Red meat blamed for 1 in 10 early deaths
Taking small quantities of processed meat such as bacon, sausages and salami can increase the likelihood of dying by a fifth
British Department of Health has been urged to review its guidance on red meat after a study found that eating almost half the daily recommended amount can significantly increase the risk of dying early from cancer and heart disease.
Taking small quantities of processed meat such as bacon, sausages and salami can increase the likelihood of dying by a fifth, researchers from the Harvard School of Medicine found. Eating steak increases the risk of dying by 12 per cent.
The study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found that cutting the amount of red meat in people’s diets to 42g, equivalent to one large steak a week, could prevent almost one in 10 early deaths in men and one in 13 in women.
The scientists said the government’s current advice that people should eat no more than 70g of red meat a day, around the level the average Briton already consumes, was “generous”
Red meat often contains high amounts of saturated fat, while bacon and salami contain large amounts of salt. Replacing red meat with poultry, fish or vegetables, whole grains and other healthy foods cut the risk of dying by up to one fifth, the study found.
The bottom line is that we should make red meat only an occasional rather than regular part of our diet, said Dr Frank Ho, coauthor of the study, which follower more than 100,000 people for about 28 years.