Oncologists Have Named The Healthiest Meat

Oncologists Have Named The Healthiest Meat

Oncologists have recently specified which meats are the healthiest options for our diet. But what sets processed and red meats apart?

Processed and Red Meats: What Is The Difference?

Processed meats encompass a variety of canned or treated meats, including those prepared by smoking, canning, salting, or with added preservatives. This category includes familiar favorites like ham, bacon, salami, and sausage, along with processed white meats like chicken nuggets and deli slices.

On the other hand, red meat consists of fresh, cut, or frozen beef, pork, and lamb.

However, the distinction isn't just about taste or texture; it's about health risks, particularly when it comes to cancer.

What Is Worse For Your Health?

Research indicates that both processed and red meats can heighten the risk of cancer due to chemicals present in the meat itself or those added during processing or cooking.

Processed meats often employ nitrates and nitrites as preservatives, which can convert into cancer-causing substances upon consumption. This chemical transformation may explain why processed meats are associated with a higher cancer risk compared to red meats.

Moreover, cooking meat at high temperatures, especially on grills or barbecues, produces chemicals like heterocyclic amines and polycyclic amines, which can harm gut cells.

In essence, cutting back on both processed and red meats can lower the likelihood of developing cancer.

Which Types of Cancer Are Linked to These Meats?

Consuming excessive amounts of processed and red meats can elevate the risk of bowel cancer significantly. According to the UK's Cancer Research Centre, there's certainty about the link between processed meat and cancer, akin to the association between smoking and cancer. However, the number of cancer cases attributed to each cause differs.

Additionally, there's evidence suggesting an increased risk of stomach and pancreatic cancers with the consumption of these meats, though further research is required for conclusive findings.

So, How Much Processed and Red Meat Is Too Much?

Studies indicate that every 25 grams of processed meat consumed daily heightens the risk of cancer, equivalent to about a slice of bacon or ham. Therefore, moderation is key. Experts recommend limiting intake to 70 grams or less per day, roughly equivalent to three slices of ham or 1 small beef burger.

To reduce processed and red meat intake, consider adjusting your diet accordingly. Focus on healthier protein sources like poultry, fish, or plant-based alternatives. Making these small changes can significantly impact your overall health and well-being.