Red meat shown to increase risk of death from heart problems or cancer

  • Posted

Posted 13/03/2012

Harvard Medical School researchers have today advised that a diet rich in red meat can shorten life expectancy.The study of more than 120,000 people suggested that red meat, and especially processed red meat, increased the risk of death from cancer and heart problems. Substituting red meat with fish, chicken or nuts can lower the risk. 37,698 men and 83,644 women were analysed with data taken between 1980 and 2008.Adding an extra portion of unprocessed red meat to someone’s daily diet would increase their risk of death by 13%, fatal cardiovascular disease by 18% and cancer mortality by 10%. For processed meat the figures were higher at 20% for overall mortality, 21% for death from heart problems and 16% for cancer mortality.The researchers suggested that saturated fat from red meat may be behind the increased heart risk and the sodium used in processed meat may increase cardiovascular disease risk through its effect on blood pressure.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”.”If you eat processed meats such as bacon, ham, sausages or burgers several times a week, add variation to your diet by substituting these for other protein sources such as fish, poultry beans or lentils”.Julie Crossley, a clinical negligence lawyer at Ashtons Legal comments; “We are bombarded with advice about what is good and bad for us on a weekly basis and this really boils down to common sense. Sadly if you are going to eat or drink to excess you will suffer the consequences. From a legal point of view it is unlikely that any litigation will evolve from this”.


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