with fish, chicken or nuts lowered the risks, the authors said.

The British Heart Foundation said red meat could still be eaten as part of a balanced diet.

The researchers analysed data from 37,698 men between 1986 and 2008 and 83,644 women between 1980 and 2008.

They said that during the study period, adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone's daily diet would increase the risk of death by 13%, of fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and of cancer mortality by 10%. The figures for processed meat were higher, 20% for overall mortality, 21% for death from heart problems and 16% for cancer mortality.

The study, published in Archives of Internal Medicine, said: "We found that a higher intake of red meat was associated with a significantly elevated risk of total, cardiovascular disease, and cancer mortality.

Dr Rosemary Leonard says the risks associated with eating a lot of red meat are "very clear"

"This association was observed for unprocessed and processed red meat with a relatively greater risk for processed red meat."

The researchers suggested that saturated fat from red meat may be behind the increased heart risk and the sodium used in processed meats may "increase cardiovascular disease risk through its effect on blood pressure".

Victoria Taylor, a dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: "Red meat can still be eaten as part of a balanced diet, but go for the leaner cuts and use healthier cooking methods such as grilling.

She suggested adding more variation to your diet with "other protein sources such as fish, poultry, beans or lentils."

 

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  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 429.

    JMW_Tamworth
    I will eat what I like and drink what I like, obviously in moderation, but for goodness sake tell the scientists we're not interested and look to make better use of their by researching something REALLY useful!
    -
    Why 'obviously in moderation'? Did you read some research about that?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 428.

    So in future I won't be having those 15 rashers of bacon for breakfast.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 427.

    Sponsored by the Chicken & fish marketing board no doubt...just leave us be ..

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 426.

    399. KarenZ
    Red meat is NOT bad for you if cooked properly;


    Are you sure about that? Red meat can be and indeed is, eaten raw.

    The heat of the cooking process converts some enzymes into heterocyclic amines which are carcinogens.

    Overcooking, particularly on a barbecue where the meat is often burnt, is worse than not cooking at all.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 425.

    My in-depth research has revealed that we are all going to die exactly once.
    No man-made intervention, healthy eating, new drugs, safer procedures will make the slightest difference to this fact.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 424.

    I'd be interested to know what kind of controls were done on the survey, because I'd like to know how they know that the red meat is the cause of the increased risk. I would imagine that people who are more inclined towards eating large amounts of red meat also have different lifestyles and diets as a general trend. I tried to find the study on the Harvard website but couldn't.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 423.

    Is this news? I thought this was well known years ago and we keep being told ad nauseam about the health benefits of white meat and fish and how to avoid saturated fats. Perhaps it is news in the USA where it seems every meal contains pounds of red meat and salt?
    What next - smoking is bad for you?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 422.

    More poor research; if we were smarter we would see that. Remember: eat right, exercise, die anyway.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 421.

    The Harvard medics, Dr Leonard and all the militant veggies leaping up and down with glee just now seem to have ignored the first rule of statistical analysis;
    Correlation does not prove Causation

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 420.

    I am so sick of hearing what's good and what's not that I've just stopped listening. It's good one day and harmful the next. Like everyone else can I say I JUST DON'T CARE ANYMORE. I will eat what I like and drink what I like, obviously in moderation, but for goodness sake tell the scientists we're not interested and look to make better use of their by researching something REALLY useful!

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 419.

    Nice to see the myth about saturated fat and heart disease being flouted again. Red meat itself is a great source of stable fats, protein, iron, and B vitamins. Can't see a problem there - the problem is a sedentary lifestyle consuming more than the body requires (Also worth noting that excess protein is just as much an issue as -if not more than- excess fat.)

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 418.

    Given that the government can't afford the pensions bill and the NHS, you'd think they would be encouraging us to eat red meat , enjoy ourselves & die younger rather than encourage us to live longer...

    No wait! .....Reverse psychology!

    But has anyone stopped to question the use of ink in these reports; the ink is toxic. Maybe we should cut out these reports.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 417.

    This suspiciously looks like an excuse to just increase the price of meat.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 416.

    was this farm raised grass fed red meat that was used in this ? or was it red meat from animals that we don't know what goes into the feed,
    I think this needs to be looked into as it is a sure thing that all these higher rates of cancer and etc have been caused by what they feed these animals. watch out milk is tainted as well these days

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 415.

    Eating red meat gives you a 10% more chance of dying from heart desease or a 90% chance of not.

    It is just how you wish to present numbers.

    By the way 100% of people who died were found to have been breathing just before they died. Is there a correlation here?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 414.

    Matt Henson @5: Link between saturated fat, high cholesterol & heart disease was idea of Ancel Keyes. US & UK public health has been based on his Seven Countries Study. It was a lie. He surveyed 22 countries but hid results of 15 because they didn't confirm his beliefs.

    For instance, France, where they eat more dairy produce than anywhere else and also masses of meat – see 'the French Paradox'.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 413.

    Not how the this report is based on research carried out by Harvard University.

    The BBC reporter who wrote this article probably went to Yale.

  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 412.

    researchers at Harvard Medical School.
    The study of more than 120,000 people suggested red meat increased the risk of death from cancer and heart problems.
    how many of these people was asked lived in the uk ??????

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 411.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but don't a large number of European countries traditionally include cold processed meat as part of their staple breakfast diet, as an example Germany. Surely this would then mean that Germans should be dropping like stones but I really think someone would have noticed by now.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 410.

    Has anyone mentioned the diet of the Inuit? High in red meat, very low incidence of heart disease and cancer. I think it would be more accurate to say that *something* in the diet of people in the study who ate a lot of red meat was causing heart disease and cancer. Eat real food people.

 

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