Increasing red meat intake may also increase the risk of death

Bogdan Sonjachnyj

Bogdan Sonjachnyj

Think: An increased risk of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, certain types of cancer, and premature mortality. Meanwhile, eating an extra half serve (or more) of processed red meats - bacon or salami - every day may increase your mortality risk by 13 per cent.

For the research, the team used data from 53,553 female nurses, ages 30 to 55, from the famous cohort study, the Nurses' Health Study (NHS), as well as from 27,916 male health professionals, aged 40 to 75, from the Health Professionals Follow-up Study (HPFS). The leading causes were cardiovascular disease, cancer, respiratory disease and neurodegenerative diseases like dementia and Parkinson's disease. What they found will likely surprise just about nobody.

The long-term study, which examined the dietary changes of over 53,500 women and nearly 30,000 men, shows that an increased intake of red meat is linked to a heightened risk of death.

A decrease in eating red meats and an increase in eating whole grains, vegetables or other protein sources was associated with a lower risk of death over eight years, the researchers found.

"These findings suggest that a change in protein source or eating healthy plant-based foods such as vegetables or whole grains can improve longevity", the study concluded.

Scientists also learnt replacing red meat with healthier alternatives such as nuts, fish and poultry was associated with a longer life.

"The lower or lack of association between red meat intake and mortality in other countries or areas of the world indicates that red meat may contribute to mortality in the United States by providing a high protein content but also because it may contain other factors that contribute to damage", said Valter Longo, a professor of biological sciences at the University of Southern California and director of the USC Longevity Institute, who was not involved in the study.

NASA opens Int'l Space Station for private travel, at hefty price
The company intends to use Elon Musk's SpaceX to deliver private or non-NASA astronauts into the International Space Station . Gerstenmaier, NASA's associate administrator for human exploration and operations in a news conference at NASDAQ in NY .

A new study has added to the growing mound of evidence that too much red meat is bad for our health.

They found that the associations were consistent across different age groups, levels of physical activity, dietary quality, smoking and alcohol habits.

Swapping red meat for fish can cut the risk of an early death by up to a quarter, research suggests.

Which seems pretty significant to me.

As an observational study, the researchers point out that they can not establish a cause and effect relationship, and there were some limitations to the study, such as studying mainly white registered health professionals rather than a more diverse group of participants. But still, the data includes a huge swath of people over a long period of time, with numerous assessments of diet and lifestyle factors, with similar results between the two cohorts.

Finlay Macrae, Head of Colorectal Medicine and Genetics at the Royal Melbourne Hospital, said the study supports existing recommendations that red meat, and particularly processed red meat, should only be consumed in moderation.

"The findings present a contemporary challenge for Australia, given the impact of red meat consumption on the food industry, farmers and climate change", says Dr Ball, "as well as the prominence of red meat in current diet fads such as low carbohydrate or ketogenic diets".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.